Ã‚Â KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 11 – Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today dismissed talk that he is a disinterested bystander in the reforms being pushed by the prime minister.
The DPM said he had been kept in the loop by Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi in discussions on the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC) Bills which the prime minister tabled in Parliament yesterday.
With Najib set to take over from Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi as the premier after the Umno party polls in March, these Bills will impact his tenure more than the outgoing PM. Abdullah has, however, come under criticisms for provisions which maintained most of the power to select commission members and judges in the hands of the prime minister.
When asked about the PM’s prerogative in the two Bills at a press conference today, Najib confirmed he had discussed the Bills with Abdullah.
“I discussed it with the Prime Minister in setting the principles and content of the Bills,” he said, adding that they reflected the government’s seriousness towards combating corruption and strengthening the integrity of the courts.
The neutrality of both the Anti-Corruption Agency and judiciary has long been criticised by detractors of the Barisan Nasional government.
With the Bills providing for the PM to both appoint and sack members of both commissions, the independence of the bodies is still in question.
It is expected that Abdullah will step down as PM to make way for Najib after the Umno party polls in March.
Source : The Malaysian Insider