Independent ACA, How Effective? --- Wait and See

The Prime Minister today announced that the ACA shall be an independent body directly answerable to a Parlimentary Committee consisting members from both sides of the House.

This surely comes as good news for us who have been fighting against corruption for years. Finally, we see some light at the end of the tunnel. It coincide with the general sentiment of Malaysians after the 8-3-2008 General Election, ie. "finally there is soem hope for our country, hold on to the emigration application".

Abdullah said that this move is part of the fulfilment of the promises made in the 2004 BN's election manifesto. It was done now not because BN suffered huge loss in the 2008 election but because between 2004 and 2008 elections, there were other "more urgent matters to handle then".

I just wonder what can be more urgent to Abdullah than eradicating corruption, afterall, "eradication of corruption" was his main campaign theme in the 2004 Election. But after the unprecedented BN victory in the 2004 Election, Abdullah's "bao qing tian" became "da pao xian". (包青天变大炮仙). He put aside all his promises on "War against Corruption".

I just can't help but to hold the view that had the Opposition not won big in the 2008 Election, all these anti-corruption promises would remain buried underground.

How effective Will the ACA Become?

To answer this question, one has first to ask how effective is a Parliamentary Committee in exercising its supervisory duty?

We have a few Parliamentary Select Committee set up in the last terms. After spending hundreds of thousand Ringgit or even millions of Ringgit of tax-payer's money, no report was presented by a few of these Select Committees to the Parliament before the Parliament was dissolved on 13-2-2008.

There was one common trait in all those Select Committees. They were all chaired by BN Members of Parliament.

We also have the Royal Commission Report for Police Reform tabled in Parliament in 2005 but until today, THE most important recommendation of the Report, ie. setting up an Independent Police Complaint and Misconduct Commission, was not implemented by the BN government

At the end of the day, it boils down to, whether the BN government is under pressure from the Rakyat to perform better. Whether there is any political will on the part of the BN government to change Malaysia for the better. I strongly believe that it is impossible to change from within BN, there are too many connections and self-interests involved. The only way is to change from outside BN.

Therefore, for the start, to appoint an Opposition Member of Parliament as the Chairman of the Commission overseeing the ACA is most appropriate and that the committee should comprise more Opposition MPs than BN MPs.