No more delays! Separate attorney general’s and public prosecutor’s powers by October 2025

Azalina Othman Said - WIKIPEDIA

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The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih) refers to yesterday’s statement by Azalina Othman Said, the minister responsible for law and institutional reform, that the initiative to separate the powers of the attorney general and the public prosecutor will be implemented in phases over two years after a study of three countries.

Based on this development, Bersih is concerned that this major reform agenda may be delayed until the eve of the next general election and may not even be completed within the current “unity government’s” term.

Berish would like to ask Azalina to clarify the following:

  • Is the two-year timeline announced in yesterday’s statement an ‘extension’ to what was announced last year? On 18 August 2023, Azalina stated that a comprehensive study related to this agenda would run for a period of one year, meaning it would be concluded by the end of this year (late 2024), which would pave the way for its implementation the next year, 2025
  • Can the federal government give a public guarantee that the implementation of the separation of powers (not merely the completion of the taskforce’s study) will be done before the 2026 Budget, which will be presented in October 2025? This public assurance is important to ward off the impression that any further study and committee is not a tactic to delay the implementation of the separation of powers. As this separation of powers will consume significant financial resources, the government must make appropriate allocations in the 2026 Budget to facilitate its implementation

Bersih urges that the implementation of this reform should not be delayed and the government should adhere to the timeline set previously.

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Bersih and the people are also waiting for the results of the interim report by the special technical taskforce for the separation of the attorney general and prosecutor, which should be presented this September.

Bersih would also like to repeat its call for the prime minister and the attorney general to establish a temporary moratorium policy to stop any discharge not amounting to an acquittal by the attorney general that involves corruption and public interest cases that are ongoing in court, especially involving high-profile politicians whether in the opposition or the current government.

This moratorium is important while waiting for the implementation of the separation of powers of the attorney general and the public prosecutor so that the court process can be carried out fairly and with public confidence. – Bersih


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