KUALA LUMPUR: Careful consideration is still needed over the proposed separation of powers for the Attorney-General Chambers (AGC) and the Public Prosecutor’s office, says Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said.
“As of Oct 9, I am unable to answer all the questions because we need more careful consideration so that if any amendments are made to the Federal Constitution, it will not be regretted in the future,” she said when replying to a supplementary question raised by Gobind Singh Deo (PH-Damamsara) in Parliament on Monday (Oct 9).
The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Law and Institutional Reforms) earlier informed the House that the Government had agreed with the proposal following the setting up of two special teams to study the matter in-depth in three phases, owing to complexities involved.
She said the studies would involve evidence-based research on several existing models used in other countries to come out with a framework most suitable for the nation.
Azalina said that she would chair a meeting on coming Wednesday (Oct 11) for a briefing on the initial study of the doctrinal approach taken by nine countries with regard the separation of the two offices.
The countries, she said, were England and Wales, India, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, South Africa, Ireland, Kenya dan the United States.
Under the second phase, she said that the technical team will look at the cost and legal implications, including appointments, before submitting an interim report to the Cabinet.
“As such, it would be premature to determine the specific financial implications at this stage.
“However, this will not be a constraint for the Madani government to implement this reform effort,” she added.
Under the third phase, Azalina said that a series of engagement sessions would be held with the state governments of Sabah and Sarawak, including other relevant stakeholders such as the police, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission and others, in due course.
Earlier, Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan (PN-Kota Baru) asked if amendments to Article 145 of the Federal Constitution would place the powers of appointment of the Attorney-General with the Judicial Appointments Commission as was done prior to 1963.
Azalina said that this was among the questions which the study will be looking at.
She informed the House that it took England and Wales almost eight years to separate the powers of prosecution to the Crown Prosecution Service.