The Problems & Solutions

An external Public Ombudsman for all public servants & politicians

"They can do as they like because there is no one looking after them. That is why you have this attitude."

The Tiada.Guru Campaign
8 Jan 2022

Why now?

Any dependency on internal investigations is a recipe for reform disaster. Honest public servants, such as teachers, are desperately waiting for independent oversight.  Nemo judex in causa sua is the primary principle of natural justice: no one may be a judge in their own cause.

This hallmark failure of Malaysia’s governance must be wholly uprooted and incinerated into the pits of history.

The Problems

All public service misconduct, including those amounting to crimes, uses a five-step process: 1) primarily internal reports, 2) internal investigations, 3) disciplinary proceedings by the Public Services Commission, and 4) oversight by MACC, police, and / or the Courts, to prevent gratification and/or protection; and failing these four steps, the Cabinet institutes checks and balances by its statutory powers to ensure natural justice.

Today in Malaysia’s governance, all corruption eradication programs have wholly—yet predictably—failed. Likewise, “reform” politicians have refused to overhaul the Government even once awarded breathtaking Executive powers. While our Prime Ministers like to admit all Ministries are dangerously compromised, they have shown little urgency to enact reform.

Malaysia’s Executive Branch has consistently undermined, disturbed, and / or extinguished independent, thorough, and expedient…

The Government has been to have sacked and/or pressured to resign many prominent political appointees and public servants, including Attorney Generals, Deputy Prime Ministers, Ministers, and MACC Chief Commissioners; likewise, countless public servants have been seemingly threatened and intimidated.

As Ministry of Education (MOE) whistleblowers, we can confirm that many hidden mini-1MDB scandals throughout the public service will shock the nation: enough un-investigated and unreported crimes have been committed to land hundreds of public servants in Court or jail. Multiple such cases have been exposed with decades-long histories.

The Solutions

As MOE whistleblowers have repeatedly shouted from the rooftops, internal investigations can never be reformed. Malaysia’s governance requires a reset: a Public Ombudsman (PO) with wholly independent disciplinary, civil, and criminal jurisdiction against all public servants and politicians.

Today, we must push beyond just forming an IPCMC: it is not just one Ministry, Agency, nor politician, but setting in place an empowered and robust Integrity Structure for the whole Government under the aegis of the PO who is then given authority to:

  1. Become the central hub for all misconduct and corruption claims against politicians and public servants, thus permanently abolishing all Ministries’ and Agencies’ internal “investigative” and “integrity” departments, defunct and dead in all but name.
  2. Become the central hub for all whistleblower protection.
  3. Be administered by rotated non-government experts and governed by statutory duties on human rights, justice, and transparency. These experts will be internally recruited from the legal & health professions, academia, and civil society, with three-year rotations. Its limited inaugural officers should be nominated by Parliament, similar to Cabinet Members in the United States (and unlike SUHAKAM Commission Members “recommended” by the Prime Minister).
  4. Be answerable only to Parliament for monthly reports and periodic non-government integrity and financial audits.
  5. Absorb SUHAKAM immediately and rebuild MACC 2.0 over time to remove political interference and sunset redundant agencies.
  6. Be firewalled against Legislative & Executive Branches: through guaranteed funding as direct % of yearly Budget, previously noted audits, and a permanent disqualification for all current and former public servants as administrators and officers.
  7. Establish a Public Interest Litigation Unit: in other nations, POs regularly file civil proceedings against egregious Government misconduct on behalf of aggrieved citizens, key for non-criminal misconduct, i.e., Ain Husniza vs MOE or Indira Gandhi vs. IGP.

The PO must become the primary warrior against institutionalized misconduct and corruption in the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches. Positive examples of other nations’ POs can be found in the UNESCO 2017/8 Global Education Monitoring Report (page xiiii).