|Bar calls for law reform commission to study new laws|
|Tuesday, 03 July 2012 09:08am|
©The Star (Used by permission)
By SARBAN SINGH and YUEN MEIKENG
KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Bar said an independent law reform commission should be set up to undertake research, legal policy development and make recommendations to Parliament without fear or favour.
“This law reform commission will be able to undertake the public consultation process in a simple, understandable and methodical manner,” said Malaysian Bar president Lim Chee Wee.
He was referring to yesterday's report that government departments and agencies must now seek public opinion before proposing draft amendments to existing laws or introducing new Bills.
Lauding the move, Lim said such a step would avoid situations where the public only learnt about new laws or amendments after they are introduced in Parliament and passed.
Asli Centre for Public Policy Studies chairman Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam said the move showed that the Government had learnt its lesson from the negative reaction to amendments to the Evidence Act.
“The move will enhance transparency and the integrity of the Federal Constitution,” said Ramon, who is also a former Transparency International Malaysia president.
Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Seri Chor Chee Heung, who is a qualified lawyer, said consultation must be held with affected stakeholders first before proposed amendments or new laws are tabled.
“This has always been the modus operandi of my ministry,” he said.
In SEREMBAN, Cuepacs president Datuk Omar Osman said the move was timely but suggested relevant stakeholders discuss the proposed changes thoroughly before any public opinion was sought.
Citing an example, he said the Public Service Commission and the Public Service Department should discuss changes in rules for civil servants with Cuepacs, the umbrella body for public sector unions, and the Joint Consultative Council before they are announced.
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