Dewan Rakyat passes National Anti-Financial Crime Centre Bill

Azril Annuar
Datuk Liew Vui Keong speaks to reporters in Parliament October 10, 2019. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 10 — The National Anti-Financial Crime Centre Bill (NFACC) was passed unanimously by the Dewan Rakyat today.

However, during the debate’s wind up Minister in Prime Minister’s Department (Law) Datuk Liew Vui Keong only took into consideration proposals from the floor to change the wording in the law where the appointment of the agency’s director-general (DG) will be referred to the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC).

Arau MP (BN) Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim was adamant in his demands that the PSC should be the body to appoint the DG instead of the prime minister.

“I only ask that the word prime minister be changed to Parliament. I don’t want to oppose (this Bill) but at the very least the minister should consider the proposal,” said Shahidan.

Liew, who did not address the matter during the winding-up speech, acceded to Shahidan’s demands and responded: “I take note and will consider Arau’s proposal.”

The matter over the wording of the DG’s appointment — where his or her appointment should be decided by the PSC instead of the prime minister — should be included in the Bill was raised by other lawmakers across the political divide including Ledang MP (PH) Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh and Rembau MP (BN) Khairy Jamaluddin.

Earlier, after delivering his speech for the second reading of the Bill, Liew told a press conference that the government will refer the candidate for the positions of DG and NFACC chairman to the PSC before their final appointment.

“We don’t have to amend the (NAFCC) Bill to do this, we just need to get this pass in Cabinet, for the DG and chairman appointment to be referred to PSC, and the Cabinet will adhere to this principle,” he said.

Replying to a question by Kuala Terengganu MP (PAS) Ahmad Amzad Hashim on Datuk Seri Mustafar Ali’s appointment as the NAFCC DG prior to the Bill being passed, Liew explained that Mustafar was appointed as the chief executive for the nucleus team to establish the NAFCC.

Mustafar, who retired as the former Immigration DG on December 31 last year, was appointed to head the National Financial Crime Centre (NFCC) on January 2 this year.

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