Proposed law to handle public service complaints receiving final touches, says Azalina

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KUALA LUMPUR: The proposed Ombudsman Bill, which will codify the handling and resolution of complaints about public service, is being finalised, says Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said.


The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Law and Institutional Reforms) said the Bill would then be sent for approval by the Cabinet.

“The proposed Ombudsman Bill functions to receive, handle and resolve complaints regarding public service maladministration to ensure good and ethical governance.

“The Ombudsman will be a truly independent body which practices an impartial concept when handling grievances brought forward by the public towards public service,” she said in a statement on Wednesday (June 14).

Azalina said the Ombudsman would also focus on second-tier complaints regarding public service maladministration.

“Institutions like the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC), Human Rights Commission (Suhakam), National Audit Department and Independent Police Conduct Commission (IPCC) are also used as references to determine policies under the Bill,” she said, adding that various engagement sessions were held with government and Opposition MPs, government agencies, non-governmental organisations and civil society organisations.

On a related note, Public Complaints Bureau (PCB) director-general S. Letchumanan Sahnmugam said the board would be dissolved if the proposed Ombudsman Bill becomes law.

He said the Ombudsman’s functions would cover the PCB’s role, affecting some 180 PCB staff.


“There will be a two-year transition period. PCB staff will have the option of remaining in the civil service or to join the Ombudsman’s office.

“Those remaining in service will be transferred to other government departments or ministries,” he told reporters after an engagement session with MPs on Wednesday (June 14).

He said the Public Complaints Management System (Sispaa) currently used by the PCB, would continue to be used by the Ombudsman for the public to lodge and track complaints.

On the engagement session, he said the proposed Bill would be refined further based on feedback from attending MPs.

In 2019, the former Pakatan Harapan administration mooted the creation of the Ombudsman following calls for an independent body to investigate complaints against maladministration.

The proposed law was drafted in 2021 by the subsequent government but was not tabled in Parliament.

– The Star

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