Last Saturday (15 Sep), Malaysian PM-in-waiting Anwar Ibrahim was invited to Singapore to give a talk at the annual Singapore Summit, a conference for business and thought leaders to discuss business and global affairs.
Mr Anwar is all for stronger ties with Singapore. "It (bilateral relationship) is strong and we cannot fail. I don’t think it is sensible to create any problems between these two countries,” he told the audience.
In his 20-minute opening speech before the dialogue, Mr Anwar spoke about his country’s domestic issues.
Pointing out that the new Pakatan Harapan government has moved to reform key institutions such as its anti-corruption commission, which is now accountable to Parliament instead of the prime minister, Mr Anwar said that “never again will we allow the executive to will so much power and leave so much damage to the nation”.
Mr Anwar is expected to take over the Malaysian premiership from Dr Mahathir in 2 years' time.
"If and when I assume the premiership, then I will make sure that one of the first countries I visit will be Singapore," he said.
Massive overhaul in Malaysia's Prime Minister’s Department
In fact, since the new government took over in Malaysia, there has been a massive overhaul in Malaysia's Prime Minister’s Department (PMD).
Some 10 agencies, including 19 offices and task forces, under the PMD were abolished.
In particular, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, the Election Commission, Human Rights Commission of Malaysia and the National Audit Department would report directly to the Malaysian Parliament.
Other agencies reporting directly to the Parliament include the Public Service Commission, Education Service Commission and the Judicial Appointments Commission.
CPIB, ELD and MAS reports to PMO in Singapore
In Singapore, however, the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) and Elections Department (ELD) do not report to the Parliament but to the Prime Minister's Office (PMO).
The followings are the agencies currently reporting to PMO in Singapore, including Singapore's central bank MAS:
- Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB)
- Elections Department (ELD)
- National Research Foundation (NRF)
- National Security Coordination Secretariat (NSCS)
- Public Service Division (PSD)
- Civil Service College (CSC)
- Smart Nation and Digital Government Office (SNDGO)
- Government Technology Agency of Singapore (GovTech)
- Strategy Group (SG)
- Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS)