Cabinet unaware of Latheefa’s MACC appointment, say three ministers

PUTRAJAYA: The Cabinet was unaware of the decision to appoint Latheefa Koya as the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief commissioner, say several ministers.

“We are not aware,” Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution told reporters at the Cabinet’s open house at Seri Perdana on Wednesday (June 5).

The PKR secretary-general said Latheefa’s email to resign from the party was dated June 3 and was addressed to PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

He however said that it was not opened until later.

“As of now, while I am giving a statement, she is not a party member anymore,” he said.

“We will leave it to Datuk Seri Saifuddin Abdullah if there is a need to call for a presidential council meeting,” he added, referring to the Pakatan Harapan secretary-general.

Saifuddin said that the Pakatan presidential council was also not aware of the decision.

“We made a promise that we would make the MACC answerable to Parliament.

“For the post of the chief, we are saying we prefer for it to go through the Parliamentary select committee,” he added.

Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali also said that he was not aware of Latheefa's appointment until he saw it on the news on Tuesday (June 4).

He added that he had just got back from his umrah in Saudi Arabia on Sunday (June 2).

Azmin said that he was certain that her appointment was based on merit as Latheefa has been in the legal service for many decades.

“I am certain her appointment is based on that particular merit and not her political ideologies,” he said.

He agreed that the MACC should be an independent body and conduct its investigations in a professional manner.

“She has not been active in the party for some time because she has been very busy and too occupied with her legal matters in court.

“I think we should give her an opportunity to serve the body,” he said.

Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo said Latheefa’s appointment was not discussed in Cabinet, but added that it was a welcome move.

He said he was not shocked by her appointment as she is someone who is experienced and capable.

“She has a lot to do and has a huge responsibility to shoulder. I have known Latheefa since we were in practice together and she is someone familiar with the laws that are applicable to her department.

“We wish her well,” he said.

Latheefa’s appointment, announced on June 4, came as a surprise to many. She replaces Datuk Seri Shukri Abdull, who had quit even before his tenure was to have ended in 2020.

She has resigned as a PKR member and executive director of Lawyers For Liberty.

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