PETALING JAYA: Questions have arisen over the impartiality of human rights lawyer Latheefa Koya’s appointment as the number one at the anti-graft commission.
MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong (pic) said naming her as the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission chief was “mind boggling” and goes against the promise made by Pakatan Harapan to ensure that MACC personnel would head the commission.
“Even though Latheefa has announced her resignation from PKR to take up the post, the independence of the MACC is now in question.
“Where is the impartiality, integrity and credibility of the MACC now?
“The image of the MACC is now in tatters, and any right-minded person would not condone her appointment, including even the PKR leadership,” said Dr Wee in a Facebook post yesterday.
“MCA’s position is clear that no active politician should head the MACC and other relevant security agencies.
“Privately, PKR leaders regard Latheefa as a loose cannon. One cannot help but wonder if she is a suitable choice for the role,” said Dr Wee.
In a Twitter posting yesterday, Latheefa announced she had tendered her resignation as a PKR member on Monday (June 3) after being informed of her “impending” appointment as the MACC chief.
Lawyers for Liberty adviser N. Surendran also announced that Latheefa had resigned as its executive director following her appointment.
Dr Wee said the appointment of Latheefa could not have come at the most inappropriate time as it coincides with Hari Raya, and is thus now the “worst Hari Raya” present for Malaysia, especially among the MACC personnel.
He added that it would have been more appropriate to appoint someone from within the anti-graft commission to succeed its chief Datuk Seri Shukri Abdull.
Dr Wee said MCA also demands to know if the appointment was the arbitrary decision of the Prime Minister, and if the Cabinet is aware.
“From what I am told, it is a shocking news to the Cabinet. I feel disturbed for PKR President Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as it was well known that Latheefa had always targeted Anwar.
“I hope her appointment is not some grand conspiracy scheme to stop Anwar from becoming the next Prime Minister,” said Dr Wee.
Transparency International Malaysia (TI) also lambasted the appointment.
TI president Datuk Seri Akhbar Satar also questioned Latheefa’s political links that may affect her neutrality as the anti-graft commission’s chief.
“It is a political appointment. It should have gone through the Parliamentary Select Committee but it did not.
“She has strong links to PKR which will tarnish the credibility of the MACC and any investigation that they touch,” he said.
He added that it would be very difficult for Latheefa to completely remove herself from the political environment, which is paramount for someone in her post.
“Not only must someone fulfil their duties without fear or favour, they must also hold up that perception in the public eye.
“If there is an investigation in PKR or any political party, whatever the outcome, it will be disputed because there will be no trust,” he said.
Akhbar also said that Latheefa lacks the investigative know-how to lead the anti-graft agency.
“A background in law is fine but she also needs to know investigative techniques and experience as that is a very big part of MACC.
“She will be needed to make decisions in major investigations and that would require in-depth knowledge in investigative methods when going through the case files,” he said.