PETALING JAYA: Ramkarpal Singh (pic) says that Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's unilateral decision to appoint Latheefa Koya as Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief is not indicative of a healthy democracy.
The Bukit Gelugor MP pointed out that the MACC Act does provide for the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to make the appointment on the advice of the Prime Minister, but the Cabinet was not consulted on this matter.
"The whole point of Promise 14 in PH's election manifesto is to ensure a check-and-balance and transparency of such appointments by the setting up of a Parliamentary Select Committee on Public Appointments.
"The purpose of such a committee becomes meaningless if such appointments are made unilaterally without even consulting the Cabinet," he said in a statement Thursday (June 6).
Ramkarpal noted that the ability to make such appointments unilaterally implies the ability to dismiss unilaterally as well.
"Which is why proper consultation with all parties, especially the Cabinet, is crucial so as to avoid unnecessary perceptions that may arise as a result of such unilateral appointments or dismissals.
"Personality is, no doubt, important in the appointments of officials of government agencies but the manner in which they are appointed must be of equal, if not, more importance to inspire public confidence in such appointments," said Ramkarpal, who is also DAP national legal bureau chairman.
He also noted Minister in the PM's Department Datuk Liew Vui Keong's statement that Dr Mahathir had acted within the law in appointing Latheefa.
"The point that is missing here is not the legality of Latheefa's appointment – but whether making such unilateral appointments without consultation with the Cabinet and the said committee is in line with the reforms promised before Pakatan came into power.
"With respect, unilateral appointments such as this is not part of a healthy democracy and ought not to happen, irrespective of the quality or otherwise of the appointee," Ramkarpal added.
Latheefa's appointment as MACC chief commissioner, which was announced on the eve of Hari Raya, made waves across Malaysians, with mixed reaction on her appointment.
She takes over from Datuk Seri Mohd Shukri Abdull, who stepped down one year before his contract was supposed to expire.