Parliamentary committee wants meeting with Dr M over recent appointments

  • Nation
  • Friday, 07 Jun 2019

PETALING JAYA: The Parliamentary Special Select Committee on Public Appointments wants to meet Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to discuss over recent appointments.

According to a report by news portal Malaysiakini on Friday (June 7), parliamentary committee chairperson William Leong said that they "will be writing to seek an appointment" with the Prime Minister.

Leong said that the "committee was not receiving cooperation from the executive on the three recent major appointments".

The major appointments Leong referred to are of Inspector-General of Police Abdul Hamid Bador, Chief Justice Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat and most recently, the appointment of Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commissioner (MACC) chief commissioner Latheefa Koya.

Leong, who is also PKR Selayang MP, said that the committee "was unaware of Latheefa's appointment" and "in the dark over the appointments of the Chief Justice and IGP".

"These (appointments) were not informed to us and we didn't have the opportunity to look through them. By the time we knew, it was not through official channels but from the press," Leong told Malaysiakini.

According to the report, Leong added that they were surprised that the discussions on appointments didn't come to the committee. 

As such, they are writing to the Prime Minister to "sit down and work out the system".

"We are surprised and disappointed these (discussions on appointments) didn't come to us.

"Obviously, we need to sit down to work out the system because if this continues, the committee will not be able to function.

"We are going to tell the Prime Minister that we are not taking away his power," he said.

The report added that although Leong acknowledged that the parliamentary committee has no part to play in public appointments under the Federal Constitution and relevant laws, he said "the government can still cooperate with the committee on appointments".

He said roping in the parliamentary committee would provide an oversight that the appointments were conducted with merit and followed guidelines and would "boost public confidence".

He also said that at this point, the committee had only discussed the appointment of the new Malaysian Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) chief at the end of May.

"There is no decision on the Suhakam chief post yet."

Leong added that the government may need to amend the Federal Constitution and other laws in the long run to allow greater checks and balances by the legislative by participating in public appointments.

Latheefa's appointment, announced on June 4, came as a surprise to many. 

She replaces Datuk Seri Shukri Abdull, who quit before his tenure was to have ended in 2020.

On Thursday (June 6), Bersih 2.0 urged Dr Mahathir to allow the Parliamentary Select Committee on Public Appointments to conduct a review of appointed commissioners, Chief Justice, IGP, directors-general and chairpersons of government-linked companies.

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