PETALING JAYA: DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang says that by the letter of the law, there is nothing wrong with Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's decision to appoint Latheefa Koya as Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief – but it does violate the spirit of the Pakatan Harapan GE14 manifesto.
The DAP adviser noted that such a decision was the "sole prerogative of the Prime Minister and is completely constitutional under present legal arrangements".
However, he also said that the issue in contention was not if Latheefa was suitable for the job, but that "her appointment is not in keeping with Promise 14 of the Pakatan manifesto".
"Those who protested that Latheefa's appointment as MACC chief violated the spirit of the pledge … are not wrong," he said in his blog post on Sunday (June 9).
Lim also believed that if Latheefa herself was not at the centre of the controversy; "she would be at the very forefront of the ruckus criticising any appointment of MACC chief in a similar fashion as her present appointment".
However, Lim, who is also Iskandar Puteri MP, noted that there are no constitutional arrangements in place to give legal weight to the issue highlighted in Promise 14 of Pakatan's GE14 manifesto.
"As highlighted by the defeat of the Constitutional Amendment Bill in the April Parliament, it is no easy task to make legal and constitutional changes to pave the way for the attainment of a New Malaysia."
"Will the Parliamentary Opposition Leader and Opposition parties support Constitutional amendments to implement Promise 14 of the Pakatan Manifesto?"
He also said that the government's focus in its first year in power was to combat corruption, but must make greater headway in its quest to build a New Malaysia in its second year.
Latheefa's appointment, announced on June 4, came as a surprise to many.
Dr Mahathir had said it was his personal decision to appoint Latheefa to the post, and that he did not consult the Cabinet on the matter.