PETALING JAYA: Latheefa Koya’s appointment as the new Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief has taken the same turn as Tommy Thomas’ controversial appointment as the Attorney General.
Similar to the debate on Thomas’ appointment, two petitions have surfaced, one in support of Latheefa and another against.
Both the Change.org petitions have received a high number of signatures.
As of 6pm yesterday, the anti-Latheefa petition calling for her resignation obtained over 4,000 signatures.
Meanwhile, the pro-Latheefa petition supporting her appointment received over 6,000 signatures.
While the debate on Thomas’ eligibility was based on his race, the controversy surrounding Latheefa’s appointment is over the manner in which she was appointed.
The anti-Latheefa petition said her appointment is against Pakatan Harapan’s principle of having political appointments in MACC.
It said efforts to reform the MACC into an independent body free from political appointments had been tainted.
Wangsa Maju MP Datin Paduka Dr Tan Yee Kew, who signed the petition, said her endorsement had nothing to do with Latheefa’s credibility or capability.
“If her appointment had gone through the process and is agreed by Cabinet ministers and the Parliamentary Select Committee, I would have no objection,” she said, adding that her objection is about the process and Pakatan’s core principles of institutional reforms.
PKR Youth vice-chief Syed Badli Syah Syed Osman has also called on Latheefa to step down to prove her integrity.
“We should be more aware of the people’s wishes, especially in fulfilling the manifesto promise as listed on the 14th promise of the Harapan Book, which clearly states that under the Pakatan Harapan government the MACC will report directly to Parliament instead of the prime minister,” he said in a statement.
Meanwhile, the pro-Latheefa petition started by a person named Alvin Chong sang praises of the lawyer’s experience as a human rights lawyer and in politics.
“She is fearless, straight and honest. Not a bodek kaki (brown noser),” one supporter wrote in the petition.
“Let’s give Latheefa a chance – she has a good record in human rights and will likely do a stellar job as head of MACC as she has a no-nonsense attitude,” said Robert Leong.
A number of lawyers and lawmakers have also voiced support for Latheefa, including Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Azmin Ali, former de facto law minister under Barisan Nasional Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri, lawyer Siti Kasim and former Bersih chairman Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan.