PUTRAJAYA: Future appointments of some senior positions in the public sector will go through a select committee, says Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
The Prime Minister said the committee would look into the appointment of four main government agencies – the Election Commission chairman, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission chief commissioner, the Judicial Appointments Commission and members of the Human Rights Commission.He said the government had agreed for certain positions to be referred to the select committee so that candidates who are fit and proper will be appointed.
In the recent appointment of the MACC chief commissioner Latheefa Koya, Dr Mahathir said he had used existing procedures.
“After this, the appointment of individuals to head the four main posts will go through the select committee,” he explained after chairing the Special Cabinet Committee on Anti-Corruption meeting.
Latheefa was appointed to head the anti-graft agency on June 4.
Her appointment was questioned as to why the government did not go through a select committee as that was the assurance given under the Pakatan Harapan election manifesto.
Also present were Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, National Governance, Integrity and Anti-Corruption Centre director-general Tan Sri Abu Kassim Mohamed and Chief Secretary to the Government Datuk Seri Dr Ismail Bakar.
Dr Mahathir also said the Cabinet has agreed to discuss the role and function of political secretaries to ministers and make the job scope clear to avoid abuse.
He said this was the recommendation made by the special Cabinet committee, explaining that the job of a political secretary is to be the bridge between a minister and his constituents.
“However, we have found that those appointed to the post in the past government used their position to distribute contracts,” said Dr Mahathir.
“We want to make clear the role and function of a political secretary.”
The meeting was also informed that a new Act – the Freedom of Information Act would be drawn up to replace the Official Secrets Act.
Dr Mahahir said that the committee agreed that sufficient time would be given to formulating the new law, with focus given to outreach programmes in society.