Ida Nadirah Malaysian Digest
As news of Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) councilor Latheefa Koya's shock resignation began filtering through today, her colleagues at the council were left in disbelief over the shock move.
While declining to speculate on the reason for her resignation, some councilors believed that Latheefa (above) had made a calculated decision and was actually ‘relieved’ to finally put the episode behind her.MBPJ councilor Anthony Thanasayan, like others, kept tight-lipped on the possible reasons behind Latheefa’s decision to leave.
“It’s very hard for me to say since I work for the executive councilors as well. Also, I don’t really know what’s going on from the inside so I can’t really comment on it,” he said.
However, Anthony (right) believed that she had her own reasons for leaving, and has thought it over.
“I’m sure she has her own reasons why she wanted to leave and I respect her decision.
“I think she’ll be quite relieved (to leave),” he said.
He said he has had his share of running battles with Latheefa, but stressed on her previous contributions to the council.
“She has been quite an interesting and important person in the council. We have worked together and we have had out differences. Yet I am still sad to see her go.”
Fellow councilor Chan Chee Kong (above) echoed Anthony and claimed she knew nothing of the reasons behind Latheefa’s sudden departure.
“I don’t have much information. I have to find out what’s going on before I can comment on anything,”
He nevertheless expressed shock over the news.
“I never expected it to happen. Latheefa is a good colleague and had been very hard-working throughout her years in the council,” he said.
Councilor Cynthia Gabriel (above), meanwhile, described the situation as “surprising and shocking.”
She declined to elaborate on the possible reasons behind Latheefa’s exit, but believed that it was a progression from the events over the last few weeks.
“I believe the issue is best dealt through an internal mechanism between the Selangor Menteri Besar (Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim), the exco, and Latheefa herself.
“Her (Latheefa) resignation is her own reaction to what has transpired over the past few weeks,” she said.
Latheefa, a human rights lawyer, was the chief whip for the PKR councilors and also sat on MBPJ’s One Stop Centre committee which approves the council’s projects.
Earlier today, she had tendered her resignation following reports that the state exco and Khalid had mooted the idea of sacking her.
The matter is believed to have stemmed following her criticism of Khalid’s administration’s handling of the state’s squatter issue.
It was claimed that she had disagreed with the ‘soft’ stance adopted by the state government on the matter. It was also reported that she had sent a letter expressing her disagreement on the issue to PKR leaders, including de facto chief Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
Reports stated that the exco was discussing her removal over her criticism of the state administration.
In a letter addressed to Khalid today, Latheefa had stated that continuing in her post was “no longer tenable” considering the speculation which had gone public.
“I refer to an internal email regarding my concern on housing for the poor, which I have sent to you (Khalid) and other top party leaders recently. The letter was unrelated to MBPJ matters,” Latheefa wrote.
“As a consequence I understand that you and the exco are mulling over my sacking as a councilor in MBPJ,” the letter read.
As the matter had become “public knowledge and speculation” it had left her no other option but to resign, she added.
Malaysian Digest’s attempts to contact Latheefa for comment were unsuccessful.