Ramkarpal criticises MACC chief’s unilateral appointment, Sivarasa defends Latheefa

(MMO) – The issue with the appointment of Latheefa Koya as Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) head is not its legality, but how it broke Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) election promises, DAP lawmaker Ramkarpal Singh said today.

The Bukit Gelugor MP said although the MACC Act 2009 allows the prime minister to appoint the MACC chief commissioner, the point of PH’s 14th election promise about having Parliament validate the appointment of MACC commissioners was to ensure check and balance by creating a Parliament select committee on public appointments.

“The purpose of such a committee becomes meaningless if such appointments are made unilaterally without even consulting the Cabinet,” Ramkarpal said in a statement.

“With respect, unilateral appointments such as this is not part of a healthy democracy and ought not to happen, irrespective of the quality or otherwise of the appointee,” added the chairman of DAP’s national legal bureau.

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said yesterday that he decided to make Latheefa head of MACC without consulting the Cabinet. The Parliament select committee on public appointments chaired by Selayang MP William Leong was not consulted either.

De facto law minister Datuk Liew Vui Keong said earlier today that the law did not compel the prime minister to refer to the Cabinet or to the Parliament select committee before appointing the MACC chief.

Rural Development Deputy Minister R. Sivarasa from PKR said Latheefa’s appointment as MACC chief commissioner was sending a clear message to the agency and other institutions that it was no longer “business as usual”.

“MACC has to deliver more in the fight against corruption and new courageous leaders with integrity are needed,” Sivarasa tweeted today.

He also pointed out that Dr Mahathir did not consult the Parliament select committee on public appointments either when the PM appointed Chief Justice Datuk Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat or Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Datuk Seri Abdul Hamid Bador.