Monday, August 8

Latheefa’s appointment as MACC chief commissioner ‘repugnant’ — Idris

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Dato Idris Buang

KUCHING: Muara Tuang assemblyman Dato Idris Buang has questioned the appointment of Latheefa Koya as
Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief commissioner, saying it goes against the spirit of the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government in wanting to uphold the rule of law.

According to him, Latheefa’s appointment – effective June 1 for a period of two years – was unwise owing to her known political inclination and ‘very clear and imminent likelihood’ of bias and impartiality, which could easily bring MACC to be the subject of prejudice and distrust by the public at large.

“Her appointment is repugnant to the spirit that the PH government claims to have in wanting to uphold the rule of law.

“The rule of law requires that justice must not only be done, but seen to be done,” Idris, who is also PBB information chief, said in a statement yesterday.

He went on to call all ‘fair-minded’ non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to protest the appointment, pointing out that Latheefa has been deeply political in her disposition since decades ago.

“She is institutionally very political by being an active member of PKR.

“Her involvement in politics and some political controversies does not augur well to her being emplaced in what is supposed to be a position that demands, as a prerequisite, non-partisanship and complete apolitical character. She definitely fails to satisfy this criterion,” he stressed.

Latheefa, who was an ordinary member of PKR and also executive director of Lawyers for Liberty (LFL), announced that she had already resigned from both the party and LFL prior to the announcement of her appointment as MACC chief commissioner by the Prime Minister’s Office yesterday.

Idris, meanwhile, took the PH government to task over the appointment, saying it was an act of mockery to the nation within the context of having a ‘controversial’ top official leading MACC in the fight against corruption.

“It is extremely an impossible task (for Latheefa) to steer herself clear from any perception of being seen as constantly subject to and pressured by elements of fear as well as favour, due to her connection to PH and PKR in particular,” he added.

He said he was also curious to know what the Bar Council, Transparency International, Bersih, Human Rights Watch and other NGOs thought of the appointment and whether or not they supported it.

Latheefa replaces Datuk Seri Mohd Shukri Abdull after the latter decided to cut short his tenure as MACC chief commissioner, which was supposed to run until May 17, 2020.

She is the first woman to be appointed to the post.