Malaysiakini Letter

Raya has come early for Latheefa Koya this year

Mohamed Rafick Khan

LETTER | I guess this year Hari Raya Aidilfitri came early for Latheefa Koya. 

Latheefa's appointment as MACC chief commissioner has raised many eyebrows. There are two aspects of this appointment that must be looked at. First from the legal aspect and the other is from the public perception and Pakatan Harapan manifesto.

Legally, the MACC ACT 2009 is silent on the appointment of the chief commissioner. One would assume that the chief commissioner would come from within MACC or by a larger extension, someone within the federal service.

However, upon further reading of the act under Part II, Section 5 does not clearly mention that the chief commissioner must be from the civil service. 

The word “IF” under Section 5(2) implies that the chief commissioner can be someone from outside of the civil service and one would assume that the person holding the position shall be subjected to the civil service regulation (Section 5(4)). 

Therefore, as long as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong consents to the appointment on the advice of the prime minister, anyone can be appointed. In short, if the king gives the green light, it means 'go'. 

Why didn't the government advertise the post? It would allow many aspiring Malaysian to apply and have an equal opportunity to be appointed.

The direct nomination and appointment of a political party member that is close to the PKR number 2, surprised everyone as the views of the party were not sought. 

This is not the first time. A few key people in PKR say that they are not aware. The speculation of a power struggle within Harapan and PKR and the who will be the next prime minister is getting stronger. 

I don't understand why Harapan wants to invite such speculation.

From their manifesto, once again Harapan has betrayed the people's mandate. 

The candidate should have been vetted by the Parliamentary Special Select Committee on Public Appointments. This is morally correct but legally the government is not required to do so, as it has not changed the law to support what they plan to do. 

The job should have been advertised and applicants are selected from the select committee. 

Latheefa may have resigned from PKR, but like all resignations of key office bearers, it has to accepted by the party. 

It is unlikely that it has been discussed based on the top guns in PKR going by the reactions of party top guns. 

Clearly, this is planned in secrecy with a motive. Can the party refuse her resignation? What is the implication if the party refused her resignation?

Resignation or not, one cannot shed the public perception that a politician is now controlling the MACC. 

I wonder which politicians will be the next IGP, armed forces chief, Immigration director-general, Customs director-general and the heads of other civil service divisions.

I have nothing personal against Latheefa, but from Malaysia Baru perspective, it can be seen that the 'baru' is not really new. 

With a heavy heart, my congratulations to Latheefa and my condolences to Malaysians as a whole.

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.

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