Umno VP threatens to quit select committee on appointments

Modified 8 Jun 2019, 3:25 am

Umno vice-president and Bera MP Ismail Sabri Yaakob said he will resign from the Parliamentary Special Select Committee on Major Public Appointments after Hari Raya celebrations.

Speaking to Oriental Daily, Ismail said Putrajaya's decision to bypass the committee in the appointment of new MACC chief Latheefa Koya had made the committee a mere rubber stamp.

"This is not the first time. The appointment of the national police chief and chief justice had bypassed the committee," said Ismail, who is also parliamentary opposition leader.

The select committee was one of six formed last December, while the appointment of the new police chief, chief justice and MACC chief happened later. 

Legally, the prime minister is not obliged to consult the committee. The committee's mandate has also not been made explicit.

For instance, by Ismail's own account, the committee only discussed the appointment of a new chief justice after Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat assumed the post. 

In view of this, he said the committee should be dissolved since it has no real bite. 

According to Oriental Daily, committee chairperson William Leong said he will convene an emergency meeting next week to discuss the committee's next course of action. 

Leong said that the committee also plays an oversight role and will report to Parliament. 

Another committee member, Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh from PKR, reportedly said the committee was already seen as a "toothless tiger".

Conceding that major appointments were the sole prerogative of the prime minister, Syed Ibrahim said there should at least be consultations at the cabinet or Harapan leadership council level. 

Syed Ibrahim said that the general view of the public was that Latheefa had a "strong political background" and hence the matter should have been deliberated beforehand. 

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