Latheefa Koya made new MACC chief

Lawyer Latheefa Koya speaks to reporters at the Palace of Justice, Putrajaya February 14, 2019. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Lawyer Latheefa Koya speaks to reporters at the Palace of Justice, Putrajaya February 14, 2019. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

KUALA LUMPUR, June 4 — Human rights lawyer Latheefa Koya has been appointed to head the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), replacing Datuk Seri Mohd Shukri Abdull.

Mohd Shukri’s contract was allowed to expire ahead of its deadline on May 17, 2020.

In a statement today, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said Latheefa would serve as MACC chief for two years beginning June 1.

“The appointment is among the steps towards reform in government institutions,” the statement read.

Latheefa is also the executive director of Lawyers for Liberty.

The PMO also said the Yang di-Pertuan Agong consented to Mohd Shukri's request for early retirement as the MACC chief commissioner; changes to the position are by royal assent.

“In line with subsection 5(1) of the MACC Act, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong also consented to the appointment of Latheefa as the new head of the anti-corruption agency.

“We also extend our appreciation to Mohd Shukri, who has made tremendous contributions to the nation during his tenure,” the PMO said.

In 2016, Mohd Shukri, then second in the MACC hierarchy, had opted to retire early but returned May 17, 2018 when he was reappointed to head the MACC after the Pakatan Harapan (PH) won the general election.

During his first early retirement, Mohd Shukri delivered an emotional parting speech and alleged he was threatened with sacking by certain “individuals” from the previous Barisan Nasional (BN) administration.

He revealed he even received a live bullet in an apparent death threat, saying he and his fellow investigators were placed under immense pressure, including having their witnesses spirited away.

After PH took over, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said Mohd Shukri’s reappointment was because the latter was vastly experienced and familiar with past wrongdoings of BN especially surrounding the 1Malaysia Development Bhd saga.

When he was reappointed back in 2018, Mohd Shukri also held an emotional tell-all press conference with the media, on how the previous BN government tried shutting him off.