KUALA LUMPUR, June 4 — Opposition leaders today criticised Latheefa Koya’s appointment as the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief, citing her political affiliation to PKR and Pakatan Harapan (PH).
Umno secretary-general Tan Sri Annuar Musa took to Twitter to compare the backgrounds and affiliations of various key appointments in the country’s institutions.
“In the past, MACC’s Shukri was a civil servant Attorney General (AG) Apandi was from the judiciary and civil service... Election Commision’s (EC) Hashim was also a civil servant... Now the AG is party-affiliated... the EC is party-affiliated... MACC is party-affiliated... The civil servants have received all kinds of defamation and disdain... What has happened to our Malaysia?” he posted on his Twitter account.
Annuar was comparing the civil service backgrounds of former MACC chief Datuk Seri Mohd Shukri Abdull, former AG Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali, and former EC chairman Tan Sri Mohd Hashim Abdullah to the current allegedly politically aligned appointments of AG Tommy Thomas, EC chief Azhar Harun and Latheefa.
MCA president Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong also questioned if Latheefa can be impartial and unbiased while carrying out her duties.
“Her appointment is mind boggling and certainly runs counter the promise made by Pakatan Harapan to ensure that a professional MACC personnel would head the Commission.
“Even though Latheefa has announced her resignation from PKR to take up the post, the independence of the MACC now in question,” Wee said in a statement.
Wee indicated that he felt disturbed for PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as it was well known that Latheefa had allegedly “always targeted Anwar”.
“I hope her appointment is not some grand conspiracy scheme to stop Anwar from becoming the next prime minister,” he added.
Meanwhile, Umno’s Khairul Azwan Harun tweeted: “Latheefa Koya is a key member of PKR, representing her party in numerous interests. She's been previously reported as a member of PKR’s central leadership council. How did this happen? What happened to the promise of an independent MACC?” Azwan asked in regards to her appointment.
PAS vice-president Datuk Iskandar Abdul Samad also raised questions about Latheefa’s past political affiliations.
“I am not trying to dispute the qualifications, abilities or integrity of the (former) Lawyers for Liberty executive director, but she (Latheefa) is a politician,” Iskandar said in a statement, adding that Latheefa had previously held various posts in PKR.
He said although Latheefa might be able practise fairness, her appointment as MACC chief will provide room for all kinds of allegations to surface whenever she charges or acquits her case subjects.
“Regardless of whether an allegation is appropriate, it will still create all kinds of perspectives. The MACC will always be questionable. This will not improve the people’s confidence towards the institution. It is also not good for the country’s image on the international level,” the former Selangor executive council member added.
Instead, Iskandar urged the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government to appoint a respected figure who does not have any political relations, whether currently or in the past.