PAS says public service PSC meaningless after PM’s unilateral pick of MACC chief

Tuan Ibrahim was hopeful that the new MACC chief Latheefa would perform her role well despite her controversial appointment. — Picture by Miera Zulyana
Tuan Ibrahim was hopeful that the new MACC chief Latheefa would perform her role well despite her controversial appointment. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

KUALA LUMPUR, June 7 — Parliament’s select committee (PSC) on public appointments should be suspended until the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government proves its commitment towards bipartisan consultation as promised, Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man said today.

The PAS deputy president who is a member of the bipartisan panel said any further activity from now on would be meaningless in light of the prime minister’s unilateral appointment of Latheefa Koya as the new head of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

“Its president should terminate the committee as soon as possible. It is apparent that the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government is not taking the board’s role seriously.

“The committee should be suspended until PH respects the board and uphold their manifesto promises,” he said in a statement.

Tuan Ibrahim noted the prime minister has the prerogative in public service appointments, but said the recent incident showed there was no need for the PSC if its members were not even consulted prior to Latheefa’s appointment.

The MACC Act 2009 allows the prime minister to appoint commission’s head. However, the ruling PH coalition had promised parliamentary validation in the appointment of MACC commissioners prior to winning the May 2018 general election to check-and-balance the prime minister’s powers and political appointees in public institutions.

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad admitted that he did not seek his Cabinet’s views on Latheefa’s appointment as he wanted the freedom to choose the best candidate in his view. He added that consulting others would have constrained his choices when the decision was also his prerogative.

Tuan Ibrahim today expressed his doubts about Dr Mahathir’s promise to step down and make way for Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to become the next prime minister if the former could rise roughshod over his own coalition’s electoral promise towards transparency in government reforms.

“Unfortunately, from this incident, PH has shown that their promises to the people all this while can’t be taken seriously.

“They also promised that there will be no more political appointments in important public service positions but they disregarded it now,” the Kubang Kerian MP said.

However, he was hopeful that the new MACC chief Latheefa would perform her role well despite her controversial appointment.