PSC chairman to seek meeting with PM following unilateral appointment of MACC chief

Selayang MP William Leong Jee Keen speaks to reporters at the Parliament lobby in Kuala Lumpur August 6, 2018. — Picture by Miera Zulyana
Selayang MP William Leong Jee Keen speaks to reporters at the Parliament lobby in Kuala Lumpur August 6, 2018. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

KUALA LUMPUR, June 7 — The Parliament's select committee (PSC) on public appointments will write a letter to Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad on the issue of its board not being consulted in the unilateral appointment of Latheefa Koya as the new head of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

PSC chairman William Leong was commenting on PAS deputy president Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man's statement today that the PSC should be suspended until the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government proves its commitment towards bipartisan consultation as promised.

“I am writing a letter to meet the PM to discuss better cooperation to move forward on future appointments,” he told Malay Mail in a text message.

When pressed to comment further, the Selayang MP said: “It would be better to have the meeting with PM before making any further comments.”

This morning, Tuan Ibrahim, who is a member of the bipartisan panel, said any further activity from now on would be meaningless and called on Leong to terminate the committee as soon as possible.

He said it was apparent that the PH government was not taking the board's role seriously and said the committee should be suspended until PH upholds their manifesto promises.

Tuan Ibrahim also noted that 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 as a means to keep the prime minister’s powers in check.

Dr Mahathir had 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 accordance with his views.

He added that consulting others would have constrained his choice when the decision was also his prerogative.

Tuan Ibrahim also 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’ve disregarded it now,” the Kubang Kerian MP said earlier today.

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