Parliamentary panel seeks meeting with inexperienced MACC chief on ideas to fight graft

Leong said the meeting has been scheduled for June 20. — Picture by Miera Zulyana
Leong said the meeting has been scheduled for June 20. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

KUALA LUMPUR, June 14 — Concerned with her inexperience as a graftbuster and her background as a politician in PKR, the parliamentary select committee on public appointments wants a meeting with Latheefa Koya to find out how she plans to lead the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) forward.

Committee chairman William Leong said the meeting has been scheduled for June 20 at 2.30pm, though the invitation is only now being prepared to be sent to the new MACC head.

“We would like to offer her the forum to address three issues. The first is the fact she has been an active politician, how is she going to deal with that in her position as MACC chief?

“Second is also due to her lack of experience in investigation. And thirdly, what is her vision and mission for MACC and on how to combat corruption,” he told Malay Mail when contacted today.

Leong said the meeting will help the committee to table its report to the Dewan Rakyat.

“It depends on how the proceeding with Latheefa will go. If we have enough time, we target it for this session, although it will be a short session,” said Leong when asked when the report is expected to be tabled.

The next Dewan Rakyat sitting will be from July 1 to 18.

Leong said the committee will take it one step at a time, should Latheefa not respond to the invitation.

Latheefa is a human rights activist and served as an elected member of PKR’s central leadership council from 2003 to 2018, prior to her appointment as the MACC head.

Her appointment by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was announced on the eve of Hari Raya Puasa on June 4, but took effect June 1. She tendered her resignation from PKR in an email on June 3.

She replaces Datuk Seri Mohd Shukri Abdull who said he wanted to shorten his service contract that was to end on May 17, 2020.

Latheefa’s appointment has drawn mixed responses, including from within the ruling Pakatan Harapan with several ministers defending Dr Mahathir’s decision, while others have questioned his move.

Critics said the appointment had gone against the coalition’s election manifesto and the purpose of setting up parliamentary oversight committees, which would vet major public appointments.