Anti-graft NGO tells PM to clarify new MACC boss’ status

PETALING JAYA: An anti-corruption watchdog has called on Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad to clarify the status of the new Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief Shukri Abdull following criticisms that his appointment didn’t follow Pakatan Harapan’s manifesto.

Speaking to FMT, Centre to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4) executive director Cynthia Gabriel said it was important for the new PH government to uphold its promises.

PAS Youth earlier pointed out that PH’s manifesto had stated that the appointment of the MACC chief must be brought to Parliament.

“While we understand the urgency for MACC to act on unresolved matters, due process and proper scrutiny must be upheld as promised in the manifesto,” it said.

Meanwhile, former Transparency International Malaysia chief Ramon Navaratnam described Shukri’s appointment without going through Parliament as “necessary and understandable”.

Speaking to FMT, Navaratnam, who is also an honorary MACC commissioner, said Shukri’s appointment should be viewed as a “minor technicality” for the new administration, which can be overcome once Parliament convenes.

“Because the former MACC chief Dzulkifli Ahmad resigned and Parliament has yet to convene, Shukri’s appointment can be seen as an interim measure. After all, he is qualified.

“In any case, once Parliament convenes, his appointment can be debated on and confirmed then.”

Navaratnam said the MACC couldn’t afford to be without a chief and that the “show must go on” in the interests of the people.

DAP’s Klang MP Charles Santiago also said Parliament has yet to be convened and PAS Youth should be “fair” to the new government.

“A new government has taken over, so we need time. If we want to wait for Parliament to convene, then nothing will happen, so it can be seen as an interim measure.”

Santiago said if the matter was not brought to Parliament after a couple of months, then PAS should raise the issue again.

Earlier today, Shukri clocked in for work at the MACC headquarters in Putrajaya.

He served with the MACC for 32 years before going on early retirement on July 31, 2016. The last position he held was MACC deputy chief commissioner (operations).

Mahathir named Shukri as MACC chief commissioner to replace Dzulkifli, who resigned from the post and returned to the Attorney-General’s Chambers where he previously served.