No need for PSC’s approval over Latheefa’s appointment as MACC chief, says law minister

De facto law minister Liew Vui Keong.

KOTA KINABALU: Latheefa Koya’s appointment as the new Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief does not need to go through the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC), said de facto law minister Liew Vui Keong.

Liew said Latheefa’s appointment was in line with the law, as stated under Section 5 (1) of the MACC Act 2009 (Act 694).

“Hence, the need to refer to the Cabinet or the PSC does not arise.

“Section 5(1) states that the appointment is made by the King on the advice of the PM, subject to a term of service or any condition, as stated in the letter of appointment.

“In Latheefa‘s case, she is appointed for a period of two years effective June 1, 2019,” he said in a statement today.

Latheefa, a rights activist lawyer, replaces Mohd Shukri Abdull, whose contract was allowed to expire ahead of its deadline on May 17, 2020. Shukri had indicated to the prime minister earlier that he wanted to leave after one year in service.

Liew explained that Section 5(2) the MACC Act 2009 gives a separate scenario in the event that an appointee comes from within the civil service.

It spells out the period and the length of service that particular civil servant can serve as MACC chief if he is selected, he added.

“The distinction in the two subsections of Section 5 makes it very clear that there are two sets of appointees which the PM can advise the King for appointment.

“One is from outside the civil service while the other one is from within the civil service. Once an appointee is selected under subsection (1), it goes without saying that subsection (2) becomes redundant,” he said.

Liew said, as the current MACC deputy chief commissioner Azam Baki had mentioned, there are a number of people appointed as chief commissioners for MACC who were not from within the civil service.

According to Azam, Latheefa is the 10th out of the 13 individuals appointed from outside the civil service, he added.