Give Dr M time to explain to PH council, Cabinet on MACC appointment, says Anwar

Anwar Ibrahim with Dr Mahathir Mohamad at a Hari Raya gathering with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah. (Facebook pic)

GEORGE TOWN: PKR president Anwar Ibrahim today said the prime minister must be given space and time to explain to the Pakatan Harapan presidential council on lawyer Latheefa Koya’s appointment as Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief.

He said this was because Latheefa’s appointment did not go through the due process of being confirmed by a parliamentary select committee as promised in the 2018 general election manifesto.

Anwar said while he supports Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s decision to appoint Latheefa, an explanation was needed to counter the perceived reneging of the commitment made in the manifesto, or even being seen as ignoring it.

“I find it necessary to explain because the public wants to know why the manifesto was not fully observed and respected, although I think Latheefa does have the necessary credentials (to be MACC chief).

“It is important to me to ensure that the MACC remains independent and those given the task (to be its leader) be seen to be very professional, and not to be dragged by political and or factional affiliation. This has been the concern expressed.

“But since the PM has already made the decision, we ought to support it and should hear it from him in a proper forum, which is the Cabinet or the PH leadership council,” he said when met by reporters in Bukit Mertajam today.

Meanwhile, Anwar said Latheefa’s resignation from PKR has been received and has gone through due process to terminate her membership. He said this to a question on why secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution Ismail had claimed he had not received Latheefa’s resignation.

“At the time the secretary-general checked, there was none. But we later received it via email.

“I think the controversy here is quitting after you have been appointed, but anyhow we confirm that she is no longer a PKR member.”

Saifuddin clarified yesterday that his staff discovered an email dated June 3 from Latheefa regarding her resignation as party member that was addressed to Anwar.

“As Anwar just came back from Saudi Arabia after performing his umrah, he did not read the email,” Bernama reported him as saying.

Mahathir had confirmed that the decision to appoint Latheefa as MACC chief was his own and that he did not consult his Cabinet members.

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.