PETALING JAYA: In her first message as chief commissioner of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), Latheefa Koya today vowed to put an end to corruption in the country, saying her duty is clear.
The prominent rights lawyer, whose appointment has been met with mixed reactions since its announcement on Tuesday, did not shy away from addressing the controversy.
“There have been many opinions expressed since my appointment was announced on the eve of Hari Raya Aidilfitri,” she said in a statement.
“Everyone is entitled to question, criticise or express their opinion, so that is all right.
“My job is clear. It is to go after corruption anywhere and everywhere it is found.”
With the support of the people and the officers in MACC, she said, Malaysia could be transformed into a society free from corruption.
She also said she would be looking at long-term measures to encourage a culture with zero tolerance for corruption, including through education.
“It is the fundamental right of every Malaysian to live, work and prosper in a corruption-free society.
“With God’s help, I hope to succeed in this task,” she said.
Latheefa will serve as MACC chief for two years beginning June 1. She replaced Mohd Shukri Abdull whose contract was allowed to expire ahead of its deadline on May 17, 2020.
Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad said on Wednesday that it had been his decision to appoint Latheefa as MACC chief after several of his ministers said the Cabinet had not been consulted about the matter.
He said this is in line with provisions in the MACC Act 2009, which states that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong shall appoint the MACC head on the advice of the prime minister.
However, Latheefa’s appointment sparked heated debate, with critics saying Pakatan Harapan had failed to adhere to its election promise to ensure checks and balances and the transparency of such appointments through a parliamentary select committee on public appointments.