PSC to write to PM seeking meeting over senior public appointments

Parliament select committee on public appointments chairman William Leong. (Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: The Parliament Select Committee (PSC) on public appointments will write a letter to Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad seeking a meeting with him to discuss future senior public appointments.

This comes after Latheefa Koya was appointed the new head of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) by Mahathir without the PSC being informed.

PSC chairman William Leong said his staff will hand deliver the letter on Monday requesting the meeting.

“We would like to meet Tun Mahathir over the appointment of senior members,” the Selayang MP told FMT.

The PSC is made up of 14 MPs to provide checks and balances for executive action.

Leong noted that besides Latheefa’s appointment as MACC chief, there had been two major appointments recently, involving Inspector-General of Police Abdul Hamid Bador and Chief Justice Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat.

Looking forward, he said the committee would like to know how future appointments should be handled.

Following criticism of the manner in which Latheefa was appointed, Mahathir said it was his personal decision and he did not seek the Cabinet’s views as he wanted the freedom to choose the best candidate.

He added that consulting others would have constrained his choice when the decision was his prerogative.

The MACC Act 2009 allows the prime minister to appoint the MACC’s chief. However, Pakatan Harapan had promised parliamentary validation in the appointment of MACC commissioners prior to winning the May 2018 general election.

Earlier today, deputy de facto law minister Mohamed Hanipa Maidin said the prime minister enjoys an exclusive privilege to appoint Latheefa as the MACC chief.

He said that all parties must realise that the office of the prime minister comes with certain privileges “duly enjoyed by the PM alone and not by other offices”.

Yesterday, electoral reforms watchdog Bersih 2.0 also urged Mahathir to allow the parliamentary select committee on public appointments to conduct a review of appointed commissioners, the chief justice, the inspector-general of police and the directors-general and chairpersons of government-linked companies.