Ex-MACC chief: I gave 2 names to Dr M to consider as successor

Mohd Shukri Abdull stepped down as MACC chief at the end of May. (Bernama pic)

PUTRAJAYA: Former Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief Mohd Shukri Abdull said he had suggested two names from MACC to Dr Mahathir Mohamad to be his successor.

He said the names of the two officers were suggested to the prime minister in his letter to shorten his tenure in office, dated March 6.

Shukri had opted for early retirement in 2016 when he was the MACC deputy commissioner. He returned to helm the commission following Pakatan Harapan’s victory in the May 2018 general election.

On Tuesday, the government announced that Latheefa Koya had been appointed the new MACC chief to replace Shukri, who was allowed to leave even before his contract was to expire on May 17, 2020.

Shukri stressed that his personal integrity was among the commitments he made to Mahathir when he returned to lead the commission.

“In my letter, I quoted what I said during my meeting with Tun (Mahathir) on May 14 last year that I only agreed to be chief commissioner for one year to solve the SRC International and 1MDB cases and MACC’s internal issues.

“I suggested two senior MACC officers as the chief commissioner because they are well versed in the commission’s operations and it will be easy if either one took over,” he said at a press conference today.

Shukri, who declined to reveal the identities of the two officers, said he brought his predecessor, Abu Kassim Mohamed, along with him to meet Mahathir in March to hand over the letter.

However, Mahathir did not give his response on the two names, he said.

Shukri said he was summoned to meet the Yang di-Pertuan Agong on Tuesday, when he found out that human rights lawyer Latheefa would succeed him.

“Her name was never mentioned prior to this,” he said.

Shukri also revealed that before suggesting the two names in March, he had wanted then immigration director-general Mustafar Ali to take over as MACC chief.

Mustafar was MACC deputy chief commissioner (prevention) in 2016 but was transferred to the Immigration Department. He is now heading the National Financial Crime Centre (NFCC).

“He was the first person that I proposed to take over at MACC after the general election but Tun wanted me to start work instead,” Shukri said.

He also spoke of his meeting with Home Minister Muhyiddin Yassin over news he heard in December that the government would not extend Mustafar’s contract at the Immigration Department.

“I was saddened when I heard the news,” he said, adding that he was relieved to learn later that Mustafar had been appointed to lead the newly established NFCC.

Kassim is currently heading the Governance, Integrity and Anti-Corruption Centre (GIACC), which coordinates and monitors all activities related to governance, integrity and anti-corruption activities.