PETALING JAYA: PKR president Anwar Ibrahim has urged those opposing Latheefa Koya as the new Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief to give her space and accept Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s decision to appoint her.
In his first official statement since the announcement was made on June 4, Anwar said Latheefa should be allowed to carry out her tasks effectively.
“I am convinced that the prime minister and the PH (Pakatan Harapan) leadership will evaluate all the views with care and further explain to the Cabinet and PH presidential council (on the appointment),” Anwar said in a statement today.
He noted that Latheefa’s appointment had received mix reaction among PH leaders, NGOs and the public.
Anwar, who is the also the Port Dickson MP, said frequent polemics may give a negative picture of the government and PH while positive public reinforcements will auger well on PH’s commitment to ensure MACC performs its duties fairly.
He said this is in line with Mahathir’s statement in Melaka today that the civil service should be neutral and avoid any strong bonds with political parties.
“The MACC is required to act against all bribery cases whether within the old or new administration. PH leaders, NGOs and the people will definitely keep track of the effectiveness of the commission,” he said.
Anwar’s initial reaction to Latheefa’s appointment had been to ask Mahathir to clarify the issue. He had said the decision was made by the prime minister himself and that he only knew about it from the announcement.
He had also said the matters that needed clarification included why the Cabinet was not informed, and that the appointment was allegedly not in line with the MACC Act and also violated the PH election manifesto.
Meanwhile, Kapar MP Abdullah Sani Abdul Hamid said those opposing the appointment were just following the PH manifesto as they do not want politicians to take over important positions.
‘We want MACC to be independent and report to the Parliament, not to the prime minister. That is what we are fighting for,” he told FMT, adding that they are not afraid of investigations since they were not involved in corruption.
Wangsa Maju MP Dr Tan Yee Kew also said those opposing the appointment were doing so to uphold reforms.
“That is the platform on which people voted us for and that is what we want to see,” she said, referring to Entrepreneur Development Minister Redzuan Yusof, who had earlier voiced disappointment over statements made by some senior PH leaders.
Redzuan, a PPBM Supreme Council member, had said: “We understand the need and desire for reforms but we cannot be too obsessed to the point that it restricts the government from moving forward.”
To this, Tan responded: “It is an insulting statement. We have been fighting to weed out corruption and that is why we want institutional reforms.”