I haven’t been active in politics for a year, Latheefa tells critics

During her interview with MACCfm, Latheefa Koya says ‘many great things’ had been carried out by MACC all this while but had not been publicised enough. (MACCfm Facebook pic)

PETALING JAYA: Latheefa Koya today sought to reassure critics about her appointment as Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief, saying she has not been involved in active politics for the past year.

In an interview with the anti-graft body’s radio station MACCfm, the former PKR Central Committee member said she had expected the negative reactions to her appointment.

“I don’t blame anyone who feels something is strange about my new post from their point of view.

“It’s a fact that I was a former politician.

“But perhaps this should be taken into context because I have been more actively involved as director for Lawyers for Liberty and as a human rights lawyer rather than being a politician for the last year,” she said.

Latheefa added that she has not taken part in any party elections or by-elections over the last year.

She clarified that although she was part of PKR for 15 years, she was never an “active politician”.

As soon as she found out that she would be receiving the appointment as MACC chief, she “took steps” to officially announce that she had stopped being a politician.

“So I think this issue will not affect my credibility because, eventually, the rakyat will determine whether I can carry out this responsibility.”

Latheefa’s appointment as MACC chief had come under fire from activists and politicians from within the ruling coalition as well after Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad said it was his own decision to appoint her, not the Cabinet’s.

This came despite the Pakatan Harapan promising in its general election manifesto that the appointment of the MACC commissioner would be validated by Parliament. Latheefa’s neutrality also came into question as well.

Latheefa, meanwhile, said she is on a mission to tell the public what the MACC is all about as “some don’t realise what our heavy work is all about”.

“I feel that many do not realise the scope of the MACC,” she added, saying she thinks this is something she can change.

“I hope to tell the people how to make complaints on bribery and how to make sure their complaints are complete. Simple things like that.

“We want to teach them how to arrange for MACC officers to give briefings or not to get involved in corrupt practices.

“After I joined the MACC, I got to know there are many great things being carried out by MACC all this while that perhaps don’t get publicised enough. These things need to be told,” she said.