MACC chief’s unilateral appointment a cause of concern

MACC chief’s unilateral appointment a cause of concern

PUCHONG: Backbencher Ramkarpal Singh took Minister in Prime Minister’s Department Liew Vui Keong to task for defending Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s unilateral appointment of Latheefa Koya as Malaysia Anti-Corruption Commission chief.

The Bukit Gelugor MP pointed out the issue of Latheefa’s appointment was not over legality as said by Liew but one of unilateral appointment.

“I note de facto Law Minister VK Liew’s statement today that the PM acted within the law in appointing Latheefa,” said the DAP lawmaker. 

“The point that he is missing here is not the legality of Latheefa’s appointment but whether making such unilateral appointments without consultation with the Cabinet and the said committee is in line with the reforms promised before PH came into power.

“With respect, unilateral appointments such as this is not part of a healthy democracy and ought not to happen, irrespective of the quality or otherwise of the appointee.”

Ramkarpal was concerned even though the MACC Act 2009 empowered Dr Mahathir with unfettered discretion to recommend a candidate for the job to the Agong.

He also reminded the ruling coalition of their manifesto promise to ensure check and balance and transparency over such appointments by setting up parliament select committee on public appointments.

“The ability to appoint unilaterally implies the ability to dismiss unilaterally as well, which is why proper consultation with all parties, especially the cabinet, is crucial so as to avoid unnecessary perceptions that may arise as a result of such unilateral appointments or dismissals.”

“Personality is, no doubt, important in the appointments of officials of government agencies but the manner in which they are appointed must be of equal, if not, more importance to inspire public confidence in such appointments.”

Ramkarpal is not the first backbencher to raise his concerns as Setiawangsa MP of PKR had raised red flag over Latheefa’s appointment.

Latheefa was appointed to the job on Saturday but the appointment was only announced on Tuesday

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