PSC can only scrutinize candidates’ suitability

PSC can only scrutinize candidates’ suitability

PUCHONG: The parliament select committee (PSC) on public appointments is neither authorized to recommend candidates nor introduce laws that enables it to do so.

Its chairman Selayang William Leong Jee Kern of PKR confirmed that the PSC could only scrutinize the suitability of candidates in key government positions.

Leong recently came under fire following claims that the PSC failed to scrutinize the appointment individuals into key positions.

He had recently revealed that the PSC was kept in the dark over the appointment of human rights lawyer Latheefa Koya as Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission chief.

Pakatan Harapan in its manifesto promised that the parliament will have an oversight over appointments for key government positions. 

Leong however admitted that the PSC would be violating the doctrine of separation of powers if it determined the appointments.

“It is to be noted that the terms of reference do not confer power on the Select Committee to appoint or reject the proposed candidates or to amend the Constitution and existing laws.

“By the terms of reference, the select committee is tasked to ensure that the appointment of the candidate stands up to scrutiny based on merit.

“Such scrutiny will enhance the legitimacy and public confidence in the candidate that the appointment to the public office is based on merit and the independence of mind,” Leong said in a statement.

He also revealed that the PSC reviewed the appointments of the Chief Justice with the JAC, the IGP with the Police Commission, and the commissioners of Suhakam with the Suhakam commission.

Latheefa’s appointment to the MACC was met with a lot of criticism, especially with regards to the wide powers of the prime minister.