KUALA LUMPUR: MALAYSIAN Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Deputy Chief Commissioner (operation) Datuk Seri Azam Baki has expressed confidence in Latheefa Koya’s appointment as the new chief commissioner.
“I’m very positive. We will support her,” he said.
When asked if it came as a surprise to him since she was not from the MACC, he said no.
Azam said there had been “outsiders” who became chief commissioners in the past.
“It is normal for the MACC to have outsiders as our chief,” he told the New Straits Times.
Azam also thanked his outgoing boss, Datuk Seri Mohd Shukri Abdull, for all his contributions and service to the commission and country, wishing him all the best in his future endeavours.
However, while Azam expressed full backing to Latheefa, some sources said her appointment came as a shock to many in the commission.
“We don’t know why they chose Latheefa. Her name was never discussed. There are so many qualified civil servants and they chose her. This is a real surprise,” one source told the NST.
Latheefa’s appointment as the MACC chief commissioner had also surprised the parliamentary special select committee on public appointments.
Its chairman, William Leong, said the committee was in the dark over the appointment.
He said the committee should have been informed about Latheefa’s appointment.
“Without in any way referring to her personal capabilities, integrity and character, the appointment of Latheefa Koya, who was a member of one of the component parties in the ruling Pakatan Harapan coalition, affects public trust and perception on the independence of MACC,” he said.
Leong said he disagreed with Latheefa’s appointment because Pakatan Harapan had been advocating that politicians should not head such agencies, particularly an independent law enforcement agency.
“All along, we have been talking about the independence of MACC. When there is someone from one particular party (appointed), then it (the appointment) is politicised,” he was quoted as saying by a news portal.
The special select committee was formed to discuss public appointments as pledged by Pakatan Harapan in its 2018 general election manifesto.