Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad says the decision to appoint controversial Latheefa Koya as the head of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) is final with PM in waiting Anwar Ibrahim stepping in to give his support to the PM.
Anwar diffused the mounting pressure against Dr Mahathir but the factions within the Pakatan Harapan are still up in arms against the PM on a matter of principle.
Dr Mahathir says the nomination which did not violate constitutional rights but his critics within his own coalition in power says is politically incorrect.
Dr Mahathir fought back against criticism he did not respect the Pakatan Harapan manifesto, but he retorted that Latheefa’s appointment followed the same way he appoints other officers.
At a Hari Raya open house event the state of Kedah, the Malaysian Prime Minister says, “There is no problem, I appoint many people, she is just one, that’s all … it’s already decided, it’s final.
“Obviously, I will not retract, then they will say I am making a U-turn.”
On Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) leader’s comments that Dr Mahathir has to clarify the appointment to the Pakatan Harapan’s leadership, the PM replied to the media it is Anwar’s right to ask questions.
“Our relationship is good. I don’t have a problem with him. He is right to raise questions and I have a right to answer.”
A shocked Malaysia learned on the eve of the Hari Raya that Latheefa, a vociferous critic of Anwar who is the leader of her party PKR, was appointed MACC chief.
The former MACC head, Mohd Shukri Abdul, stepped down saying he told Dr Mahathir last year he will quit after a year at the helm of the anti-graft commission. Sources say his contract only ends next year.
Many in Anwar’s party and in the Pakatan believes Dr Mahathir should have respected the coalition’s manifesto which states no political appointees will hold such posts in the MACC or any other government agencies.
Some say appointing Latheefa, a well-known politician, is not in line with the MACC Act and that she will not be fair to some people whom she hunted down as an opposition political figure.
Latheefa’s appointment, therefore, is perceived as a political appointment and it will be the first under Dr Mahathir’s new Malaysia./ TISG