On 4th of June 2019, Lawyers for Liberty executive director Latheefa Koya made headlines in the mainstream media for her appointment as the new chief commissioner of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption (MACC).
The appointment came as a surprise due to the sudden resignation of Datuk Seri Mohd Shukri Abdull who was supposed to serve as the MACC chief until 17 May 2020.
Besides, there was also the issue of her connection with PKR. She resigned from the party a day before her appointment in the MACC. Later, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad revealed that he was the one who appointed Latheefa as the new MACC chief.
According to the dependency of MACC, the buzz around Latheefa’s appointment died down on the 13th. The day before (June 12), the Economic Affairs Minister Azmin Ali also caught the media’s attention when it came to MACC.
It was because of the report made by the UMNO supreme council member Datuk Lokman Noor Adam. He urged MACC to investigate the PKR deputy president after documents alleging that Azmin received funds from UEM Group went viral on social media. Additionally, June 12 was also the day when the alleged sex videos of Azmin went viral.
Moreover, there was a close trend between ‘MACC – Latheefa’ and ‘MACC – Azmin Ali’ from June 12 to June 20. This indicates that the media usually mentioned both figures in their news when it comes to MACC, linking Azmin’s alleged corruption with Latheefa’s appointment.
However, based on the influencers lists, Latheefa was not the top influencer in addressing the alleged corruption surrounding Azmin. She was ranked at the sixth position, while the top two influencers were Azmin and Anwar respectively.
Nevertheless, Latheefa did not ignore Azmin’s alleged scandal. She announced that the case as per Lokman’s report would be handled by her deputy, Datuk Seri Azam Baki and his team without her involvement in the matter.
Regardless, media exposure of Azmin Ali and MACC quickly died down on the following days. On the other hand, MACC shifted its focus to Najib Razak on June 21.
On that day, it was reported that the anti-graft body filed civil forfeiture applications against 41 individuals and entities for allegedly receiving funds from the former premier. The move was made to recover RM270 million in relation to the 1MDB scandal.
The MACC chief was heavily involved in this matter. The trend of ‘MACC – Latheefa’ and ‘MACC – Najib Razak’ were close and Latheefa was the top influencer when it came to MACC and Najib Razak.