Yesterday, Latheefa Koya chaired her first meeting as Malaysian Anti-Corruption Committee (MACC) chief.
Her appointment into the role received mixed reactions from the public and politicians alike. She received negative feedback primarily for going against a promise made in the Pakatan Harapan manifesto.
Under Promise 14, it was stated that the coalition will reform MACC and strengthen anti-corruption efforts. In detail, one of the commissioners in MACC will be appointed as the chief, but for one to be become a commissioner, his/her appointment must be validated democratically by the parliament.
In Latheefa’s case, she was appointed directly by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. It was announced that she will succeed Datuk Seri Mohd Shukri Abdull as the MACC chief on June 4.
Therefore, she quit from being a member of PKR on the day before (June 3). Also, she relinquished her membership and position in Lawyers for Liberty, a human rights and law reform pseudo-NGO co-founded by Latheefa.
Nevertheless, her long history with PKR does not mean that she will have a partisanship towards the party. In fact, she is known for her outspoken criticisms towards her own party-mates while she was with PKR, particularly on Anwar/Rafizi’s camp.
During the 2018 PKR Leadership Election, Latheefa labelled former PKR president Datuk Seri Wan Azizah Ismail’s visit to Julau ahead of the poll in Sarawak as “inappropriate”. She highlighted that Wan Azizah announced government allocations for the district with the presence of its MP, Larry Sng, who openly voiced his support towards Rafizi.
After the party election, Latheefa alleged PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim for practising cronyism and nepotism for appointing leaders as PKR state liaison chiefs despite not receiving the majority support from their respective state division chiefs.
Due to her actions, she was reported to be an ally in Azmin’s camp. If this were to be true, will she be able to serve her role as MACC chief without having a conflict of interest with Azmin’s camp?