New MACC chief to be announced this week

Appointment for the MACC chief and AG positions must satisfy 3 criteria, namely integrity, merit and bravery

by AFIQ AZIZ/ pic by RAZAK GHAZALI

PRIME Minister (PM) Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin is expected to name the new Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief this week, days after he announced the new attorney general (AG) to replace Tan Sri Tommy Thomas.

Both positions were left empty — after the change of PM on March 1 and a week of political impasse that saw Perikatan Nasional taking over the government from the previous administration.

Last Friday, former MACC chief commissioner Latheefa Koya (picture) said in a statement that her resignation was actually sent to former PM Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad on March 2.

Meanwhile, Thomas handed his resignation earlier on Feb 28, five days after Dr Mahathir resigned as PM.

Thomas was replaced by the Federal Court Judge Tan Sri Idrus Harun.

“I think someone will be appointed to lead the MACC by this week,” a senior government official told The Malaysian Reserve under the condition of anonymity due to the strict confidentiality of the matter.

When asked if the post would be helmed by an insider, the officer said, “I should hope so”.

Currently, the next person in command at the MACC is deputy chief commissioner Datuk Seri Azam Baki.

Latheefa said she had met and briefed Azam to ensure an orderly handover of duties. However, it is unknown if Azam is going to be her successor.

Latheefa’s appointment by Dr Mahathir received mixed reactions from the public, political parties and legal advocates due to her close affiliates to the PKR top leaders, the strong component of Pakatan Harapan.

In January, Latheefa revealed audio clips to the press that she called proof of “a high-level criminal conspiracy to cover up wrongdoing” in the multibillion 1Malaysia Development Bhd case for which former Umno president and PM Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak is facing trial.

“I believe we still have hope and we will continue this good fight (to curb corruption and power abuse in the country),” a source said.

Meanwhile, Transparency International Malaysia president Datuk Seri Akhbar Satar said the appointment for the MACC chief and AG positions must satisfy three criteria, namely integrity, merit and bravery.

“As of merit, it is important that the MACC chief is someone who knows not only all sorts of technicality in various proceedings, but also the welfare of the staff.

“This is where it is at best to consider an internal to succeed the position,” he added.