PM had to act fast to pick Latheefa

The appointment of Latheefa Koya as the chief commissioner of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), Malaysians became aware of the implications of the prime minister’s action in exercising his prerogative. – FILE PIC

WITHIN days of the appointment of Latheefa Koya as the chief commissioner of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), Malaysians became aware of the implications of the prime minister’s action in exercising his prerogative.

It is clear that the law vests the authority for the appointment in the prime minister.

However, questions are being raised about whether the prime minister can act unilaterally in appointing the MACC chief commissioner.

Does anyone recall any fuss when the previous chief was appointed?

Ideally, the prime minister could have invited his Pakatan Harapan leaders to a meeting, informed them that the post of the MACC chief was falling vacant and he was considering a well-known lawyer for the post.

After that, he could have informed the cabinet of the same issue.

Then, as convention requires, the prime minister could have notified a parliamentary select committee of the candidate being nominated.

The committee would have deliberated on the matter and would have either endorsed the candidate, rejected the recommendation or proposed someone else, which, strictly speaking, is not its business.

These processes would have taken time, gone through twists and turns, and would have been leaked, which would have led senior levels of bureaucracy to rebel against an outsider and a politician taking a senior Jusa (Jawatan Utama Sektor Awam) post.

Cybertroopers would have done a splendid job in not only derailing the appointment, but also discrediting MACC.

Convention determines that the prime minister is someone who commands the confidence of the majority of the members of parliament.

Surely the prime minister is invested with discretionary powers in the appointment of the MACC chief, in particular.

I feel the prime minister’s post does not enjoy the luxury of politeness and patience demanded by naysayers and nitpickers.

If he had not acted quickly, there would have been a leadership vacuum in a key position.

By DATUK M. SANTHANABAN

Read more @ https://www.nst.com.my/opinion/letters/2019/06/495292/pm-had-act-fast-pick-latheefa

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