Saturday, June 08, 2019

Lateefa Koya Anti-Corruption Chief for just 2 years is unjust? FEAR? Why so much protest?

Why object to Lateefa Koya? Fear? Woman? ...Why not just wait and see what she will do...'protector of PH politicians and friends' OR committed to end corruption without fear or favour?

New Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission chief commissioner is a WOMAN - Latheefa Koya. She is a former PKR leader and a lawyer. There has been much comment about the suitability of Lateefa and also the manner in which she has been appointed...but my primary concern is her tenure - her short 2-year contract?
Her two-year contract takes effect on June 1, the Prime Minister's Office said in a statement Tuesday (June 4).
The problem with such a limited tenure is 'Independence' - would that make Lateefa and/or any such short term appointee careful not to antagonize the person/s behind the appointment, who has the power of extending  or renewing the contract - WHY? So that they not end up 'terminated' or simply have their contract not renewed at the expiry of the contract? 

Security of tenure is an important safeguard to ensure independence, and that is why our Judges have it. Hence, the appointment of Lateefa should have been at the very least until retirement age, or even if what was for a shorter period, it should have been for a period of 6 years(even Senators are appointed for 3 years)


Well, after the last General Elections, many Malaysians have suddenly discovered that some of biggest  'criminals' when it comes to corruption and abuse of power, including kleptocracy are allegedly politicians in power(and their political appointees) - many of the cases now are against former(or present) Members of Parliament, Ministers and even the Prime Minister....[trial ongoing no convictions yet so, we say possible...]So who should 'independently' select such appointees like the head of the MACC(Anti-Corruption chief), the Police Chief, Head of the Judiciary, Attorney General? 

Should it be some Parliamentary Select Committee or the Cabinet, noting that they are all Members of Parliament(MPs) - would their choice be a person who will not thereafter investigate, prosecute or judge them guilty of crimes? Can they be independent in the selection?  Will their choice be independent or 'compromised'? Compromised in a sense that they may never take action against their politicians 'selectors'?

The best to choose would really be the people('rakyat') ...and, if not some independent selection committee - certainly no 'committee' made up of politicians or their 'friends'...

Mahathir chose and the King appointed the new MACC chief - wait...did he also not do so with regard the head of the Judiciary and the Inspector General of Police? 

Were these and the many other appointments in the Administration of Justice done after consultation with the Parliamentary Select Committee? Well, Sivarasah, in a media report suggest that these too were the same as happened to Lateefa Koya - so why suddenly the hoo-ha about Lateefa Koya - is it because she is a Woman? Is it because she is a vocal critic of even people within her own political party? OR is it FEAR that she may do her job too well - and, no one including politicians from PH parties will be spared?
He[Rural Development Deputy Minister R. Sivarasa] also pointed out that Dr Mahathir did not consult the Parliament select committee on public appointments either when the PM appointed Chief Justice Datuk Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat or Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Datuk Seri Abdul Hamid Bador. - Malay Mail, 6/6/2019  
Now corruption and abuse of power is a crime in Malaysia and there is no LIMITATION - which means that even if one committed the crime decades ago, maybe when they were part of the past UMNO-led Barisan Nasional, you are not safe from investigation and prosecution even if you are now in Pakatan Harapan-led parties or in the present government? It does not matter even if you left BN and became today another PH MP or ADUN, or a PH friendly MP? How many of these 'criminals' maybe in Cabinet or even in the Parliamentary select committee?  
After all, Anwar claims he has all sorts of evidence (six boxes to be exact) of Mahathir’s corrupt acts (which he has been keeping for the last 21 years since 1998), and he has evidence that Najib Tun Razak paid Abdul Hadi Awang and PAS a cheque for RM90 million, and so on. - Malaysia Today, 13/5/2019
So, will Mahathir be investigated now by MACC ...or Anwar is not telling the truth? Interestingly, we have many PH politicians who were in the previous UMNO-BN Cabinets even Muhyiddin, Anwar Ibrahim, Azmin Ali,... who may also be investigated and prosecuted by this new MACC Chief?

Are they all truly CLEAN or are they simply not being investigated and/or prosecuted because they are in parties that form government, and the government(in this case the PM) chooses them to be appointed? 

One worry about Lateefa is that she may not care whether you are with UMNO or PH, and will commence investigations and even one will be excluded including current PM or even her former political party leaders and colleagues?

BUT then we have seen how people change when they come into power...Maybe the same may happen to our new MACC Chief ...Look at the new Election Commission Chief - so many allegations about breaches of Election Law levied now against PH candidates ...but somehow, like past ECs, nothing seems to be done when allegations are against PH candidates, when it is a PH led-government? In neighboring Thailand, one MP was disqualified for making a contribution to a monk during campaign period...In Malaysia?????

Anti-Corruption Agency - Credibility? 

Well, we all have read reports that all the BN candidates for elections were vetted by the Anti-Corruption body  ... those found 'clean' were chosen BUT then have we now not seeing how the then Anti-Corruption body(including the MACC) may have been not so thorough...Will the MACC under new chief Lateeefa Koya be any different. One example of the report of this MACC vetting is mentioned below.

The BN candidate list is at final vetting for health, financial institution, the police, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and Insolvency Department. - Bernama, MySinchew, 4/4/2013
Investigation and prosecution is just not enough ...for prosecution may make 'mistakes' and they get acquitted by court - found not guilty. Remember the cases of Kasitah Gaddam and Eric Chia...

Kasitah Gaddam & Eric Chia - Prosecution's failure to call witnesses - Was it just incompetence OR....?

Asset Declaration to MACC under the PH-led government is now really a 'Joke', is it not? We, the people, do not even get to see the actual sources of income of these MPs - we are given just a 'jumlah pendapatan bulanan'(Monthly Income) and 'jumlah aset'(Total Assets Value), and information whether asset declaration for individual and/or plus spouse. 

What are the sources of income also not mentioned? 

The reason for Asset Declaration is TRANSPARENCY - the people need to know where the income is coming from? How much is coming from salary as MP, Minister...How much from other sources of income - maybe some political appointment? And, we need details ...

REMEMBER the reason for Asset Declaration is to know how much they have when they come into power, and to CONFIRM whether the income and assets generated thereafter comes not through abuse of 'political power' or 'government power'...So, naturally we need asset declarations preferable EVERY YEAR...for the people to be able to compare. We are not concerned about HOW RICH someone is when he became MP or Minister - and do problem if they become richer legally ...but NOT if they abuse their power. 

Will there be annual asset declarations for the people to make sure that those in power is not wrongfully enriching themselves, their families and friends? 

Will Lateefa Koya, the new chief, make public the income and total asset declarations.. If the public knows details, then we can also  any 'hidden' income or assets ...

Wrongful asset and income declarations must be a CRIME, punishable with prison terms if convicted...

What will Lateefa Koya do about this? Continue the farce - the 'secret' full declaration to MACC, and maybe the PM/Cabinet - or a transparent full disclosure to the public? 

INCOME for MPs/Ministers - should it by law be fixed to only salary of MP/MInister and nothing else save maybe dividend/interests/profits of per-existing investments/business? 

Should Ministers/MPs also be required to divest all shares/stocks in companies and/or GLCs when they take office?  

Will everyone, including PH politicians and even the PM be investigated and prosecuted if they break the law?

MUCH ADO ABOUT HOW THE CHOICE WAS MADE? There certainly must be reform - it cannot be just PM or government or Parliamentarians doing the choosing..

Much comments about how appointment should happen? Appointment with Cabinet and/or Parliamentary Select Committee consultation/approval may not be the best as mentioned above. Maybe best that people should choose by elections - and until then appointment be by an independent selection committee of credible people certainly not sitting Ministers, MPs or politicians for position like MACC Chief??

Lateefa not good choice because ... Arguements being advanced lame...

The Malaysian Bar President's media statement(see below) is generally OK except when he says that the Malaysian Bar is also concerned with '... her suitability to hold this high-profile and weighty position...' WHY IS SHE NOT SUITABLE, I WONDER? Why did the Bar not question the suitability of other lawyers like Tommy Thomas(who was appointed Attorney Genberal)? or Art Harun (appointed head of the Election Commission)... 
'While Latheefa Koya has been a vocal advocate in standing up against injustice, and has been actively involved in numerous public interest and human rights cases, the Malaysian Bar is concerned with the manner in which the appointment took place, as well as her suitability to hold this high-profile and weighty position.' 
 Notwithstanding Latheefa Koya’s strong credentials as a human rights lawyer and activist, the role is one that requires a distinct skill set, namely that of knowledge and familiarity in law enforcement and investigation.

That kind of argument is lame - so no one can be Minister because they have no past experience in governing? cannot be PM if they have no past experience in being part of the Cabinet/government? Cannot be appointed to Election Commission because no past experience in conduct of Elections...A lame argument like this may suggest some personal prejudice or 'agenda' against Lateefa Koya...

One thing about lawyers and some human rights defenders is that they learn very fast the laws/rules and also best they can also bring about reforms...they are not trapped in simply 'continuing what is'...yes, we certainly need changes and for that it be best that 'outsiders' be brought in ...but people who are strong and will introduce real changes..

The problem of appointing from civil service, too long under the UMNO-BN, is that they may already be 'brain-washed' into believing what they have always been doing was the right way - NOT the right people if we want real CHANGE...TUKAR...REFORMASI - must bring in NEW people...and strong characters who will not only bring about changes... 

We do not need weak personalities who will be silent or just agree with their leaders...Yes, look at even our MPs and ADUNs - How many times have we heard them take a different position from their leaders? Remember, PH Backbencher MPs(not in Cabinet) are supposed to be a 'check and balance'... but do we hear them speak out? This needs to change in our new Malaysia...

How do we appoint?  Well, many are relying on PH Manifesto says - but should we really not legalize it by making a necessary law. As mentioned earlier, it may be best the the PEOPLE choose - maybe by elections.. for the important positions like the head of law enforcement agencies like the police and MACC, and even the Attorney General and Judges. Political appointments should be abolished ...LET the people choose.

The culture of political appointment is BN legacy - and they choose and appoint even kampung heads(ketua kampung), penghulu, Local Councillors, Senators, ....the list goes on and on. Time for elections by the people - the PEOPLE choose - no more political appointment..

End of the day - we have a new MACC Chief - let us look at how she performs...and then we shall criticize and maybe even call for her removal if she fails to fight corruption...

Let us also recollect that Malaysia now still does not have Human Rights Commissioners in SUHAKAM (I have not read any media report) -NO Human Rights Commissioners in Malaysia for past 37 days - Is government not committed to HR?

Press Release - Malaysian Bar

Appointment of MACC Chief Commissioner Must be Unimpeachable
and Demonstrate Integrity and Good Governance

The Malaysian Bar notes that Latheefa Beebi Koya (“Latheefa Koya”) has been appointed as Chief Commissioner of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (“MACC”) with effect from 1 June 2019.

The Malaysian Bar acknowledges that since coming into power, the Pakatan Harapan Government has recognised and appointed Members of the Malaysian Bar to head key government institutions — Dewan Rakyat, Attorney General Chambers, Election Commission, Asian International Arbitration Centre, and Securities Commission, among others.

While Latheefa Koya has been a vocal advocate in standing up against injustice, and has been actively involved in numerous public interest and human rights cases, the Malaysian Bar is concerned with the manner in which the appointment took place, as well as her suitability to hold this high-profile and weighty position.

We note that the Parliamentary Special Select Committee on Major Public Appointments (“Parliamentary Special Select Committee”) set up by the Pakatan Harapan Government in December 2018 was not involved in the process of Latheefa Koya’s appointment.  However, the Pakatan Harapan manifesto had recognised that “key national positions such as appointments to the … Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission … must be approved by a suitable parliamentary committee.  This will reduce the ability of the Prime Minister to intervene in these important appointments”.  While the Parliamentary Special Select Committee has no force of law, its establishment was an important step to ensure that appointments of such key government positions would be transparent, and to serve as a check and balance on the Executive branch, in line with the promises made in the election manifesto. 

There is therefore no justification that the Parliamentary Special Select Committee was not consulted to review the selection of the new Chief Commissioner of the MACC.  An obvious oversight of this nature does not reflect well on the resolve of the Government in practising transparency, accountability, integrity and good governance, which are attributes that it has been championing vociferously.  The Government cannot continue to say that the manifesto is not binding, as the pledges in the manifesto had been made in order to convince the rakyat to vote it into power.

This shortcoming is compounded by the fact that Latheefa Koya has long been an active member of Parti Keadilan Rakyat (“PKR”) who has publicly taken strong stands in relation to party matters.  She previously served on its central committee and reportedly held the positions of information chief, and legal bureau chief, which raises the spectre of conflict of interest.  It is indisputable that MACC must have autonomy and independence from the Executive in order for it to do its job effectively as an agency to combat corruption, free from any undue influence.

Latheefa Koya’s resignation as a party member three days ago upon being informed about her impending appointment does not significantly alter the unfavourable public perception that her appointment is clearly one of political patronage, given that PKR is a vital component of the Federal Government, and also has representation in several state governments.

The era of political appointments should have ended the day Malaysians voted for a change in government on 9 May 2018.   

The role of the Chief Commissioner of MACC at this juncture is crucial, as the nation moves forward in its reforms to combat the menace of corruption in line with its “National Anti-Corruption Plan 2019–2023”.  It is a well-known fact that Latheefa Koya has been a practising lawyer for the past 18 years, with no experience at all in any law enforcement agency.  Notwithstanding Latheefa Koya’s strong credentials as a human rights lawyer and activist, the role is one that requires a distinct skill set, namely that of knowledge and familiarity in law enforcement and investigation.

The Malaysian Bar calls on the relevant authorities to clarify these critical matters, in order to ensure public trust and confidence in the independence of the institution and therefore the value of the Government’s overall effort in combating corruption.

Abdul Fareed Abdul Gafoor
Malaysian Bar

6 June 2019  

MACC chief Shukri quits, Latheefa Koya takes over

Tuesday, 4 Jun 2019 2:46 PM MYT
by mazwin nik anis

PUTRAJAYA: Lawyers for Liberty executive director Latheefa Beebi Koya is the new Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission chief commissioner, replacing Datuk Seri Shukri Abdull.

Her two-year contract takes effect on June 1, the Prime Minister's Office said in a statement Tuesday (June 4).

The PMO said the Yang di-Pertuan Agong had consented to Shukri's request to have his contract as the MACC chief commissioner shortened.

Shukri was appointed to a two-year contract on May 17 last year.

"The government records its appreciation to Datuk Seri Shukri, who has made tremendous contributions to the nation during his tenure as the chief commissioner," the statement read.

The PMO also said that in line with subsection 5(1) of the MACC Act, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong had consented to the appointment of Latheefa as the new head of the anti-graft agency.

The appointment was among new and important measures taken in line with the process to reform government institutions, said the PMO. - Star, 4/6/2019

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