Friday, June 07, 2019

The Dictator is back

The appointment of Latheefa Beebi Koya (ಲತೀಫಾ ಬೀಬಿ ಕೋಯಾ) Continues to draw controversy, not so much because of who she is, but of the way her appointment was made, personally by Mahathir, without consultation nor transparency.

ayam the genuine BossKu

Everyone agrees she is a qualified candidate according to her track record, personal character and political courage.

Only two issues stood out like dog's ball: namely, the appointment was done in a dictatorial manner and secondly, a small point, she was a politician (until recently) and from a major political party in Malaysia.

As Ramkarpal Singh mentioned in other ways, it's the "Singer not the Song" which requires very stern and careful inspection, where of course Mahathir has been the "Singer" of the appointment, and Latheefa the "Song" sang by Mahathir. We need to watch him carefully or he'll be rocking away again with his old tricks of 1981 to 2003.

TMI reported Legality of Latheefa’s appointment not in question, PM’s unilateral action is, says MP, extracts as follow:

It is not an issue of acting in accordance to the law in appointing Latheefa Koya as Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief but rather the prime minister’s failure to consult the cabinet and Parliamentary Select Committee on Public Appointments on the matter, said DAP lawmaker Ramkarpal Singh.

The Bukit Gelugor MP said that the prime minister’s confirmation that he did not consult the cabinet in Latheefa’s appointment was a cause for concern.

And from MM Online we get:

Bersih 2.0: PM’s unfettered powers to hire and fire was what gave us 1MDB scandal

Bersih 2.0 said it was concerned over Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s admission of unilateral action in the appointment of Latheefa as MACC chief. — Picture by Miera Zulyana 

KUALA LUMPUR, June 6 — The Pakatan Harapan government must formalise the independence of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and others like it, Bersih 2.0 said following Latheefa Koya’s controversial selection as the agency’s head.

While insisting the former PKR member was suitable for the role, the electoral watchdog said it was concerned over Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s admission of unilateral action in the appointment. 

remember this bloke? 

Among others, it pointed out that former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had used this same prerogative to make changes at key institutions during the height of the 1MDB scandal in 2015.

“While current laws allow the PM to advise the King to appoint whosoever he wants, such almost absolute power in the hand of the PM does not bode well for our parliamentary democracy system of government,” the group said in a statement.

“Former PM Najib Razak used the same power to appoint his allies into key positions in his attempt to escape the scrutiny of the 1MDB scandal and cling on to power.”

Bersih 2.0 also reminded PH that it was voted in on promises to bring about reforms to restore the integrity of the vital pillars of government and institutions.

Dr Kua Kia Soong said (reported by FMT):

Latheefa’s appointment as MACC chief flouts PH’s stated principles (extracts only)

... heads of anti-corruption commissions should be appointed through a process that ensures their independence, impartiality, neutrality, integrity, apolitical stance and competence. That is surely the thinking that led Pakatan Harapan to stress the principle of non-political appointments in commissions in their 14th general election manifesto.

So, does the appointment of Latheefa abide by that principle? In such a role as head of the MACC, perception of and trust in her neutrality are critical to her success. In the public eye, Latheefa has for many years been known as a PKR stalwart and leader who makes political statements not only pertaining to other political parties but also to factions within PKR itself.

The technical point about her resignation from the party on the eve of her appointment does not detract from the fact that she is seen as a PKR leader with a strong propensity towards a particular faction of PKR linked to the prime minister.

More significantly, both the leader of the Pakatan Harapan coalition and the leader of Latheefa’s erstwhile party PKR have been players on the Malaysian corporate scene for decades and as such, her connection to PKR and PH right up to the eve of her appointment does not say much for her independence or impartiality.

The degree to which the MACC is able to function truly independently is vital to its ability to fight corruption effectively. Being free from undue influence is generally stated in the form of “being free from politics”.

There are 32 million people in Malaysia, with more than half being Muslims, meaning some 17 million Malaysians are Muslims. Is Latheefa Beebi Koya the only Muslim suitable for the job?

And why have it been PKR's anti-Anwar members like Azmin Ali and Latheefa Koya that Mahathir poached on without consultation?

FMT reported (extract): Singapore Institute of International Affairs senior fellow Oh Ei Sun said while it appears clear that Mahathir has no intention of passing the baton to Anwar ...

Extracts say: Bukit Gelugor MP Ramkarpal Singh said Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad's admission that he unilaterally appointed former PKR member Latheefa Koya as the new MACC chief was a cause for concern.

Ramkarpal added that de facto Law Minister Liew Vui Keong had missed the point when he said the appointment complied with the law, as the crux of the issue was Pakatan Harapan's pledge to curb the prime minister's unfettered discretion.

"The whole point of promise 14 in Harapan's election manifesto is to ensure a check-and-balance and transparency of such appointments by the setting up of a parliamentary select committee on public appointments.

"The purpose of such a committee becomes meaningless if such appointments are made unilaterally without even consulting the cabinet," he said in a statement today.

Ramkarpal added that personality was no doubt an important aspect in the appointment of top government officials, but the manner in which they were appointed must be of equal, if not greater importance to inspire public confidence.

"The ability to appoint unilaterally implies the ability to dismiss unilaterally as well, which is why proper consultation with all parties, especially the cabinet, is crucial so as to avoid unnecessary perceptions that may arise as a result of such unilateral appointments or dismissals.

"With respect, unilateral appointments such as this is not part of a healthy democracy and ought not to happen, irrespective of the quality or otherwise of the appointee," he said.

And finally, noted socio-political observer Kim Quek said (also in Malaysiakini) Latheefa's appointment a potential time bomb? (extracts):

... it is about the prime minister’s failure to consult the cabinet and to present his nomination to the parliamentary committee on major public appointments for deliberation. The latter was a major reform measure introduced last year to fulfil the Pakatan Harapan coalition’s pre-election manifesto.

It is for the purpose of decentralising the prime minister’s oversized executive power, which had in the past turned the government into a virtual autocracy, enabling the PM to ransack massive public funds with impunity. Such unbridled abuse of power was amply illustrated by the now world-renowned 1MDB financial fiasco, which is possibly the largest kleptocracy case in history.

Hence, the setting up of this parliamentary appointment committee was looked upon as a cornerstone of Harapan’s reform measure to restore democratic governance through consensus building within Harapan and through increasing Parliament’s oversight on the Executive.

It, therefore, came as no surprise that the PM’s contemptuous brushing aside of this parliamentary reform mechanism in the dubious Latheefa appointment has sparked widespread consternation and anger.

Anger, because this coalition led by Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad has nonchalantly turned its back on such a major reform, after a series of highly criticised breaches of the manifesto earlier.

Consternation, because of the lightning speed, the mystery, and the candidate’s dubious suitability surrounding this appointment.

And nary a word from Lim Kit Siang or Chye-Chye -see
The fall and fall of Lim KS.

How now, Papa? 

act dunno, focus on your Soduko 

Lim sinseh, hoe liao, lu nor lang 

1 comment:

  1. Wakakakakaka…

    "There are 32 million people in Malaysia, with more than half being Muslims, meaning some 17 million Malaysians are Muslims. Is Latheefa Beebi Koya the only Muslim suitable for the job?"

    Of all the farts, how comes this statement stands out like a neon sign for a sole loser?

    A closer ketuanan supporter! Right?