Mahathir reforms government institutions with political appointments

Make no mistake, Latheefa Koya is a politician. A prominent lawyer who clearly favours PKR, a member of PKR’s legal bureau and has been extremely vocal on issues with a Pakatan Harapan bias.

Latheefa’s appointment, according to PMO and Mahathir’s interviews, has been at the sole discretion of Mahathir who bypassed parliamentary procedures and that raises serious questions on the legality of her appointment.

Her appointment creates serious doubts that heading MACC she would be able to set aside her political bias or whom she would be serving – Mahathir or the public interest. MACC, after all, is under Prime Minister’s Department and with a political appointment, it’s hardly independent.

Malaysian Bar Council too raised questions regarding Latheefa’s appointment. “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,” said Bar president Abdul Fareed Abdul Gafoor.

Her appointment mirrors the appointment of Tommy Thomas as the Attorney General to prosecute Najib at his trials. Something he is currently struggling in what was previously viewed as a “simple case of proving Najib is a crook”.

However activist and lawyer Siti Kasim seems to think that the Bar Council shouldn’t be questioning the politically motivated appointment. 

“I question the wisdom of our President in making this political statement. The Bar only issues statements when it concerns the law. 

“This is unethical and shouldn’t be the Malaysian Bar’s stand. The President can state his own personal opinion, but not on behalf of its members,” she wrote on Facebook

While the Pakatan cabinet welcomed Latheefa’s appointment many members said they were not informed of the decision while saw the decision as a means to block Anwar Ibrahim’s rise to take on Mahathir.

One of Pakatan Harapan’s promises should they take over as government is that they would rid of political appointees. Something Mahathir greatly favoured. By placing ‘his’ people in strategic places, he ensured that the outcome always favoured him.

It seems to be that Mahathir prefers to ensure that his administration is run his way where he direct control. Cronyism, nepotism and now political appointees, it seems Mahathirism is in full effect in Malaysia Baru.

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