ALOR SETAR: The decision to appoint Latheefa Beebi Koya as the new chief of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) is final, said Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad on Saturday (Jun 8).
He said the appointment was made just as he had done for other senior officers.
"There is no problem, I appoint a lot of people, this (Latheefa’s appointment) is just one of them, that’s all ... (the decision to appoint Latheefa) if already decided, it’s final," said Mahathir.
"Obviously I am not going to retract it, then they will say I am making a U-turn.”
Mahathir was speaking at a Hari Raya open house event, where he was asked about Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) president Anwar Ibrahim's comments that the prime minister should clarify Latheefa's appointment.
Anwar, he said, has the right to seek clarification on the appointment of the new MACC chief.
"Our relationship is good. I don't have a problem with him," added Mahathir. "He has the right to raise questions and I have a right to answer."
The appointment of Latheefa has raised eyebrows in Malaysia.
She was named to the post in a surprise announcement on Tuesday, and Mahathir admitted afterwards that he did not consult the Cabinet on the matter.
READ: Malaysian civil society speaks out after Mahathir bypasses Cabinet in anti-graft chief appointment
FORMER MACC CHIEF EXPLAINS RESIGNATION
Meanwhile the previous MACC chief, Mohd Shukri, has come out to explain why he left the job midway into his two-year contract that was due to end on May 17, 2020.
He said he was not fired or asked to resign for closing some high profile cases as some had speculated.
Mohd Shukri said he told Mahathir of his wish to step down as he had completed his work relating to investigations on 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) and SRC International
"I informed (the prime minister) in the letter that my job was completed, the case was completed and brought to court.
“At the same time I also included a long list of other VVIP cases that have been completed and being tried in court,” he told reporters.
“I also explained in the letter why I suggested internal officers (as my successor) because they understand the MACC’s duties, so it will be easy for them to continue the MACC's vision and mission smoothly."
He also urged all parties to stop the allegations surrounding his decision to step down.
“Let me leave the MACC in peace and spend quality time with my family,” he said.