Chong dares Sarawak govt to set up its version of Parliamentary Select Committee

Chong Chieng Jen

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By Nigel Edgar

KUCHING, June 7: Sarawak should emulate the federal government in setting up a Parliamentary Select Committee to vet the appointment of heads of state agencies.

State Pakatan Harapan (PH) chairman Chong Chieng Jen said if the state government was very concerned about the appointment of Latheefa Koya as the new Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief without going through the Committee, then the state government should also set up its own select committee in the State Legislative Assembly (DUN).

Admitting that the procedure of Latheefa’s appointment was an oversight and should not recur, he said there was nothing else wrong with Latheefa helming MACC.

Chong was asked to comment on criticisms levelled at Latheefa’s appointment due to her political background and the bypassing of the Committee. Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad appointed her without the knowledge of the Committee and the federal Cabinet.

Meanwhile, Chong also took a swipe at Muara Tuang assemblyman Dato Idris Buang and Santubong MP Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar for their negative comments on this issue. He said the duo only “see the speck on PH government’s eyes but are totally blind to the logs in their own eyes”.

“Since when has the appointment of the MACC chief been so controversial and widely criticised just because of the appointment process. I don’t question her (Latheefa) record. Just imperfections in the process.

“And Idris Buang and Wan Junaidi are harping on this, yet Sarawak totally lacks such process and institution to implement this process. I think if they see this process as important, then they should push for it in the state.

“I look forward to the day the state government sets up this select committee in DUN to oversee the appointment of chairmen or chiefs for Petros, Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC), Sarawak Energy, State Planning Authority (SPA), and local government heads,” said Chong.

Asked if the botched appointment procedure would affect PH in the state election that is due in 2021, he reiterated that it was an omission and an oversight, but then again, but there is no provision in the MACC Act stipulating that such an appointment must go through the Committee. — DayakDaily