PETALING JAYA: Latheefa Koya’s resignation from Lawyers for Liberty (LFL), was swiftly followed by her decision to quit PKR.
Latheefa who earlier today was appointed as the new Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s (MACC) new Chief Commissioner, said the decision was made to avoid any conflict of interest.
“Thanks for the advice. But I have already sent in my resignation with immediate effect as an ordinary member of PKR yesterday, upon being told of my impending appointment as MACC chief,“ she said in response to news reports urging her not to be a member of any party.
Earlier, PKR’s communications director Fahmi Fadzil reportedly said that Latheefa should emulate Dewan Rakyat speaker Datuk Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof, and quit PKR to avoid calls of conflict of interest.
Latheefa is a member of PKR and previously served as its legal bureau chief. She will replace MACC chief Datuk Seri Mohd Shukri Abdull.
Ariff was formerly Amanah disciplinary chief and a member of the experts’ advisory committee, but he relinquished those posts shortly his appointment as Dewan Rakyat speaker last year.
Meanwhile, human rights lawyer Melissa Sasidaran has been appointed as the new Director of Lawyers for Liberty.
Melissa was called to the Malaysian Bar in 2010. Prior to her appointment, she was the Legal and Campaign Coordinator at LFL. She has represented numerous civil society and then opposition politicians and activists in urgent arrests, remand hearings and criminal cases in court, particularly for offences under the Sedition Act 1948, Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 (PAA), Penal Code, and Communications and Multimedia Act 1998.
Announcing this, LFL’s adviser and activist N. Surendran said Latheefa’s long-standing track record as a human rights lawyer and activist will serve the MACC well in its efforts to eradicate corruption.