Malaysia anti-graft chief explains why she has bars and stars although only a month into job

Anti-graft chief Latheefa Koya said that what she had worn with her uniform were not medals but bar ribbons, which come with her post as the agency's chief commissioner. PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM YOUTUBE

KUALA LUMPUR - An Umno leader has ribbed anti-graft chief Latheefa Koya on why she had so "many stars and medals" on her uniform when she only joined the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) less than a month ago.

Umno's supreme council member Lokman Adam asked on his Facebook account: "It is curious... how is it that having worked for only a month there can be so many stars and medals on her uniform... Were they bought on Lazada?"

"I would like to ask Lat (Latheefa) where she bought the many stars," he asked.

Ms Latheefa replied that what she had worn with her MACC's uniform were not medals but bar ribbons, and these come with her post of the agency's chief commissioner.

She said when donning the dark blue uniform, she must add the bar ribbons as mandated by the Standing Order of the MACC chief commissioner, Chapter A (Policy) No 1 of 2012.

"(It) directs that a chief commissioner by virtue of his/her position is to wear a certain number of bar ribbons," she said in a statement on Saturday (June 29).

"Although essentially correct and acceptable, there were some minor discrepancies in the bar ribbons which have since been rectified."

"The other details on my uniform are the 'rank badges' which I must wear as chief commissioner, and based upon the standing order."

She then shot back at Datuk Lokman, a close associate of ex-premier Najib Razak, that her work to fight corruption is more important than details on her uniform.

Najib is facing a slew of corruption charges linked to state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

Najib was the finance minister, with 1MDB a unit under the ministry, when billions of ringgit of funds were allegedly siphoned off.

The United States Department of Justice has said US$4.5 billion (S$6.1 billion) were misappropriated from 1MDB by top officials and their associates, and these were used to buy luxury homes, paintings and a megayacht, among other things.

Mr Lokman was strategic communications director of the finance ministry under Najib.

"I thank those who have commented for the great interest they have shown in my uniform," Ms Latheefa said.

"I frankly admit I am only now learning about rank badges, bar ribbons and uniforms."

"My immediate priority since taking office has been about several grave corruption cases, and not the details of my uniform."

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