The AG’s role – views by four politicians
“Malaysian Attorneys-General assume a dual role: they are simultaneously the legal adviser to the Government and the Public Prosecutor.”
“As Public Prosecutor, the A-G is a public institution empowered by the Constitution with all the discretionary powers in the world to charge or not to charge anyone for any offence or crime.”
The explanation above on the role of the Attorney General was provided by former de facto Law Minister Zaid Ibrahim in his blog some years back.
Predictably, all that Mama Dapster can muster is to perli and sindir our current AG Apandi Ali.
Hannah Yeoh’s ugly Facebook comment (above) and the mean thread by her FB friends is reflective of the Dapster’s beastly nature.
Tun blogged an entry titled ‘Quo vadis Malaysia‘ in Che Det today.
“In Malaysia the Attorney General decides if a law has been broken or not. That decision is in fact a judgement. The A.G. is both a judge and a prosecutor. This in itself is an injustice.”
BELOW: Quo vadis is a Latin expression meaning “Where are you going?”
Well, it depends on who’s driving the chariot, and we sure ain’t gonna hand over the reins to the DAP
Salleh Said Keruak
Communications Minister Salleh Said Keruak responded to Tun, saying:
“This statement [“AG is both a judge and a prosecutor”] is most misleading. Dr Mahathir makes it sound like the Attorney General has done something wrong or has overstepped his boundary whereas what he did was exactly what his job demands that he does.”
“They should not try to make it appear like this [AG’s decision] is something out of the ordinary when this is precisely how things are done and have been done since the beginning. And this is also precisely how things were done during Dr Mahathir’s watch as Prime Minister as well — no more and no less.”
A comprehensive write-up on the functions of the AG was done by Zaid Ibrahim who has a keen interest in the AG’s office.
In his article titled ‘Reforming the A-G’s office’‘ on 2 Nov 2011, Zaid lists some of the cases handled by the previous AG Gani Patail during Tun Mahathir and Tun Dol’s time.
“The list of cases and complaints is too long for me to recite here but everyone knows that no one has been brought to book for the MAS scandal that caused losses of billions of ringgit. Everyone knows that those responsible for the death of Teoh Beng Hock , and Sharbani have not been held accountable. Everyone remembers the “no further action” against those implicated in the judge-fixing (i.e., the Lingam Videotape) scandal.
“There are many other cases involving high-profile personalities who were acquitted or had their charges dropped without the public being given satisfactory explanation of why those cases were not successful.”
“This happened in the 2007 prosecution of Tan Sri Eric Chia for criminal breach of trust. It happened again in the 2009 prosecution of former Land and Cooperative Development Minister Tan Sri Kasitah Gaddam for corruption and cheating. It happened again this year in the high-profile case against Constable V. Navindran, who was charged with causing grievous hurt to A. Kugan who died in the Taipan police lock-up two years ago.”
Speaking of his short-lived tenure as the de facto Law Minister, Zaid said, interestingly enough:
“I tried to convince former Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi that the A-G’s post should be made a political position and that the incumbent must be made a Cabinet member. The Attorney General, in my view, must be prepared to stand in Parliament and be held fully accountable.”
According to Zaid, the AG had actually been a member of the Cabinet in the past:
“The fact is that, in the old days when the A-G was a member of the Cabinet, there was a lot more more confidence by members of the public in the AG office. – The Solicitor-General (S-G) was effectively the Public Prosecutor and the S-G’s team pursued prosecutions without interference from political bosses while the A-G remained the nominal Prosecutor and also chief legal adviser to the Government.”
Although the opposition appears presently to clamour for reforms as well as claiming to very much want to “improve our justice system”, Zaid complains that neither they (nor the PM) had offered any concrete suggestions to make our justice system better.
From the responses today of formal oppositionists like Hannah Yeoh, and opposition de jure like Tun, we can see that they’re not proposing constructive ideas for ‘reform’.
Instead they’re merely venting due to their profound anger and disagreement with the AG’s decision yesterday.