Saturday, January 30, 2016

Public Prosecutor should be independent and receive no other income or be a Company Director?

The Attorney General of Malaysia (who is also the Public Prosecutor), just like judges, should be independent, and perceived to be independent. 

As such, they should definitely not be holding any other positions, including Directorships in a company.

The Attorney General (Public Prosecutor), more that judges, is only one. He/she makes the ultimate decision on whether to prosecute a particular person, or some legal entity for breaches of Malaysian laws. This naturally also includes the decision whether to prosecute the Prime Minister, Ministers, Menteri Besar, Chief Minister, and even political parties. Malaysians need an Independent Public Prosecutor, who acts to uphold the cause of justice without fear or favour.

Further, most Company Directors do get paid Director's allowances, and/or other payments.

Now, it was revealed that the current AG Apandi Ali, that he is a Director of the Lembaga Tabung Haji. One report gave the impression that he was recently appointed. Checking the website of the Lembaga Tabung Haji, it showed that he was listed as a Director - but no mention when he was appointed. [See earlier post -   AG Apandi Ali - Director of LUTH? Was this 'gratification' for how he dealt with criminal allegations against PM? Explain please.. 

Then, there were also questions raised in the media whether the immediate past Attorney General, who was suddenly replaced by this new AG in the midst of the investigation on the alleged corruption of Najib Tun Razak, and matters concerning 1MDB and its related companies, was also a Director.

In any even in a recent media report, immediate past AG Ghani Patail allegedly said that his appointment was long before the start of the 1MDB investigations.

But the fact remains, that he was the Chairman of the Board of Directors or a Director of a company (allegedly Sarawak Hidro) long before. The fact that he was appointed allegedly in October 2014 still does not make it right.

The timing of the appointment, according to some was material - but for me, the timing is irrelevant.It was wrong that he was a Director when he was the Public Prosecutor.If it happened when he/she was Public Prosecutor, it may very well be corruption - for corruption is not just about cash money...

When a report is filed about the wrongdoing of the Company, its Directors or even its shareholders, certainly the fact that the Public Prosecutor is a Director of the said company, may result in a different treatment, or may even affect the decision to 'close investigation', to prosecute or not to prosecute. 

At the same time, opponents  to the business, may also be treated differently.

If the said company, is one where the government has influence, or owns, it is even worse. Was that the reason why maybe no Prime Minister or others were prosecuted? Did it also influence the treatment of the relevant political party and prominent party members and/or their cronies?

In my opinion, the Attorney General (who is also the Public Prosecutor) should hold no other offices, positions or interests in other companies/GLCs, etc. In fact, he should have NO other source of income other than his salary and allowances as AG.

I would go further to say that when he becomes AG, it would be good if he also dispossess off all shares/stocks and other investment. Alternatively, there should be no dealings in them for as long as he is AG - freeze of assets. There must also be a FULL DISCLOSURE of all his, his families and close relatives interest, and this disclosure is not a 'secret disclosure' just to the Prime Minister - but rather a public disclosure, that should appear in the Attorney General's website.

Apandi Ali, our new Attorney General (also Public Prosecutor) must now make FULL DISCLOSURE of his assets and interests.

AG Mohamed Apandi Ali must immediately resign from all Directorship, and other positions. He should also declare openly, the amount of monies received to date.

In fact, Malaysia must have a law, that clearly states that the Attorney General(also Public Prosecutor) cannot receive any other monies/remuneration/allowance from any other sources. Of course, he should not be a Director, Board Member, etc...

In fact, the law should also state the same for the Prime Minister, Ministers and those holding public office - their income for so long as they hold office must only come from their salary and allowance of the office they hold. If they are Member of Parliament, they are entitled to receive also their MP pay and allowance. 

In Thailand, a Prime Minister was removed because he received some payment for taking part in a TV cooking show. Such clear provisions in law is good for Malaysia - so no more can RM2.6 billion end up in their accounts?

Malaysia, in my opinion, also has a bad reputation when it comes to prosecuting persons linked to government and government personalities, or rich. Kasitah Gaddam & Eric Chia - Prosecution's failure to call witnesses - Was it just incompetence OR....?

Remember also that Malaysia's Federal Constitution guarantees equality - "All persons are equal before the law and entitled to the equal protection of the law.".Now, was Najib Tun Razak treated in the same was as any other suspect?

One member of the Cabinet suggested that workers get more than 1 job to get more income. But, this should not apply to the Attorney General/Public Prosecutor, Judges, Prime Minister, Chief Ministers, Menteri Besars, Cabinet Members, State Exco, Heads of government departments, and public servants generally. The perception of independence is very important...



Ex-AG Gani quashes speculation on GLC appointment

Published     Updated  

Former attorney-general Abdul Gani Patail has refuted speculation about his appointment to the board of wholly-owned Minister of Finance Incorporated subsidiary Sarawak Hidro Sdn Bhd.

In a text message to Malaysiakini, Gani said he was appointed “long before the investigation into 1MDB”.
A check with the Companies Commission of Malaysia (CCM) also confirmed that he was appointed in October 2014.

According to the company website, Gani was listed as its chairperson.

This information made the rounds on social media with some posts querying if this is the reason behind his silence since being replaced as attorney-general last July.

Gani, who was then heading a joint task force investigating 1MDB, was replaced on grounds of poor health.
The move came in the wake of the Wall Street Journal and whistleblower website Sarawak Report exposing the RM2.6 billion and SRC International’s RM24 million which were transferred into Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s private bank accounts.

The reports were based on documents leaked by Malaysian investigators.

This ignited speculation that Gani was removed in order to impede investigations, which the government denied.

On Tuesday, Gani’s successor Mohamed Apandi Ali cleared the prime minister of any wrongdoing based on the investigation papers submitted by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission.

Najib has repeatedly denied abusing public funds for personal gain and blamed the allegations of corruption against him on those plotting to topple him from power.

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