PETALING JAYA: Umno information chief Annuar Musa has raised the possibility that former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad was deliberately courting a sedition charge by making remarks about the appointment of the Attorney-General, Apandi Ali.
In a statement today, Annuar said it was clear that Dr Mahathir’s blog article on Wednesday had contained “words seditious in nature.”
Annuar said it could be that Dr Mahathir “being a shrewd political strategist” was trying to mobilise support for his cause to oust Prime Minister Najib Razak by inciting the authorities to act against him and hence garner public sympathy.
“Having been a Prime Minister for a very long time, Tun Dr Mahathir must have known that those words are seditious in nature, what more when the Federal Government under his stewardship used to very frequently charge people for the same offence,” Annuar said.
“But it could also be that Tun Dr Mahathir thinks that him being a former Prime Minister and a former Umno President may make him immune from the power of law, hence his boldness in going against the law in his attempt to try to get the PM removed.”
However, Annuar pointed out that the authorities would have to act if police reports were lodged against Dr Mahathir, lest the government be perceived as being selective.
Annuar charged that Dr Mahathir was laying himself open by his writing about “the improper dismissal of the previous Malaysian AG (Gani Patail) just before he was expected to bring a charge against the PM” and that “the current AG was appointed by the PM through false representation made to the King.”
He said Mahathir’s claim that Apandi was appointed through false representation made to the King was not only seditious, it was an insult to the King.
Annuar turned the spotlight on Dr Mahathir’s past, pointing out that the premier had removed the Lord President of the Federal Court, Tun Salleh Abas, and fellow Federal Court Justices, Wan Suleiman Pawanteh and George Seah, in 1988 in order to save his own position.
Dr Mahathir had no moral standing to preach or complain about the ruining of the Malaysian judicial and legal system, he said.
“If there’s any fault with the current system, he should blame himself”, Annuar added, saying Mahathir had created and perpetuated the situation.
He pointed out that even the usually pro-opposition law experts such as Professor Gurdial Singh Nijar of University of Malaya, and “fiercely independent law experts” such as Emeritus Professor Shad Saleem Faruqi of UiTM were of the opinion that Gani Patail’s dismissal was constitutional, unlike Mahathir’s dismissal of top judges.
He said Gani had never challenged his dismissal, and the Bar Council had also fully recognised Apandi. “It naturally goes that if the previous AG’s dismissal is constitutional then the current AG’s appointment is also constitutional, as simple as that,” Annuar said.