Attorney-General Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali has questioned the criticism directed at him since appointed to the job, saying he has executed the duties of his office openly and faithfully.
He said he has publicly explained major decisions made by the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC), and that all such decisions are taken in accordance to the law.
“Despite that, in this high-tech world with all forms of media, I am perplexed why there are some who can criticise me by saying that Malaysia supposedly doesn’t have an AG because the AG doesn’t speak up and such.
“Everything I do is according to the laws of this country. But still, there are people who want to table a vote of no confidence against me in the Dewan Rakyat, urge that I resign and even drag me to court,” he said in an opinion piece published by local Malay daily Berita Harian.
“For example, when the Attorney-General’s Chambers decided not to start any proceedings in a certain case, we then explained the reason for our decision. We will explain how our decision is based solely on the evidence in possession.
“This is what I did on January 26, that is to announce that based on the overall facts and statements available, I was satisfied that there was no wrongdoing found in three high profile investigations that was submitted to me,” he said.
While he did not specified what investigation he was referring to, it was widely reported on January 26 that the AGC cleared Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak of wrongdoing in the cases of a RM2.6 billion donation and transfer of funds from SRC International.
Apandi also pointed to the US Department of Justice’s (DOJ) civil suit against 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) last week, saying that he immediately issued a statement a day after the DOJ’s press conference to point out that no criminal charges had been levelled against the individuals involved.
“I also emphasised that that the investigations by local authorities were still ongoing and that I would not hesitate to begin proceedings on all individuals involved should there have been criminal elements and sufficient evidence,” he said.
The US DOJ filed a civil lawsuit on July 20 seeking the forfeiture and recovery of more than US$1 billion (RM4.06 billion) in assets linked to what it described in a press statement as an “international conspiracy to launder funds misappropriated” from 1MDB, the largest case ever brought by the Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative.
US prosecutors said more than US$3.5 billion in 1MDB funds were allegedly misappropriated by high-level officials of the local state investment firm and their associates between 2009 and 2015.
Apandi also cautioned media practitioners to report responsibly, as news published had the ability to affect “the public’s thinking pattern.”
“Lately, I’ve been writings, opinions and reports being made with no integrity and irresponsibly, especially on social media.
“Because of that I would like to remind all parties to adhere to the law,” he said.
The Malaysian Bar has filed for a judicial review of Apandi’s decision on the RM2.6 billion and SRC International cases.
During its annual general meeting in March, It also resolved to call for Apandi’s resignation as AG over the same issue.
Putrajaya has responded by proposing to amend the Legal Profession Act 1976 to allow it to appoint office holders directly to the Bar Council that governs the Malaysian Bar.
Source -Malay Mail Online-