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MACC investigating former AG over interference in judicial appointment

Publish date: Thu, 23 Mar 2023, 01:35 PM

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) is investigating an individual, believed to be a former attorney-general (AG), in relation to judicial appointment interference.

Minister in the Prime Minister Department (Law and Institutional Reform) Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said in a parliamentary reply yesterday said the investigation was done by the anti-graft body following a report lodged against the individual in December.

"The investigation is currently being carried out by MACC. The investigation paper, so far, has yet to be referred to the Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC) for any scrutinisation on law violation and also to prosecute any related parties in court," she said.

Azalina said this in response to a question from Datuk Che Mohamad Zulkifly Jusoh (Perikatan Nasional-Besut) on the government's immediate action to investigate allegations of interference by the former AG in judicial appointments.

No names were mentioned on who the former AG is.

However, the government had previously agreed to establish a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) to probe various allegations against former AG Tan Sri Tommy Thomas over his controversial memoir 'My Story: Justice in The Wilderness".

Azalina said the decision was made following recommendations made by the special task force investigating the memoir and the RCI would focus on finding recommendations to reform the country's legal institution and not to find fault with any particular party.

The special task force led by Datuk Seri Fong Joo Chung identified 19 issues, which had been narrowed down to four main ones.

The four issues were allegations levelled against the judiciary; exposing of government secrets; abuse of power and professional negligence; and, seditious statements.

Meanwhile in October last year, Thomas had filed a lawsuit against the special task force claiming that its establishment was illegal and ultra vires.

He had said all purported actions, investigations and actions or steps taken by the defendants were unsupported by any written law and were therefore illegal and void.

Thomas had also said an RCI which was provided for under the Commission of Inquiry Act 1950, by appointment of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, could enquire into the conduct of any federal officer such as himself, and thereafter provide a report on the investigation.

He had claimed the illegal special task force had no power to require, direct, or recommend the public prosecutor or investigating agencies to investigate "possible offences".

He said he refused to cooperate with the investigation as it could set a dangerous precedent putting at risk the independence of the AG's office.

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