Selasa, 3 Disember 2013

Anwar Ibrahim

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Anwar Ibrahim

When silence isn’t an option for the Attorney General

Posted: 02 Dec 2013 07:36 PM PST


Attorney General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail met journalists yesterday to discuss two issues – a rape case involving a teenage bride, and the decision by the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) not to appeal former transport minister Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik’s acquittal in the cheating case.

But the top government lawyer did not address the pink elephant in the room – the allegations of corruption against him by retired police investigator Datuk Mat Zain Ibrahim.

The former Kuala Lumpur Criminal Investigations Department chief had been going at it for the past year with hammer and tongs against Gani – writing letters to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and finally making a statutory declaration (SD) of all his allegations.

He even met Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad this year to brief the country’s longest-serving prime minister of his allegations against the chief prosecutor.

Nothing happened. The police have asked him to lodge a report instead of putting a sworn statement.

Meantime, the AG continues to remain silent.

For any person, from the humble manual worker to the powerful prime minister, the one thing of real value is his reputation. In most cases, one fights tooth and nail to protect one’s reputation.

In Gani’s case, he could have filed a police report against Mat Zain or sued him for defamation.

Or even given a point by point rebuttal to the serious allegations raised by Mat Zain, some of which point to treason and a miscarriage of justice.

Instead, Gani speaks to the press and tries to convey the message that it is business at usual at the AGC.

His silence is a damning indictment of this whole episode.

Putrajaya too has yet to come to Gani’s defence, except to say that there is nothing to investigate as it is just a statutory declaration. But Mat Zain is a former police detective and knows his law.

His sworn statement now is in wide circulation, even if the media is circumspect to publish all its contents. As one lawyer put it, the SD is explosive.

The AG should not remain silent any longer. That option will only further reinforce the perception in the court of public opinion that he is in the wrong.

Malaysia needs an AG who prosecutes without fear or favour, not one tainted by allegations that can undermine the entire government.

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