Separation of public prosecutor role to be tabled by year-end, says law minister

The govt will consider advising Agong to declare an emergency order if there is a need to stop state by-elections

pic by BERNAMA

THE government is adamant in its effort to amend Article 145 of the Federal Constitution to separate the role of public prosecutors from the attorney general (AG).

Law Minister Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan (picture) said the bill for the amendment will be tabled to Cabinet ministers by year-end.

“A meeting was held between the AG, solicitor general, solicitor general II and head of prosecution unit of the AG’s Chambers (AGC) to finalise the Cabinet’s memorandum and complete the bill for the amendment of Article 145.

“The initiative is still ongoing under the current administration. The AGC acts as the coordinating agency for the initiative, as well as the implementation agency for this strategy,” he said in the Dewan Rakyat yesterday.

Takiyuddin was responding to a question from Khalid Abdul Samad (Pakatan Harapan [PH]-Shah Alam) who asked if the government has plans to amend the article to ensure a more transparent prosecution power in the Malaysian justice system.

Tan Sri Noh Omar (Barisan Nasional-Tanjong Karang) also posed a supplementary question and asked if the government will reconsider the appointment of private lawyers for cases as it could raise doubt on the credibility of the public prosecutors.

Responding to that, Takiyuddin said the AG has the discretion to appoint anyone who is deemed fit and has skills in a specific area to be the public prosecutor for a case.

Separately, Takiyuddin said the government will consider to advise the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah to declare an emergency order if there is a need to stop the state by-elections in Batu Sapi, Sabah, or Sarawak.

“Article 150 (of the Federal Constitution) states that the Agong has the power to declare a state of emergency nationwide or any part thereof.

“If there is a need, the government will think about it. If not for the whole nation, then for any part thereof. This is allowed from a constitutional perspective,” he said.

He was responding to a supplementary question from Hassan Abdul Karim (PH-Pasir Gudang) who asked if the government would propose another emergency order to delay the Batu Sapi by-election or Sarawak state election.

The Batu Sapi by-election will be held on Dec 5, while the Sarawak state election needs to be held in June next year.

The Batu Sapi seat fell vacant following the death of its incumbent Datuk Liew Vui Keong on Oct 2.

On Lim Lip Eng’s (PH-Kepong) question regarding the Sabah state election, Takiyuddin said a total of RM130 million was spent for the election which was held in September.

“The cost expenditure was for the purchase and rental of election equipment, ICT system and equipment, logistics, allowance for the staff, as well as other related needs.

“It also took into account equipment requirements in accordance to Covid-19 prevention guidelines,” he said.

 

Our earlier report: https://themalaysianreserve.com/2020/11/05/separation-of-public-prosecutor-role-to-be-tabled-by-year-end/