TAN Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali (picture) was in tears at the High Court in Kuala Lumpur yesterday when recalling his tenure as the Attorney General (AG) from 2015 to 2018, during the trial of his defamation suit against DAP advisor Lim Kit Siang over an article on the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) scandal.
He could not hold his emotions after responding to a question by his lawyer M Visvanathan on the third day of the trial before Judge Datuk Azimah Omar.
Answering his lawyer’s question over a foreign news article about the scandal which was raised by Lim’s lawyers on Tuesday, Mohamed Apandi said the New York Times report appeared immediately after his (Mohamed Apandi’s) press conference on Jan 26, 2016.
He said as the AG, he played the dual role of legal advisor to the government and the public prosecutor, and thus did not have much time to read local or foreign newspapers. Mohamed Apandi pointed out that as the legal advisor, his duty was not limited to the federal government, but was also the principal legal advisor for all the states in Malaysia.
“(In) my position as public prosecutor, there are thousands of investigation papers all over the country which of course I delegated to my officers in the respective states except for high-profile cases, meaning cases involving high-profile personalities; that’s how busy I was. I hardly managed to take any leave as this was not ‘a walk in the park job’. It was definitely a heavy burden that has taken a toll on my health. I’m now subject to Institut Jantung Negara check-ups because of the stress,” he added.
He said he was appointed as AG at 65 and did not clock the full number of years and months to receive a full pension.
“That is the sacrifice I have made because I was given the job of AG and the post of AG is not a pensionable post. It was a contract post; there is no pension attached to me.
“Thank you for allowing me to express (myself). I’ve been keeping this; people condemn me. Sorry could not proceed,” he said with tears running down his cheeks while his lawyers tried to calm him down.
Mohamed Apandi further said he never asked or lobbied to be the AG.
The hearing before Justice Azimah continues today.