MPs call for review, probe on govt bodies

Laws in the country should have been upheld but there are certain cases where justice was denied

 pic by HUSSEIN SHAHARUDDIN

THE government was told to review the Attorney-General’s (AG) role and separate it from that of a public prosecutor to ensure democracy in the country.

Former prime minister (PM) Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (picture) said the laws in the country should have been upheld but there are certain cases where justice was denied.

Without naming anyone, Dr Mahathir said an individual was freed from 46 charges against him as, according to the AG, there were no cases against the individual and therefore, all charges were dropped.

“There was also an AG who previously said a former PM was not guilty of all claims made against him when that PM was in power, but the latter was then found guilty when he was brought to court after he was no longer in power.

“This shows that the AG’s role must be reviewed so that it would not bear the responsibilities of both the Judge and the public prosecutor. It is important to ensure that justice is upheld at all times.

“We have a lot of judiciary levels but did not consider the AG’s role. He not only enforces the law but is also a judge, therefore, when a case is classified with no merit, it will be dropped,” he said during his debate on the Royal Address in Dewan Rakyat yesterday.

Previously, Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said had also suggested the separation of powers between AG and public prosecutor in her Royal Address debate.

She proposed for the law minister to be the AG as it would be easier for him to attend the Dewan Rakyat and answer questions on law.

Dr Mahathir also said party-hopping cannot be banned without identifying the circumstances and reasons why it occurs.

The Langkawi MP said party-hopping will occur when smaller parties combine with bigger ones to obtain a majority in the lower house.

“Sometimes, not a single party has the majority to form a government and parties would need to combine to gain a bigger number, more than half of the seats in the Dewan Rakyat.

“This act should not be viewed as party-hopping if it is done in an orderly manner and aligns with the laws and the Federal Constitution to ensure a government can be formed,” he added.

Meanwhile, Puchong MP Gobind Singh Deo questioned if the current government will revamp the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) following cases of corruption-related scandals that surround both bodies.

He cited a recent case involving three senior MACC officers who were detained in relation to alleged abuse of power and misconduct involving a former head of department in the commission.

Gobind questioned if the issue will be handled internally, similar to claims of PDRM officers involved with a cartel.

“If the case involved MACC officers, why must the same commission make the arrests? Is MACC investigating itself?

Is this one of those cases where it will be handled internally?” asked Gobind.

Previously, a former Malaysian External Intelligence Organisation DG was said to be allegedly involved in the theft of case materials involving US$6 million (RM25.16 million) in cash.

Also during the Royal Address debate session, Muar MP Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman called for the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to probe the government’s move to conduct 5G rollout in a single monopoly network which requires it to spend billions of ringgit.

He said the government had managed to obtain between RM4 billion and RM7 billion during the 4G rollout in the country which was done via an open bidding system and the funds received were used to build infrastructures in rural areas.

“But with this current 5G rollout, the government has to pay between RM11 billion and RM15 billion which came from the people. It is not a small amount.

“The PAC needs to investigate this because it involves the country’s future,” he said in the Dewan Rakyat.