Dr Mahathir says he had objected Mohamed Apandi’s appointment before

by ANIS HAZIM / pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

FORMER premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (picture) said that he had, in fact, raised his objection to the appointment of Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali in the Batu Puteh special task force but it was ignored before.

Dr Mahathir said he recorded an objection to the appointment of the former attorney general (AG) as chairman of the special task force in a letter on May 23, due to a conflict of interest following the termination of his service after Dr Mahathir was sworn in as the seventh prime minister (PM).

“Furthermore, on the issue of Pulau Batu Puteh, Mohamed Apandi has publicly criticised the decision of the Pakatan Harapan’s government and I as the PM, to not appeal the International Court of Justice’s decision,” Dr Mahathir said in a statement today.

The Langkawi MP added that his objection was ignored and instead he was asked to attend the rescheduled interview session on June 28 with two appointed interviewers, namely Datuk Dr Baljit Singh Sidhu and Datuk Tengku Ahmad Fuad Tengku Ahmad Burhanuddin.

“Again, in a letter written on June 21, I requested a determination regarding the position of Mohamed Apandi because he is a proper witness or individual to be interviewed.

“At the same time, I also protested against the position of the interviewer, Baljit, who was a lawyer for Mohamed Apandi in his lawsuit case to the Malaysian government and regarding the termination of his position as AG,” he said.

The 96-year-old politician stressed there was no response to his latest request for unanimity and his objection to the proposal which was made after legal advice from his lawyers.

“No objection issues arose at the last minute. On the other hand, my objection was never answered until yesterday and the reasons given by the Minister of Law supposedly led me to raise objections,” he added.

Mahathir questioned whether the Law Minister Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar had not been informed of his preliminary objections.

“I am willing to cooperate for whatever proceedings or interviews if the committee is made up of non-interested individuals. This is my statutory right,” he further said.

On Wednesday, Wan Junaidi stated that Mohamed Apandi will not be removed from the task force and interviews will carry on despite Mahathir’s refusal to attend inquiries.

According to the minister, Mohamed Apandi was appointed as the chairman of the special task force following the Cabinet’s decision on Oct 29 and any opposition towards the matter should have been mentioned earlier.