Mat Zain: Charge Gani Patail, not change A-G’s powers

By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal | September 26, 2011
The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 26 — Taking away the Attorney-General’s power to prosecute will not stop abuses of power, a former senior police officer said today.

Former Kuala Lumpur CID chief Datuk Mat Zain Ibrahim said that there was nothing wrong with the functions of the A-G as defined by the Federal Constitution, and charged that it was Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail (picture) who had abused his powers as the current A-G “several times over.”

“We should not blame the Constitution. It’s the honesty of the person holding the post that matters.

“Even if we were to separate the functions of the A-G and the PP, there are no guarantees that either one or both of them will not abuse their powers,” Mat Zain wrote in an open letter to The Malaysian Insider.

Mat Zain was referring to Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz’s recent remarks supporting calls to separate the functions of the A-G.

In Malaysia, the A-G is the principal legal adviser to the government and also serves as the country’s highest-ranking public prosecutor.

The former policeman continued his attacks against Abdul Gani, accusing him of fabricating evidence in an investigation back in 1998.

It is believed he was referring to Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s controversial “black eye” incident.

The deputy prime minister-turned-opposition leader is back in the dock on a similar charge of sodomising a former male aide.

Mat Zain reiterated that the criminal allegations against Abdul Gani were made publicly in two previous parliamentary sessions — the first in March 2009 and the other just last December.

Mat Zain said that an independent three-man panel had also investigated the allegations against the A-G and that one of the panellists had concluded the A-G was involved in evidence tampering, which was stated in the form of three expert reports.

“The Cabinet has to explain to the public how they could clear Gani Patail from any wrongdoing when the evidence presented to them is crystal clear. The A-G must be made to account for the three expert reports in question.

“If it is the A-G himself who has committed a crime, so be it. He has to face the music like everybody else,” the former top cop added.

  1. #1 by sheriff singh on Monday, 26 September 2011 - 6:12 pm

    The position of the AG in 1Bolehland is quite unique. The person sitting there becomes very powerful as he gets to know too much about things and people. This can be good or bad depending on the integrity of the person.

    If the incumbent is a scoundrel, how does the powers there be remove him / her without getting into hot water themselves if they too are fellow scoundrels ?

    We might therefore need a saint with powers to remove the office bearer. Looking for Simon Templar, The Saint. Where are you? Retired?

  2. #2 by yhsiew on Monday, 26 September 2011 - 6:15 pm

    ///“The Cabinet has to explain to the public how they could clear Gani Patail from any wrongdoing when the evidence presented to them is crystal clear.///

    Of course they would clear Gani Patail from any wrongdoing based on “you help me, I help you” principle.

  3. #3 by Loh on Monday, 26 September 2011 - 7:37 pm

    ///“We should not blame the Constitution. It’s the honesty of the person holding the post that matters.///– Mat Zain

    That is true. To Malaysians in general the person must perform his job without fear and favour. So he has to be honest. But to his boss, honesty is replaced by loyalty. When in conflict between honesty and loyalty, the latter precedes. That could be why when the call for the removal of certain character would not be entertained. It would be difficult at times to find person who is loyal out of necessity. That loyalty is more reliable since that is the only way he could survive.

  4. #4 by Jeffrey on Tuesday, 27 September 2011 - 2:43 am

    The A-G is the principal legal adviser to the Government. His office drafts legislation. It is a cabinet position. However he also wears the other hat of being the highest ranking public prosecutor in the country for which he is also known as the Public Prosecutor (PP). Corruption cases under MACC require the PP’s approval to proceed. Now criticisms have been leveled against one person in dual roles of being govt’s legal adviser/cabinet member and also PP. It is a situation fraught with conflict of interest. When exercising prosecutorial discretion whether to prosecute or not to do so it is alleged that the AG could take a partisan rather than objective position. There is merit then in separating the functions of the A-G and the PP from being concentrated in one person. Such a separation will constitute an institutional check and balance. Many of our legal eagles and members of civil society are for such a separation. Tey cal;l for constitutional amendment to put the separation into effect. Minister Nazri was reported warm towards this idea. His recent remarks supported calls to separate the functions.

  5. #5 by Jeffrey on Tuesday, 27 September 2011 - 2:57 am

    Ex CID chief Mat Zain is not that warm towards that idea of separation of functions. He thinks the constitutional amendment to that effect is not priority. He argues that the honesty and integrity of the person holding that post is more important. In this, his view appears shared by law professor on Constitution, Shad Saleem Saleem Faruqi, who although agreeing to the separation of powers, also stressed that the function of any system would depend on the people managing it. Well that is correct. When one separates the two functions there’s also no guarantee that the AG and separate PP appointed will not again each be beholden to act in political partisan way. In fact in such a separation there is ambiguity whether the PP will report to AG, which amounts to the same thing. All the same there seems no harm in separating the two functions except possibly Mat Zain has got an angle when he appears unsupportive of such a move. Possibly he thinks that with the govt (Nazri)’s acceding to such separation, it would deflect public attention from Mat Zain’s allegations and dispenses with action to pursue further the facts behind his allegations. Mat Zain could be right that it might be a strategy to distract.

  6. #6 by boh-liao on Tuesday, 27 September 2011 - 4:25 am

    Aaaah, AG n d Cabinet, think of d Godfather n d song “Speak softly, love”: Deep velvet nights when we are one; O yeah, they r 1 n share a love dat only few hv ever known

    How 2 expect d Cabinet 2 prosecute/charge AG, ka ki lan mah, ban ban tan lor
    BTW, AGP is destined 2 b our AG 1, cos it is in his name mah

  7. #7 by dagen on Tuesday, 27 September 2011 - 8:28 am

    Charge the wrongdoer and not change his powers. How sensible. Yes. I agree.

    A wrong has been committed. There must be conviction and punishment.

  8. #8 by dagen on Tuesday, 27 September 2011 - 8:31 am

    In the company of scoundrels all are equal, sheriff. So I dont suppose umno could see anything wrong with gani patahi.

  9. #9 by k1980 on Tuesday, 27 September 2011 - 9:29 am

    Musician Pete Teo denied today that his “Undilah” video mocked the prime minister and called for critics to explain how “Star Wars is an insult” to Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
    A Barisan Nasional (BN) lawmaker said yesterday a scene where a man dressed as Star Wars’ character “Jabba the Hutt” and standing next to a poster of Najib at a bus stop, mocked the prime minister.

    Pete Teo should be put under ISA for allowing “Jabba the Hutt” to stand next to “Jibbi the Hutt”. A very grave insult!

  10. #10 by k1980 on Tuesday, 27 September 2011 - 9:36 am

    Jabba snarls: “How dare you make me stand next to Jibbi!”


    Jibbi sobs: “How dare you make me stand next to Jabba!”

  11. #11 by dagen on Tuesday, 27 September 2011 - 12:44 pm

    So what if Pete really wanted to belittle jibby the jib? Anything wrong with that?

    And for umno to use the ISA against pete is to abuse ISA. Anyway, hey ISA may still be in force but didnt jib say it will be abolished. And the reason is because jib agrees that the law is draconian. So the suggestion to use ISA at this time is anti-jibby jib!

  12. #12 by monsterball on Tuesday, 27 September 2011 - 7:19 pm

    The never ending illogical and stupid reasons will always be given…..for these chosen ones must protect UMNO b party..and Najib…or be replaced again and again …as shown by Mahathir with his 4 DPMs.
    This is not a government that governs fair and square.
    This is a government who intend to govern forever with money to buy loyalties..from Law makers and Police force…so that billions can be stolen by them … with no fear. and reasons as much as you like.
    It will not change one bit…as UMNO b are experts to twist and turn fool his own race for votes.
    Ar they succeeding?…NO…after 12th GE…unless Malaysians want no unity and live as liars and hypocrites.
    Lets see at 13th GE…which show good signs….since Najib dare not announce the date..for 13th GE..”around the corner ” he said..a corner that never ends.
    He is afraid to on and on dirty politics must go on…and now…Mahathir joined in.
    How desperate can UMNO

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