𝗖𝗼𝗻𝘁𝗿𝗮𝗱𝗶𝗰𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘀𝗲𝗹𝗳, 𝗟𝗶𝗲𝘄 𝗩𝘂𝗶 𝗞𝗲𝗼𝗻𝗴 𝗽𝗹𝗮𝗰𝗲𝘀 𝗷𝘂𝗱𝗶𝗰𝗶𝗮𝗹 𝗶𝗻𝗱𝗲𝗽𝗲𝗻𝗱𝗲𝗻𝗰𝗲 𝗮𝘁 𝗿𝗶𝘀𝗸
MCA is alarmed with the written reply given by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Liew Vui Keong to the Dewan Rakyat.
Vui Keong’s written reply in paragraph 2 to the Dewan Rakyat cited Article 145(3) of the Federal Constitution saying that the AG, when acting in the capacity as a Public Prosecutor, has full discretion to institute, conduct or discontinue criminal proceedings, is independent, and does not take instructions from the Executive.
However, in paragraph 6, Vui Keong also declared that the AGC as part of the federal administration’s machinery (jentera pentadbiran persekutuan), will implement whatever instructions from the federal government. How can a person take instruction and yet remain independent? His contradiction is confusing.
If Vui Keong agrees that the AGC is independent, he should explain to the public at large, as to why Solicitor General III Dato’ Mohamad Hanafiah Zakaria had sent out a politically motivated e-mail to the AGC, which clearly signals of interference by the Executive.
The e-mail had cited a Cabinet meeting held on 19 December 2018, whereby the Prime Minister had reminded the prosecution that the corruption cases of certain individuals must be carried out as per schedule and must not be postponed to prevent the trials of the said cases from persisting.
This is a very unusual work pattern. Vui Keong must clarify as to whether the AGC needs to be reminded by the Cabinet on every single case at hand.
Under Article 145(2) of the Constitution, the AG is duty bound to advise the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong, Cabinet or any Minister on legal matters, and to perform such duties of a legal character. In other words, the AG is an advisor to the government and should thus maintain strictest professionalism and independence.
In the meantime, an AG is also a Public Prosecutor. When the AGC assumes the capacity of a prosecutor, cases must be handled independently, without reminder and advice, instructions and even well wishes from the government that could all be construed as interference. As Deputy Public Prosecutors are professionals, there is no need for the Prime Minister to tell them how to do their job.
We also implore on the Bar Council to keep an eye on this issue, and continue to be professional in its role to monitor, uphold the sanctity of law and the rule of law.
𝗖𝗵𝗮𝗻 𝗤𝘂𝗶𝗻 𝗘𝗿 & Ryan Ho Kwok Xheng