Former Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud did not gain immunity from corruption investigation when he was appointed governor of Sarawak, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Paul Low said today.
In a written reply to Parliament, Low (left) said that Taib will also not be charged in the Special Court for any offence as the position he holds does not equate him to being the monarch of Sarawak.
“Even though the Yang di-Pertua Negeri performs the functions of a ruler in a state, he does not fall under the definition of a ruler under Clause (2) Article 181 (of the third and fifth schedules of the Federal Constitution).
“As such, the Special Court does not come into play for the Yang di-Pertua Negeri. All proceedings involving a Yang di-Pertua Negeri in his personal capacity can be brought before a civil court,” Low said.
He said this in reply to Ng Wei Aik (DAP-Tanjong) who asked Low if the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission's (MACC) investigation against Taib would continue, now that Taib is the Sarawak governor.
AG's instruction to probe Taib
Rulers will be brought before the Special Court if they commit offences in their personal capacity.
The term "Yang di-Pertua Negeri" is used for heads of states with no sultan, such as Sabah, Sarawak Malacca and Penang.
Low said this meant that the MACC could investigate a Yang di-Pertua Negeri for corruption and that the investigation against Taib would continue.
“MACC's invetsigation against Taib (above) continues on the instruction of the Attorney-General's Chambers,” he said.
MACC is also empowered to invetsigate the prime minister and cabinet ministers, Low added.
MACC earlier said that the investigation against Taib is prolonged as it involves a vast number of documents and witnesses.
Taib resigned on Feb 28 this year, after 33 years as chief minister of Sarawak, and was appointed as governor on March 1.