Wednesday, July 29, 2015

‘AG’s position governed by Constitution’

A. Azim Idris
PUBLISHED: Jul 28, 2015
Lawyers for Liberty executive director Eric Paulsen says the sudden removal of Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail as the Attorney General at the whim of the Prime Minister is shocking. — TRP file pic

KUALA LUMPUR, 28 July, 2015
Lawyers for Liberty said the sudden removal of Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail as Attorney-General (A-G) by the Prime Minister, would fuel public suspicion of interference.
The law reform group’s executive director Eric Paulsen, in a statement said, the decision was done in bad faith as Abdul Gani was heading the Special Task Force investigating 1Malaysia Development Bhd(1MDB).
He then called on Datuk Seri Najib Razak not to act recklessly and contravene the Constitution.
“If Abdul Gani is unable to properly discharge the functions of his office, the right thing to do is to set up a tribunal in accordance with the Constitution, so that he can properly defend himself against any charges and if warranted, he can so be removed.”
It was also reported that Abdul Gani had claimed ignorance over the sacking.Earlier today it was announced that Abdul Gani’s services were terminated effective tomorrow due to health reasons. Former Federal Court judge Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali was appointed as Abdul Gani’s successor.
Paulsen however pointed out that while it was the Prime Minister’s prerogative to appoint and remove members of his Cabinet, the position of the A-G is governed by the Federal Constitution.
Under article 145(6) of the Constitution, Paulsen explained the A-G’s security of tenure was protected and he “shall not be removed from office except on the like grounds and in the like manner as a judge of the Federal Court”.
He also cited, article 125(3) of the Constitution, which stipulated that a federal court judge , and therefore the A-G, could only be removed through a tribunal that is appointed by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong for breach of code of ethics, inability, infirmity of body or mind or any other cause, to properly discharge the functions of his office.
“The sudden removal of Gani Patail as the AG at the whim of the PM is shocking to say the least.”
~ The Rakyat Post

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