28 JULY 2015
The sudden retirement of Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail at the same time as the replacement of the Deputy Prime Minister points to a desperate move by the Prime Minister to consolidate his position amidst the damaging exposes implicating him in the 1MDB scandals. So sudden was this move that even the discarded AG was caught by surprise when he learnt that he was in ill health and hence retiring.
Given that Abdul Gani Patail was due to retire in October, there is no good reason to get rid of him 3 months prematurely. The haste with which he was summarily removed raises many questions, which we hope he will provide the answers to. The fact that his replacement comes at a time when the 1MDB investigation is still being carried out adds to the suspicion held by many that the Prime Minister does not want the truth to be revealed. There are also questions as to whether his removal was carried out legitimately in accordance with constitutional safeguards.
What concerns us more is that the track record of man chosen as the new AG does not engender any confidence in us that he will protect the interest of all Malaysians regardless of race and religion. He is known to be an UMNO man, and stood in the 1990 General Elections in Pengkelan Chepa where he lost to the Semangat 46 candidate. In fact, Malaysiakini reports that ‘Due to his involvement in Umno prior to being appointed a judge, many people, including former opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, have applied for Apandi not to sit in any of the panels hearing their cases.’ On the bench, he led the Court of Appeal panel in the ‘Allah’ appeal that handed down a decision based on spurious grounds that is detrimental to the rights of Bahasa Malaysia-speaking Christians. His appointment as the new AG does not bode well for us.
The removal of Muhyddin Yassin as Deputy PM is no surprise as he had spoken up about the 1MDB fiasco and asked the PM for answers. Whatever his motives for doing so, we are glad that at last someone from UMNO dared to question their leader about his involvement in the misappropriation of huge sums of money. Although he has paid the price, we hope that he will continue to be brave and bold to press for answers from the PM. The rakyat have the right to know what is going on with taxpayers’ money and why they are shouldering heavier and heavier burdens to pump more money into the government’s coffers.
Once again, I call upon the Chief Minister of Sarawak to withdraw his support for this Prime Minister who is more interested in securing his position and power than being accountable to the people. The PM and his wife are mired in scandals as no other PM has ever been, and to continue supporting him would be very unwise of the CM who is enjoying unprecedented approval ratings. The only way to avert Malaysia from impending disaster as a failed state is to remove the current government, and Sarawakians must rise to the occasion, starting with our Chief Minister. Now is the time to cut ties with Najib Razak, in ‘the spirit of Sarawak Autonomy’. Something is very rotten in the halls of Putrajaya and the PM’s residence. We do not want to be near the stench from the rot.
N70 Ba’ Kelalan.