KUCHING: Ba Kelalan assemblyman Baru Bian opines that the sudden retirement of Attorney General (AG) Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail and the replacement of Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin are desperate moves by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to consolidate his position amidst the damaging exposes implicating him in the 1MDB scandal. In a press statement, Baru said the move was so sudden which even the discarded AG was caught by surprise when he learned 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 three months prematurely. The haste with which he was summarily removed raises many questions, which we hope he would provide the answers to,” said Baru in the statement.
He also said the fact that his replacement came at a time when the 1MDB investigation was still being carried out, only added to the suspicion held by many that Najib did not want the truth to be revealed. Baru also questioned as to whether the AG’s removal was carried out legitimately in accordance with constitutional safeguards.
“What concerns us more is that the track record of a man (Tan Sri Apandi Ali) chosen as the new AG does not engender any confidence in us, that he would 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 election in Pengkalan Chepa where he lost to a Semangat 46 candidate,” he added.
Baru also cited an online report that said: “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, Apandi led the Court of Appeal panel in the ‘Allah’ appeal that handed down a decision based on spurious grounds that was detrimental to the rights of Bahasa Malaysia-speaking Christians, Baru added. On another note, he said the removal of Muhyiddin was no surprise as he had spoken up about the 1MDB fiasco and asked Najib for answers.
“Whatever his (Muhyiddin) motives for doing so, we are glad that at last someone from Umno has dared to question their leader about his involvement in the misappropriation of huge sums of money. Although he (Muhyiddin) has paid the price, we hope that he would continue to be brave and bold to press for answers from Najib,” said Baru.
Baru further said the people should have the right to know what was going on with taxpayers’ money and why they were shouldering heavier and heavier burdens to pump more money into the government’s coffers. “Once again, I call upon the Sarawak Chief Mminister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem to withdraw his support for Najib, who is more interested in securing his position and power than being accountable to the people,” he added.
Najib and his wife, Baru said, were mired in scandals as no other prime minister had ever been, and to continue supporting him would be very unwise of Adenan, who is enjoying unprecedented approval ratings in the state. “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,” he added.