The tone of Attorney General Tan Sri Apandi Ali on vehement detesting the fallacy notion that his apex law enforcement agency on “Interfering or being interfered” and “Covering up” on all the investigations pertaining to the national controversy 1MDB, is reflective of his annoyance.
It is against the compounding disbelieve, criticism and consistent lies that the matter have not be addressed appropriately in accordance to the law. The Bar Council President Steven Thiru is not spared.
Attorney General Apandi also drew the attention about the perennial challenge confidentiality and transparency, a dilemma he is facing when the tough demands of the rakyat in their interpretation of their right to know and practice of democracy.
Malaysian Digest story, using Bernama:
AG To Study Probe Papers On RM2.6 Billion Donation Closely
Print Email Details Published on Friday, 08 January 2016 22:20
KUALA LUMPUR: Attorney-General Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali said on Friday he will study thoroughly the investigation papers on SRC International Sdn Bhd and a RM2.6-billion political donation submitted by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission.
He noted that evidence had been compiled from over 100 witnesses.
“It’s not just one file. So I have to go through them thoroughly with a fine-tooth comb,” he told reporters at the opening of the Legal Year 2016 here.
The MACC said in a statement on Dec 31 that it had submitted the investigations papers to the Attorney-General’s Chambers on that day.
SRC International is a former subsidiary of 1Malaysia Development Berhad. It was placed under the Finance Ministry in 2012.
In his speech, Mohamed Apandi said there must be a balance between the desire for accountability and transparency against the need for the retention of confidentiality of sensitive official information from the public eye.
This, he said, was to avoid misuse, particularly in high-profile, sensitive and complex cases and issues.
He reminded the audience that the Attorney-General’s Chambers, as part of the apolitical Malaysian civil service, was bound by the legal constraints of the Official Secrets Act 1972, and the Public Officers (Conduct and Discipline) Regulations 1993.
It also had to adhere to internal directives as well as the specific secrecy and confidentiality provisions as contained in the laws enacted by Parliament, he said.
“Regardless of this in-built reticence in engaging with the media and public directly, the Chambers and I have found ourselves compelled to do so in dealing with several high-profile and public-interest cases,” he said.
Attorney General Apandi also appreciate the notion of being transparent and also implies the challenge of the burden in building the case tightly, especially against high profile individuals.
Pro-Anwarista newsportal story:
A-G yes to transparency in high profile cases, but says exceptions apply
Published: 8 January 2016 12:33 PM
Attorney-General Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali said he had to balance confidentiality and public policy, amid calls for greater transparency in high profile cases.
Malaysiakini reported Apandi saying that while he acknowledged public demands for transparency, there were also “standard exceptions” that he had to consider.
“Transparency is not a constitutional right. Freedom of information is not a value necessary at the expense of other laws.
“There are common exceptions and this includes matters pertaining to national security and foreign affairs… Hence there is a need to balance the conflicting demands of transparency and how to best serve the public interests,” Apandi was quoted as saying at the Annual Legislative Malaysia 2016 event in Kuala Lumpur today.
He said the A-G was bound by the Official Secrets Act 1972.
Apandi also took note of Malaysian Bar president Steven Thiru’s speech at the same event today, in which the latter criticised the sudden transfers, detentions and questioning of Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) officers last year during probes into alleged financial scandals involving the prime minister.
The A-G, however, said while he “was tempted” to answer issues raised by the Bar, he would use “other platforms” to do so. – January 8, 2016.
Earlier, Attorney General Apandi rebutted against Fourth Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad on his pre-emptive strike in compounding on the doubt that the investigation RM2.6billion in donation which was allegedly credited into the account of Prime Minister Najib and SRC International.
He purposely shared his doubt over media, to compound on the suspicion that all the cases pertaining to 1MDB would be sorted out appropriately through the principle, provisions and processes of the rule of law.
The Sun story:
AG vows to act without fear or favour on RM2.6b probe findings
Posted on 5 January 2016 – 07:50pm
Last updated on 6 January 2016 – 01:10pm
by ASHRAF SHAMSUL
PETALING JAYA: Attorney-General Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali says he will not ignore the probe findings on the RM2.6 billion transferred into Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak’s personal bank accounts.
“I will study (the cases) according to the law,” said Apandi, who vowed to act without fear or favour.
He was referring to three investigation papers submitted by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) on the RM2.6 billion, and two other cases involving RM42 million relating to former 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) subsidiary SRC International Sdn Bhd.
Apandi dismissed former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s “prediction” that he (Apandi) would ignore the findings, stressing that he would act fairly and thoroughly.
Mahathir had said that Apandi would disregard the MACC’s investigation papers on the RM2.6 billion and RM42 million from SRC International, which allegedly found their way into Najib’s personal bank account.
Mahathir has also dismissed the argument that the RM2.6 billion transferred ahead of the last general election in 2013 was a donation from a Middle Eastern source, whose identity continues to remain a mystery.
Apandi, when interviewed by news portal Malaysiakini, retorted: “You ask him, how did he come to that opinion? He’s merely trying to use reverse psychology on me.”
He said Mahathir should cease resorting to such tactics.
“He just tries to put pressure on me. I don’t work under pressure. Just like any judge, we don’t work under pressure,” said Apandi.
“I am a law man. Tell the whole world that I am a law man. I decide according to the law. Nobody puts pressure on me.”
He also denied speculation that he was appointed to protect Najib.
Apandi became attorney-general after his predecessor Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail was suddenly dropped from the post due to health reasons last year. The latter’s sudden removal from office ignited speculation that he was on the verge of hauling the prime minister to court.
Najib, who has denied any wrongdoing, also replaced his deputy Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Rural and Regional Development minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal, who were critical of the 1MDB issue.
This was in response on Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad’s remark to cast the doubt on Attorney General Chambers ability to investigate and build the case against the RM2.6billion donation and SRC International.
Pro-Anwarista funded Opposition news portal Free Malaysia Todays story:
AG will ignore MACC reports on 1MDB, Dr M predicts
Arfa Yunus | January 5, 2016
Former Prime Minister says this is due to the Attorney-General’s previous rejection of Bank Negara’s report and recommendations on 1MDB.
PUTRAJAYA: If Attorney-General (AG) Apandi Ali could reject Bank Negara Malaysia’s (BNM) report on 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) earlier, the same thing would likely happen again now that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has submitted its report on SRC International and the controversial RM2.6 billion political donation.
In an exclusive interview with FMT, former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad predicted Apandi would once again ignore the investigation papers on the scandals although the report was submitted by a relevant authority.
“I think he (Apandi) will reject it (MACC’s report) too. But this is just my prediction,” he said when met at his office at Perdana Leadership Foundation, here yesterday.
Mahathir made this prediction following Apandi’s earlier rejection of BNM’s recommendations for action to be taken against debt-ridden 1MDB, after finding no wrongdoing had been committed by any of the state-owned firm’s officials.
“I believe the Bank Negara had submitted their report (on 1MDB) before and Bank Negara is not some institution without rules.
“They made detailed investigation on it and had certain evidence which required the case be brought to court. But the AG rejected it blindly.
“So I would not be surprised if the AG rejects this (MACC’s report) too.”
On December 31, the MACC announced that they had submitted three investigation papers to the AG – two papers related to the probe on SRC International, a former subsidiary of 1MDB, and another on the RM2.6 billion political donation.
On July last year, international news agency the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) revealed that RM2.6 billion was channeled into Prime Minister Najib Razak’s personal bank accounts, and that the funds were allegedly channeled from 1MDB.
The MACC however denied the allegation saying the money was in fact a donation made to Najib by an Arab from the Middle-East to help Barisan Nasional (BN) win the General Election in 2013.
It was part of the bigger 1MDB ultra controversial case with the Fourth Prime Minister used as the primary basis to mount an attack and charge for Prime Minister Najib, in the strategy for the Sixth Prime Minister be ousted from office.
The Conference of Judges at KLCC Convention Centre isn’t the first time Attorney General Apandi reiterated that his work was never interfered by Prime Minister Najib:
The Malay Mail Online story in mid August 2015:
No interference by PM in 1MDB probe, AG says
Thursday August 20, 2015
10:17 AM GMT+8
KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 20 ― Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak did not influence the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) investigations into 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali has said.
The Barisan Nasional Backbenchers Club (BNBBC) portal quoted the AG as saying that the investigations into the state investment firm would be conducted professionally and legally.
“We are free (from influence), we will act in accordance with the law,” Apandi reportedly said.
He added that the AGC was currently examining the findings of Bank Negara Malaysia’s (BNM) probe into 1MDB.
“We are still studying the papers. I have no comment. The papers was handed to us late in the evening or before 5pm on the same day Bank Negara Governor (Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz) had a press conference,” Apandi said.
Last Thursday, Zeti told a press conference that BNM’s had concluded its probe on the state investment firm and that its findings have been submitted to the AGC.
Zeti also noted that the bank’s findings are the culmination of several years’ worth of prior informal monitoring of 1MDB’s investment activities, which she said has required BNM to follow closely as the firm was highly geared.
The BNM chief stressed, however, that the bank cannot publicly discuss the contents of the report submitted to the AG, though she did say it had to do with information on the relevant accounts shared by local banks and the central bank’s international counterparts.
In early June, Bank Negara announced that it had launched a formal inquiry on 1MDB’s activities to establish if there were any contraventions to the country’s financial rules and regulations.
The investigation included taking statements from individuals involved in the governance process and obtaining information from other relevant domestic and foreign parties.
Apandi replaced Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail as Attorney-General last month, after the latter was removed for health reasons.
It is responsible for Attorney General Apandi to stand up and make his position very firmly, especially all the allegations is against Prime Minister Najib and the burden to do a thorough investigation and build a really water tight case is of paramount national interest.
The fact is that 1MDB ‘Rationalisation Plan’ which was tabled on 29 May 2015 to the Cabinet, was realised right on the dot before year’s end.</
The controversial RM42billion borrowings which was stated in the strategic investment corporation’s 31 March 2014 annual report but instead proclaimed by Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad in April 2015 in first open attack against Prime Minister Najib using the 1MDB as a basis of demonisation, “RM42billion is missing”.
In has since been proven to not true. Now, almost all of the debts have either been resolved and swapped to investments.
The Opposition, pro-Opposition NGOs in the likes of Bar Council, Suaram, BERSIH, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad and small pockets of rebels within UMNO, pro-Opposition and the concerted spectrum of foreign media, working in tandem with utmost consistency, perseverance and intensity, especially in the strategy to demonise Prime Minister Najib, is very revealing.