Why ex-AG Gani didn’t challenge his termination

KUALA LUMPUR: More than a year after his removal from office, former Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail today said he did not challenge his termination because he was bound by the General Orders.

“The AG is deemed a civil servant, unlike a judge or the Auditor-General,” Gani said in response to a question from the floor from lawyer Syahredzan Johan.He, however, did not elaborate.Gani was a speaker at a session titled “Independence of Institutions in a Democracy” held in conjunction with the International Malaysia Law Conference here.

He explained that in the early days of Merdeka, the government wanted to appoint politicians as AG and the Constitution was designed for the prime minister to also remove them.

“The Constitution was not changed when civil servants became AG. So it is up to the prime minister to remove the AG if he deems fit.”

The late Abdul Kadir Yusof and Hamzah Abu Samah were politicians who doubled up as AGs.

Beginning from Abu Talib Othman, almost all the nation’s top legal advisers-cum-public prosecutors came from the judicial and legal service.

Gani served as AG for 13 years from 2003 and was removed abruptly from office on July 27 last year.

He was then part of the multi-agency special task force investigating 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) and the RM2.6 billion donation channelled into the private accounts of Prime Minister Najib Razak.

Another speaker, Kuthubul Zaman Bukhari, said Gani ought to have taken the matter to court for a judicial review.

“This is to ensure your rights are protected,” he said, adding that the judiciary had a role to check and balance the action of the executive.

Gani’s successor, Mohamed Apandi Ali, had said the removal of Gani had been carried out in accordance with the Constitution.

He said under the existing Article 145(5), the attorney-general holds office at the pleasure of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong. – FMT

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