KUALA LUMPUR: Attorney-General Tan Sri Apandi Ali has been urged to respond to the rumour that he along with Datuk Seri Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim are involved in a plot to discredit Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief commissioner Tan Sri Dzulkifli Ahmad.
In making this call, social activist Tunku Abdul Aziz Tunku Ibrahim said while rumours, in general, may have no basis in fact, Apandi owed it to his position, to the people of this country and to the government that appointed him, to deal with this matter in a proper way.
While applauding Apandi for saying he would take legal action against blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin (RPK) on accusations made by the latter, Tunku Abdul Aziz pointed out that the legal proceeding would have to be done in a British Court.
“Given the nature of his position as an establishment figure, he has done the right thing. Take RPK to court but also given the nature of the legal proceedings, and the length of time it takes to commence proceedings and the legal processes involved, I think the people of this country deserve to know what his immediate reaction is to this.
“He has said these are lies, but specific accusations have been made and I think it is in his interest and in all fairness to the people of this country that he should deal with this specific rumours, one by one.
“His rebuttal in our country could be used by him to reinforce his position when the matter goes to the English court in London,” Tunku Abdul Aziz said.
The Anti-Corruption Advisory Board (ACAB) chairman said this at a press conference earlier today, referring to an article written by RPK, in which the latter had accused Apandi and Abdul Azeez of working together to bring down Dzulkifli with regard to an earlier accusation that implicated the MACC chief commissioner in an affair with a married woman.
Tunku Abdul Aziz also took the A-G to task on reports that the latter had set up a taskforce to monitor investigations on the allegation of the extra-marital affair.
It was reported earlier this month that there have been allegations, which surfaced online recently, accusing Dzulkifli of having an extramarital affair.
Dzulkifli had denied the allegations, saying they were made to tarnish his reputation and to discredit MACC’s efforts in combating corruption.
Questioning the need for the A-G to get involved in such investigations, Tunku Abdul Aziz said the matter is rather unusual.
“My understanding is that it is only when the agencies enshrined with the task of investigation have done their work, when the papers are complete, they go to the A-G’s chambers. And there, the A-G, having studied the paper, will say yes we will proceed, or sometimes the investigation suggests that there is really no case or insufficient evidence to take the matter to court and to gain a conviction, so he will say there isn’t sufficient evidence to proceed, but he does not investigate.
“Why is he investigating this? Surely depending on the nature of the crime, if it has any elements of corruption, it is the MACC (tasked to investigate). If it is other types of crimes, we have the Police. I think they have enough experience.”
Tunku Abdul Aziz said the A-G’s intentions of ‘helping to guide the police in their investigation’ simply translates to interfering and influencing.
“If I had any respect for the A-G’s chambers then, they have lost my respect now,” Tunku Abdul Aziz said.
Meanwhile, commenting on the allegation that Dzulkifli had indulged in an extra-marital affair, Tunku Abdul Aziz stressed that matters of morality are private, as long as it does not affect one’s effectiveness at work.
“We did not appoint Dzulkifli to be the mufti of Masjid Negara. what did we appoint him to do? We appointed him to be the chief commissioner, the head of MACC to do what he is paid to do and I tell you this, as chairman of ACAB, he is doing a very good job.”
Tunku Abdul Aziz pointed out that if people are concerned about Dzulkifli’s private life, there is a law that will take care of that.
“If you want to be consistent about this, why did we not kick up a fuss and demand the resignation of the then deputy prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin who was involved in a celebrated case of adultery with a certain married lady?
“Why did the then A-G or the A-G’s chambers, for example, not set up a task force as they have done for Dzulkifli, to investigate the then DPM? We have to be consistent. Morality is not selective. What applies to one person in that high position, DPM of Malaysia, and here by comparison, a lowly appointee of government, there should be no double standards.
“There is a law for that, let that law dealing with this particular type of crime or offence deal with this,” he added.
The social activist lamented that there is a pressing need for Malaysia to return to ethical governance.
“Our ethical landscape is extremely murky and muddy. Corruption has taken hold of our public service and the private sector and we read about this on a daily basis. The MACC update is enough to make you feel that there are a lot of things wrong with our society, country, civil service and private sector,” he said, adding that corruption has become systemic in Malaysia.
“Therefore speaking as chairman of ACAB, our urgent task is to face this situation squarely. And this is something that the MACC is confronting very decisively and I think you can see the results again on an almost daily basis,” he said.
With many getting roped in for corrupt activities by the MACC, Tunku Abdul Aziz said the corrupt are beginning to feel the heat.
“Therefore what they are doing is to make sure that the chief commissioner is brought down and his organisation is brought into disrepute.
“Parties likely to be caught into the MACC net, are obviously desperate to save their lives. And so they want to tarnish and therefore render the MACC chief commissioner unfit for the job on account of his past relations with a married lady,” he said. – MO