A couple of days ago I posted Corruption allegations - AG more like Defence Attorney?
‘Twas based on a malaysiakini report that Mohamad Ramli Abdul Manan, a former Sabah ACA chief who whistle-blew on the alleged corruption and alleged sexual abuse committed by the former ACA boss, stated the AG and the man he cleared, said former ACA boss Zulkipli, were good mates when they were both serving in Sabah.
Ramli reminded us that in March he had stated the AG, Gani, should not be investigating Zulkipli’s case. This is the common known provenance to avoid the issue of conflict of interest, and did not necessarily suggest any sinister outcome.
Unfortunately Gani himself chose to ignore the case of conflict of interest in clearing Zulkipli of the alleged corruption and sexual abuse.
As I remarked, this is not to say that Gani was incorrect, but in a fully transparent and accountable democracy, a situation of perceived (only perceived and not necessarily real) 'conflict of interest' would automatically taint his clearing Zulkipli of the alegations.
Why in the world would the nation’s No 1 law officer allow himself to be seen in such bad light, where now, and unfairly to Zulkipli, his pronouncement are viewed with skepticism, suspicions and sneers.
Additionally Gani had the unmitigated audacity to usurp the PM’s authority in instructing the ACA to cease investigations into the IGP’s alleged corruption.
Again Gani didn’t do the IGP any favour because there is now also a perception, perhaps wrongly, that his precipitous and unauthorized actions were driven by sweetheart considerations rather than proper investigative outcomes. It has also become a gross injustice to the IGP’s case.
So it has been hardly surprising that after Lim Guan Eng, the DAP secretary-general, asked Gani to make public the investigation papers into both Zulkifli and Musa Hassan, to prove that a thorough probe was conducted in accordance with the principles of integrity, transparency and accountability, we hear from malaysiakini that Transparency International Malaysia, an anti-corruption watchdog, has demanded full public disclosure of the basis for the government’s (meaning Gani Patail’s) dismissal of corruption allegations against said two officials.
All these are reflections of public concerns and perceptions that the government has not been acting properly, in fact, rather dodgily, and all these have come about because the AG has not conducted himself above reproach.
Regardless of whether public criticisms of his bizarre actions are valid or otherwise, I believe that we cannot afford to have the nation’s No 1 law officer not knowing simple principles of public governance like ‘conflict of interest’ and what the lines of communication exists for the ACA. The latter also reflects indirectly on his own lack of understanding of what his functions and authority as an AG are, and their limitations.
Quite frankly, in any democracy, he should resign for his lack of knowledge or/and bizzare actions, or the PM should ask for his resignation, or even sack him.
With an election just around the corner, the BN cannot afford to have him still as the AG. The opposition will be using these public ‘perceptions’ with much glee if the PM condones such inexplicable conduct by his AG.