Monday, September 26, 2022

“Incompetent DPPs: AG should hire private sector lawyers to prosecute”

“Incompetent DPPs: AG should hire private sector lawyers to prosecute”

By Prof Ramasamy Palanisamy

THE Shah Alam High Court judge could have made the right decision in acquitting former deputy prime minister and UMNO president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi of corruption in the case of the foreign visa system (VLN).

It is without a doubt that the prosecution’s witnesses were unreliable and the money trail could not be conclusively established between those who gave the bribes and the receiver, Zahid.

Perhaps it didn’t cross the mind of the judge that the bribe in bigger currency notes might have been possibly placed in the envelopes.

I believe that the question of whether the envelopes used to contain the currency might have missed the core issue of corruption – whether there were reasonable grounds to believe that Zahid was indeed the receiver of the bribes.

Prof Ramasamy Palanisamy

As I have said earlier, the judgment in acquitting Zahid might have been appropriate on the basis of the evidence before the judge.

The onus was on the proof established by the prosecution.

Sad to say, the prosecution represented by the deputy public prosecutors (DPPs) did not do the job that was expected of them.

Differing standard

There is world of difference in the way the former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor were prosecuted in comparison to how Zahid was prosecuted.

It is mind-boggling that such an important case could have been dealt with in a frivolous manner by the DPPs.

The Attorney-General (AG) must ensure that competent and senior DPPs must be allowed to prosecute in high-profile cases.

If not possible, then private sector lawyers should be hired to prosecute. In fact, there are many private sector lawyers who are willing to do the job of cleaning the country of the scourge of corruption.

If ex-premier Najib could be prosecuted and convicted on the basis of solid incontrovertible evidence, I don’t understand why the prosecution failed to establish the crucial bribery linkages between the receiver and the givers in Zahid’s case.

I don’t understand why the matter of other high-ranking politicians who apparently received bribes from the foreign visa company was brought up during the trial.

Whether it was done to dilute the case against Zahid or to show the extent of the money trail remains unclear.

As I have commented before, I don’t think that the judiciary can be faulted on the matter of Zahid’s acquittal.

Below par prosecution

My question is simple: why did the prosecution under the jurisdiction of the AG Chambers not present a thorough case against Zahid?

It did not matter whether Zahid was guilty or not, but the prosecution had a responsibility in ensuring the safeguarding of public interests.

I understand over the years that the country has lost more than RM1 tril due to corruption. Corruption has been a massive financial drain on the country.

Money meant for public projects has been diverted to the coffers of those engaged in corruption.

After Zahid was acquitted, the AG Tan Sri Idrus Harun had commented that the decision of the judge would be scrutinised before an appeal could be thought of.

I sincerely hope that Idrus doesn’t disappoint Malaysians. – Sept 26, 2022

Prof Ramasamy Palanisamy is the state assemblyperson for Perai. He is also Deputy Chief Minister II of Penang.


  1. Incompetent DPPs, a very complying AG r all part & parcel of the ketuanan agenda.

  2. The good professor seems to contradict himself.

    On one hand he conceded that the judgement was correct based on facts presented by the prosecution. And he questioned the competence of the prosecutors.

    But then he seems to hope that the AG will appeal the decision to acquit Zahid.

    For me, there was no doubt Zahid is guilty. I cannot believe that notwithstanding whether his assistant used the signature stamp without his knowledge, surely it would be expected that he would be checking the monthly statements to ascertain the goings on of his accounts and to keep track of the money. It boggles the mind to be told he did not know that his assistant was using the cheques to pay his personal credit card bills.

    But, I still hope the AG will appeal the decision.

    1. Prof was very careful not to insult the Judge hence his tip-toing through the tulips