Malaysian Bar approves motion seeking AG’s resignation

The 70th annual general meeting of the Malaysian Bar takes place at the Renaissance Hotel Kuala Lumpur, March 19, 2016. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng
The 70th annual general meeting of the Malaysian Bar takes place at the Renaissance Hotel Kuala Lumpur, March 19, 2016. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

KUALA LUMPUR, March 19 — Members of the Malaysian Bar have voted through a motion calling on Tan Sri Mohd Apandi Ali to resign as Attorney-General, following debate at its annual general meeting today.

“Around 700 (in favour). Passed already,” a source within the AGM informed Malay Mail Online.

The motion was proposed by Charles Hector, Francis Pereira and Shanmugam Ramasamy, and called for Apandi to step down over his handling of the cases involving 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), former 1MDB unit SRC International, and the transfer of RM2.6 billion into the prime minister’s personal accounts.

Another source present in the AGM later confirmed that 744 voted for the motion and 62 against while 12 abstained.

“It should (carry weight). It’s coming from the Malaysian Bar, which is the sole body representing practising lawyers in Peninsular Malaysia,” president Steven Thiru told reporters after the AGM.

In the motion adopted, the Malaysian Bar resolved to call on Apandi to resign immediately “for the good of Malaysia, to restore public confidence and perception of the rule of law, in particular the administration of criminal justice in Malaysia.”

The Bar also called for the Solicitor-General to assume the role of public prosecutor in cases involving Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, 1Malaysia Development Berhad, SRC international and the RM2.6 billion.

The resolution also has the Bar urging Apandi to immediately resign as director in Lembaga Tabung Haji, and any positions held in companies, statutory body, or legal entities save those positions that the law specifically requires.

Apandi told a press conference on January 26 that he found the prime minister did not commit any criminal offence in cases of SRC International and the RM2.6 billion.

He said that the RM2.6 billion was a donation from a Saudi royal and that Najib was not aware that money had been transferred into his personal accounts from SRC International.

Aside from the motion, the Malaysian Bar has also filed for a judicial review of the AG’s decisions in the cases mentioned and sought court orders to enable the Solicitor-General to act as the interim AG.