PM: Solicitor-General to fill in as Apandi put on garden leave

Speaking to the media at a press conference here, Dr Mahathir said Apandi could not be suspended as there were only allegations and complaints against him. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Speaking to the media at a press conference here, Dr Mahathir said Apandi could not be suspended as there were only allegations and complaints against him. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

PUTRAJAYA, May 14 — Attorney-General Tan Sri Apandi Ali has been placed on indefinite leave and his duties will be assumed by the Solicitor-General until further notice, said Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Speaking to the media at a press conference here, Dr Mahathir said Apandi could not be suspended as there were only allegations and complaints against him.

“AG will be on leave and his place in the Pardons Board will be taken over by the Solicitor-General, who can execute the role of an AG,” he said.

The Solicitor-General is currently Datuk Engku Nor Faizah Engku Atek, who has the powers of a deputy public prosecutor and may assume the AG’s prosecutorial role in the latter’s absence or incapacity, under the subsection 376(2) of the Criminal Procedure Code.

Dr Mahathir explained that he could not suspend the AG on mere whim, as there were processes and procedures that must be observed before such a step could be taken.

“We have to follow the rule of law,” the PM explained.

“Which is why we want him to be on holiday. Unless someone lodges an official report against him, we cannot investigate.”

He added that such a report had not yet been lodged despite the suspicions of Apandi, saying it was also necessary to fully investigate the AG prior to a suspension.

When asked if more agency heads would need to follow Apandi and Tan Sri Dzulkifli Ahmad who resigned as Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief this morning, Dr Mahathir said only that his administration will “do things according to rules and procedure”.

Tan Sri Shahrir Samad also formally resigned as chairman of Federal Land Development Authority (Felda) this evening.

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