KUALA LUMPUR, May 28 — Syazlin Mansor, the counsel representing the Fire and Rescue Department and the Housing and Local Government Ministry, should have declined her appointment in the first place, Attorney General (AG) Tommy Thomas said today.
In a statement, Thomas pointed out four reasons why, including Syazlin taking an active role that is contrary to the position of the deputy public prosecutors (DPPs), and therefore causing embarrassment as a lawyer to the ministry.
Thomas also highlighted Syazlin’s husband’s position as the press secretary to Minister Zuraida Kamarudin herself.
“My officers, who are performing their traditional role as counsel assisting the Coroner, have informed me that Syazlin takes an active part in the Inquest, often contradicting the positions our DPPs have taken, thus causing embarrassment in her capacity as the Ministry’s lawyer.
“Syazlin’s husband is employed as Press Secretary to the Housing Minister. It is for these reasons that I requested the Housing Minister to immediately revoke her appointment from further representing the Ministry and the Fire Department,” Thomas said.
Thomas also stressed that the Housing Ministry and the Fire Department, like all other ministries and government departments, should have sought legal advice from the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC).
In addition, Syazlin was in a conflict of interest when she agreed to act for all three parties, with Thomas calling her decision “unacceptable”.
Thomas however said he was shocked to find that Syazlin had also withdrawn from representing Adib’s family, saying this decision was voluntarily made by her without any influence from the AGC.
He said DPP Faten Hadni Khairuddin had told Syazlin that the AGC has no issue with her continuing to represent the family, but Syazlin had insisted on withdrawing.
“Prof Shahrom is an expert witness assisting the Coroner in the Inquest. His role in the Inquest is not affected by Syazlin’s withdrawal as counsel.
“DPP Faten informed the Coroner that Chambers is prepared to assist the Coroner by subpoenaing Prof Shahrom. We will do so,” Thomas said.
Yesterday, Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin announced Syazlin’s withdrawal from the inquest over concerns regarding a conflict of interest.