KUALA LUMPUR, May 28 — Syazlin Mansor, the counsel representing the Fire and Rescue Department and the Housing and Local Government Ministry, withdrew herself from an ongoing inquest after she was instructed to do so by the Attorney General, a minister’s political secretary has revealed.

According to Malaysiakini, Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin’s political secretary Nor Hizwan Ahmad said the revoking of Syazlin’s appointment for the inquest into fireman Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim’s death was done by way of a letter from AG Tommy Thomas.

“The ministry immediately acted in accordance with the AG’s advice and instructed its lawyer to withdraw from the inquest,” the Malaysiakini report quoted Nor Hizwan saying.

The report included the fact that Syazlin is also the wife of Zuraida’s press secretary Ahmad Soffian Mohd Shariff.

Syazlin shocked observers when she announced her withdrawal from the inquest yesterday morning.

Her withdrawal automatically nullifies independent forensic specialist Shahrom Abdul Wahid’s appointment as an expert witness.

Shahrom courted controversy when he was the only witness who told the inquest that Adib sustained injuries after he was pulled out of an Emergency Medical Rescue Services (EMRS) vehicle and assaulted.

The inquest is to probe the death of 24-year-old Adib who died last December 17, three weeks after he was severely injured during riots that broke out at the Sri Mahamariamman Hindu temple in Subang Jaya, Selangor on November 27.

Nor Hizwan, in the report, explained how the ministry had put great importance in the matter given a member of the department died while on duty.

He said Syazlin was then appointed at the initial stages to ensure all information surrounding Muhammad Adib’s death was unearthed during the inquest, with no objections raised at the get-go over her representation.

“It has been public knowledge that the lawyer has been representing the Fire and Rescue Department and the ministry since the inquest commenced on Feb 11, 2019.

“No objections were raised by any of the parties involved in the inquest throughout the course of the inquest which is nearing its end,” he added.

Also sharing their disappointment over Syazlin’s withdrawal was Parti Bumiputra Perkasa Malaysia Youth chief Nasrul Ali Hassan Abdul Latif, who through a statement today said her revoking was an incorrect and suspicious move especially considering the inquest is reaching its conclusion.

“It is as though there are parties looking to conceal certain statements,” he said in a statement.

Nasrul said his Youth Wing had lodged a report at the Jalan Datuk Haij Eusoff police station to get them to investigate whether Syazlin’s withdrawal involved any element of criminal intimidation as alleged in the report.  

Meanwhile, Malaysiakini also reported that Gerakan Pembela Ummah (Ummah), a collection of pro-Islam NGOs is considering staging another mass protest over Syazlin’s withdrawal.

Chairperson of Ummah, Aminuddin Yahaya was quoted saying the group demanded the government reveal the content of the said letter from the AG instructing Syazlin’s withdrawal, which he claimed had fed to the rise of conspiracy theories.

They also demanded Zuraida, Thomas, and Syazlin all take the stand as witnesses at the inquest to determine if there were any underhand tactics being used to conceal the truth.

“Ummah also does not rule out organising mass people’s rallies to demand justice for Adib if there is no positive action from those responsible,” he was quoted saying in the report.

The group also said a petition would be set up and sent to the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong and the prime minister demanding the removal of Thomas as the AG.