KUALA LUMPUR, July 9 — A senior federal counsel who was nearly cited for contempt during the inquest of former DAP aide Teoh Beng Hock a decade ago will be appointed solicitor general next week, according to a news report.
The Malaysian Insight reported Datuk Abdul Razak Musa has been named to take on the position from July 14, replacing outgoing Solicitor General Datuk Engku Nor Faizah Engku Atek, who will turn 60 this month.
The news portal cited a July 8 appointment letter purportedly signed by Attorney General Tan Sri Idrus Harun.
Abdul Razak was previously the chairman of the Prevention of Crime and Terrorism Board, which is under the Home Ministry.
Ten years ago, Abdul Razak was criticised for his role as a senior federal counsel for the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) in the inquest of Teoh, a political aide to the then Selangor lawmaker and state executive councillor Ean Yong Hian Wah.
Teoh, a witness in a corruption probe into alleged misappropriation of Selangor funds, was found dead on the fifth floor corridor of Plaza Masalam in Shah Alam, Selangor, on July 16, 2009, after giving a statement at the then MACC office located on the 14th floor of the same building.
During the inquest, Abdul Razak suggested that Teoh had strangled himself with a tie, contradicting expert witness and Thai pathologist Dr Pornthip Rojanasunand who believed his death was most likely due to a homicide.
Razak was also known to have constantly traded barbs with Dr Pornthip throughout the inquest.
Abdul Razak was almost cited for contempt because he made certain remarks about the late lawyer Karpal Singh’s disability.
He was widely reported to have said “I can sit but you cannot stand” to Karpal Singh, who was wheelchair-bound.
A war of words ensued between Abdul Razak and Karpal Singh as well as Karpal’s son Gobind Singh Deo who was acting on behalf of Teoh’s family over the former’s remarks. The father and son lawyers demanded Abdul Razak be cited for contempt of court.
In 2016, Abdul Razak also acted as a deputy public prosecutor in the murder trial of deputy public prosecutor Kevin Morais at the High Court.
The solicitor general assists the attorney general and is empowered to perform any of the functions that can be performed by the latter; this is provided under Section 40A of the Eleventh Schedule to the Federal Constitution.