Nazri suggests ‘selective prosecution’ with elements of revenge during Pakatan rule

Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz speaks during a press conference at Parliament in Kuala Lumpur August 18, 2020. ― Picture by Miera Zulyana
Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz speaks during a press conference at Parliament in Kuala Lumpur August 18, 2020. ― Picture by Miera Zulyana

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 30 — Selective prosecution tinged with revenge had occurred under the previous Pakatan Harapan government and these cases are still in court, Umno’s Padang Rengas MP Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz alleged today.

Nazri today said he wished to ask both the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission and the Attorney General’s Chambers whether ongoing criminal prosecutions in court are prosecutions that are free of any malicious intent that “may be present and existing” when the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition was in government.

Nazri cited PH’s own election manifesto in the 14th general election, as he suggested that the coalition had failed to fulfill its promise not to do so after coming into power in the 2018 election.

“What we see is the issue of prosecution that had elements of revenge, and there were also cases that proceeded halfway and were then withdrawn.

“This is an action that is not good, because it was promised in their manifesto that there would not be selective prosecution. And independence must be given to the courts, the MACC and also AGC for them to fulfill their responsibilities without interference from the government,” he said in the Dewan Rakyat while debating on Budget 2021 at the committee stage.

While Nazri did not name those charged during the PH administration, multiple high-profile criminal trials had been initiated during PH’s rule, including ongoing corruption cases against senior Umno leaders such as former party president Datuk Seri Najib Razak and current party president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, and Umno treasurer Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor. These three had also held senior government positions, namely as former prime minister, former deputy prime minister and former minister. 

Others that had been charged in court during the PH rule included former Sabah chief minister and former Sabah Umno chief Datuk Seri Musa Aman whose 46 corruption and money-laundering charges were dropped after the PN government took over due to unavailability of certain witnesses or certain documents, while Najib’s stepson Riza Shahriz Abdul Aziz’s money-laundering case was also dropped after the prosecution asked for a discharge not amounting to acquittal. The dropping of Riza’s case also took place after the PN government took over.

At this point, PKR’s Hang Tuah Jaya MP Datuk Seri Shamsul Iskandar Mohd Akin interjected to ask about his opinion of an investigation of a senior minister involved in a video incident that appeared to have been closed, without naming such a minister.

Nazri then responded by stressing that promises made by the Perikatan Nasional government must be fulfilled as the public are smart and not fools, while also saying that excuses should not be made by referring to the previous Pakatan Harapan administration.

“Two wrongs do not make one right. If it is wrong, it is still wrong. That’s why I ask the AGC, MACC and also the police, not to have selective prosecution and also don’t have selective investigations. What is promised must be fulfilled, if not, the public will punish us in the general election,” he said.

Earlier in his debate speech, Nazri said he welcomed Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s statement when the Perikatan Nasional government was formed that all appointments made must have passed the “acid test” on integrity, which means that those selected as ministers and deputy ministers had to be free of cases against them.

“So my hope is that what was said has to be fulfilled, but we should also remember that it must not only be done, it must also be seen to be done,” he had said, before suggesting the alleged selective prosecution during PH’s rule.

In response to Nazri’s comments on prosecution action by the public prosecutor or attorney general, minister in charge of Parliament and law Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan today highlighted the public prosecutor’s powers under Article 145 of the Federal Constitution to initiate, conduct or discontinue any proceedings for an offence. 

In the Dewan Rakyat, Takiyuddin also highlighted the powers of the attorney general under Section 376 of the Criminal Procedure Code over the control and direction of all criminal prosecutions and proceedings.

Related Articles