KUALA LUMPUR, April 25 — Pasir Gudang MP Hassan Abdul Karim today accused the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) of mounting an attack on the judiciary with its investigation of senior judge Datuk Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali following questionable allegations of a million ringgit into the latter’s bank account.
Hassan, who is also a member in one of the MACC’s five oversight bodies, the Committee on Corruption, said such action was against the separation of powers in government.
“What the MACC is doing now against judge Datuk Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali, a Malaysian Court of Appeal judge, is not only a violation of the principle of separation of powers between the executive and the judiciary, but it is also an attack by an executive agency on the judiciary,” he said in a statement.
The federal lawmaker from PKR said the MACC must know that the public sees its investigation into the judge as linked to the latter’s involvement with the SRC International Sdn Bhd trial.
He urged the commission “not to be involved in revenge efforts by certain parties against Datuk Mohd Nazlan”.
Mohd Nazlan was the High Court judge who tried and found former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak guilty of misappropriating RM42 million from SRC International, a former unit of sovereign investment firm 1MDB in 2020.
Mohd Nazlan was elevated to the Court of Appeal in February this year.
On April 20, fugitive Malaysian blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin posted an article titled “Judge Mohd Nazlan being investigated for unexplained RM1 million in his bank account” on his Malaysia Today website.
Mohd Nazlan has since filed a police report on the allegation against him in the blog post, as confirmed by the Chief Registrar of the Federal Court in a statement last week. The chief registrar said Nazlan deemed the article as baseless and malicious.
Hassan said that the MACC also needs to be aware that there are certain parties whose actions can be considered an attack on judicial independence by attempting to tarnish the integrity of the trial judges.
He also pointed out that Mohd Nazlan’s guilty verdict on Najib in the SRC International case was upheld by a separate three-judge panel in the Court of Appeal.
While Hassan said that the law provides for the removal of judges for misconduct, there is proper procedure that must be followed “via an independent tribunal set up by the government with the consent of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong”.
“MACC needs to be aware that Datuk Mohd Nazlan was appointed as a judge of the Court of Appeal of Malaysia on the appointment of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, on the advice of the prime minister.
“The MACC cannot treat a court judge arbitrarily based on the existence of an official police report made against the judge,” Hassan said.
He added that if the MACC continues on its current course, it will create fear and affect the ability of judges to carry out their duties in court.
Hassan said the MACC should be mindful of its conduct and look to clear public doubt towards itself first.
“I call on the MACC to look at itself. Several official police reports have been lodged against MACC Chief Commissioner Tan Sri Azam regarding the issue of suspicious share purchases which raises the possibility of an offence under the MACC Act. I regret that till this day, no investigation has been done on Tan Sri Azam Baki,” he said.
He added that the suggestion by the MACC Committee on Corruption chaired by Senate president Tan Sri Rais Yatim for Azam to go on garden leave for an independent investigation has been ignored.