KUALA LUMPUR, May 10 — The recent settlement made to former attorney general Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali was done without having its terms referred to then prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad who was sued, together with the then Pakatan Harapan (PH) government which he led, Parti Pejuang Tanah Air (Pejuang) said in a statement today.
The party’s Youth Wing information chief, Akif Rusli said the settlement raises many questions, as it involves a huge sum of money that was paid out.
Akif also urged current Attorney General Tan Sri Idrus Harun to explain if the settlement involved interference from “the highest administration” in Umno.
“This settlement was made without referring the terms to Dr Mahathir, as one of the clients of the Attorney General’s Chambers. The terms of the settlement also involves the granting of a large sum of money to Apandi Ali.
“At the initial stage, the legal advice given during the termination of Apandi Ali’s contract and prior to the settlement of this lawsuit, there was not a single action that was contrary to law. The people have the right to know the settlement amount and why the Malaysian government agreed to make the payment. The money belongs to the people. Is it because Apandi Ali had ties to Umno before this?” he asked.
He also described the settlement Apandi received as “so easy”, as it was made without any acknowledgment of liability.
“What does it mean? There is no wrong confession from the parties sued, namely the government of Malaysia and Dr Mahathir. This clearly confuses the people,” he added.
Akif said that terms of the settlement were also kept a secret before the Kuala Lumpur High Court and were not recorded in the consent settlement order.
He also questioned if the settlement was not publicised owing to Mohamed Apandi’s link to Umno.
Mohamed Apandi was previously the chairman of Umno’s disciplinary board until his resignation in January 2020.
Akif added that the termination of Mohamed Apandi’s contract is very different from the dismissal of his predecessor, Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail, adding that Abdul Gani’s dismissal was done in a hurry, especially when he was examining the investigation paper on the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) case involving then Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
He said that Mohamed Apandi’s relationship with Umno did not end with his resignation in 1991, especially after a viral video of him “dancing happily with Umno leaders while serving as the attorney general”.
Mohamed Apandi was an Umno member from 1982 till 1991, during which he was also the Pengkalan Chepa Umno division’s Youth wing chief.
“He instructed to close three investigation papers on two Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) investigation cases related to SRC International and the RM2.6 billion fund. Integrity issues arised. Apandi Ali was also re-appointed as a member of the Umno Supreme Council on July 14, 2018 for the 2018-2021 term. Is this not a conflict of interest?
“Is the dismissal of Apandi Ali made earlier wrong? How could the attorney general at that time be fair in advising the Malaysian government? This is clearly a conflict of interest. Is the solution solely for the benefit of Umno cronies?” he asked, adding that the current situation surrounding the issue “is not a pretty picture of the concept of the Malaysian Family”.
”This is more to the concept of the Umno Family. The people are set aside, Umno is given priority. The Attorney General must explain the situation to the people,” Akif added.
Mohamed Apandi recently said that Dr Mahathir has no right to question the settlement made between him and the federal government over his RM2.23 million wrongful dismissal suit.
Mohamed Apandi, who is also a former Federal Court judge, claimed that Dr Mahathir seemed to be deliberately stirring up attention by raising the issue when the out-of-court settlement had been concluded some three weeks ago.
Last week, Dr Mahathir expressed discontent over the government’s move to resolve out of court the suit filed by Mohamed Apandi against both himself and the Malaysian government.
In a recent statement to national news agency Bernama, Idrus confirmed that Dr Mahathir had recently written to him to obtain information on the terms of settlement, to which he had subsequently conveyed as requested.
On April 13, it was reported that the suit filed by Mohamed Apandi against Dr Mahathir over the termination of the former’s contract as AG was settled amicably in the Kuala Lumpur High Court.
Lawyer Datuk Baljit Singh Sidhu, who represented Mohamed Apandi as the plaintiff in the case, said the terms of settlement could not be revealed.
It was reported that Apandi had filed the suit on October 13, 2020, naming Dr Mahathir and the government, respectively as first and second defendants, seeking among others a declaration of termination of his contract as the AG, made by the former prime minister, as invalid.