Apandi Ali needs to resign as Attorney-General with immediate effect

THE THIRD FORCE

The Malaysian Insight (Insight) is a fake news portal dedicated to casting the administration of Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak in bad light. Run by Jahabar Sadiq, the portal happens to be a partisan spinoff of the now defunct The Malaysian Insider (TMI), once owned and managed by the principal director of The Edge Media Group, Ho Kay Tat. Together with Jahabar, Tat played a major role in weakening the Malaysian ringgit by rolling out fake news designed to frighten investors and hurt stock prices.

Following allegations that Jahabar’s own sister, Puan Sri Faridah Begum K A Abdul Kader, helped bankroll the publication of insidiously subversive material against government via Insight, Dato’ Seri Mohamed Apandi Ali should resign as Attorney-General of Malaysia with immediate effect as his ability to act in a manner that is equitable and without prejudice is now in question.

The reason being, he would sooner or later need to exercise his discretion under Article 145 of the Federal Constitution to decide if or not to institute court proceedings against Faridah, his partner in matrimony. The need to exercise that discretion follows as a natural consequence to a police report that Faridah lodged against blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin (RPK) and Malaysia Today on the 15th of February 2018.

According to rumours, Faridah’s concern was with allegations by the United Kingdom (UK) based blogger that she helped bankroll Insight’s operations on a lavish RM10 million-a-year budget via Inside Media Sdn Bhd, the company said to own Insight. According to RPK, the RM20 million or so that Faridah and her partner in the RM2 concern have thus far received is not reflected in any of its books.

The report will likely trigger investigations into Inside Media’s methods of funding that, if found in breach of Malaysian laws, would require the filing of criminal proceedings against the shareholders of Inside Media and possibly even Jahabar himself. Question is, can we expect the AG to place the law above his personal prejudices where it concerns his wife and brother in-law?

The fact that such a question exists is reason enough to demand Apandi’s resignation with immediate effect. A recusal alone may not suffice, as the risk of there being bias should someone subordinate to the AG decide on proceedings is one the Government of Malaysia and the Yang di-Pertuan Agong can never afford. There is no saying what the AG would resort to in a possible attempt to safeguard his interests and those of his wife and brother in-law, if any.

Besides, can anyone expect Apandi to discharge his duties as principal legal advisor to government in a manner that is fair and equitable when his own wife and brother in-law are suspected of sabotaging that very government?

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