Three senior judges went to meet Najib at his residence and advised him to remove Gani Patail because the government cannot afford to have an AG who abuses his position to promote his personal agenda and that of the ANC. Najib asked the three judges if he removes Gani then who should be appointed as his replacement and they suggested Apandi Ali. Azeez Rahim, who was privy to this information, then rushed over to meet Apandi and informed him that Gani was going to be removed as the AG and that three people are being considered for the job — Shafee Abdullah being one of them and the top contender for the job. Azeez then told Apandi he will help him lobby for the job and will make sure he gets it.
THE CORRIDORS OF POWER
Raja Petra Kamarudin
When the then Attorney General, Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail, set up the Special Task Force in July 2015 — comprising of himself, the then Governor of Bank Negara Malaysia, Tan Sri Zeti Akhtar Aziz, the then Inspector General of Police, Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar, and the then Chief Commissioner of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, Tan Sri Abu Kassim Mohamed — it was done without Cabinet approval. A Special Task Force requires Cabinet approval or else it would be deemed illegal.
The purpose of this Special Task Force was to initiate an investigation into Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak regarding the allegation that Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad made — which was Najib had ‘stolen’ RM42 billion of 1MDB’s money and that the RM42 billion had ‘disappeared into thin air’. Their aim was basically to enable the ANC (Anti-Najib Campaign) to topple Najib in the Cabinet Meeting scheduled for later that month on 29th July 2015 by using the 1MDB issue as the leverage to get Najib to resign or else face arrest.
Whether a case exists or can be built against Najib was not material. What they wanted was Najib’s resignation and even if they do not proceed with a case after that it does not matter. The objective of forcing Najib’s resignation would be achieved anyway.
Three senior judges — Tun Arifin Zakaria, the then Chief Justice, Tan Sri Md Raus Sharif, the then President of the Court of Appeal, and Tan Sri Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin, the Chief Judge of Malaya — went to meet Najib at his residence and advised him to remove Gani because the government cannot afford to have an AG who abuses his position to promote his personal agenda and that of the ANC.
Najib asked the three judges if he removed Gani then who should be appointed as his replacement and they suggested Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali.
Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim, the Chairman of Lembaga Tabung Haji, who was privy to this information, then rushed over to meet Apandi and informed him that Gani was going to be removed as the AG and that three people are being considered for the job — Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Muhamad Abdullah being one of them and the top contender for the job. Azeez then told Apandi he will help him lobby for the job and will make sure he gets it.
Actually, based on the recommendation of the three judges, Apandi was the sole contender and Shafee was not in the running at all, let alone the top contender. But Azeez needed to make it appear like it was a tight race and that Shafee was in the lead to give an impression that it was going to be a tough assignment for Azeez to lobby for Apandi and if he succeeds it is going to be almost like a miracle. The truth is Shafee was Najib’s personal legal adviser and there was no way he was going to let Shafee go.
Azeez wanted Apandi to feel that he is very crucial to the whole thing and without his help Apandi would not get the job. Azeez wanted to curry favour with Apandi because if he can control the AG then he can make a lot of money in influence-peddling when people want to make deals to settle cases. Both those in the underworld and the corporate world would pay a lot of money to ‘settle’ legal cases and some of these cases cost as high as millions, as many in the legal profession can tell you.
One example involved a Chinese businessman who was a business partner of D.Y.M.M Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar, the Sultan of Johor. Apandi demanded RM4 million from him on a case he had won and when he did not pay they sent Chinese gangsters to his house to threaten that they would kidnap his son if he refused to pay the RM4 million.
Fearing for his life the Chinese businessman went to see the Sultan and asked Tuanku what to do and whether he should pay. The Sultan was furious and immediately phoned Apandi, who happened to be in London at that time and fast asleep. The Sultan gave Apandi the dressing-down of his life and was flabbergasted when Apandi replied that since the Chinese chap had won his case then he needs to ‘pay something’.
The Sultan replied that Apandi was a judge (when the case took place) so what business does he have asking for money to win cases? The Sultan then complained to Najib, who was also furious about the incident. Apandi eventually called off the gangsters but the poor Chinese businessman was so disturbed that he ended up in hospital after almost collapsing from a heart attack.