Why is Apandi Ali still the Attorney General of Malaysia?

“Back in the eighties and throughout the better part of the nineties, Kit Siang was dead against Mahathir’s anti-free market policies which he claimed were rowing against the tide of globalisation. When Mahathir restricted currency trading, he was the first to jump and scream as if the country was going bankrupt. But today, the two are sitting side by side on a bench dedicated to rubbishing Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak’s equal opportunity policies. Today, they seem to be saying that the Prime Minister needs to subsidise the goods and services sector and control the national currency for the sake of the people”

THE THIRD FORCE

The following was The Malaysian Insight’s (Insight) headline pertaining a speech delivered by the Minister of Demestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism, Dato’ Seri Hamzah Zainuddin.

The caption was designed to impress upon Malaysians that the minister had asked Malaysians to quit whining about the rising cost of goods. According to Insight, the minister told delegates during the UMNO general assembly that it was God who wanted the cost of living to be the way it is. Within minutes of floating the editorial, netizens expressed outrage and began mocking Hamzah, with one Facebook user saying “the circus is in town, and guess who’s the chief clown.”

Yes, Jahabar Sadiq got what he wanted. He knows that a vast majority of Malaysians tend only to read headlines and derive their conclusions therefrom. The whole purpose of the exercise – which represents an all new low in journalistic scruples – was to incite hatred among Malaysians against the Federal Government and the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak.

If one were to examine Hamzah’s speech carefully – which I did – one would immediately notice how the minister cited a verse from the Hadith to imply that Governments subscribing to principles of Islamic administration were forbidden from interfering with the forces of free market. Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but was it not Lim Kit Siang who, since the late seventies, demanded that the government advocate principles of free market and merger?

Following the privatisation of the North South Expressway project and its awarding to United Engineers (M) Berhad (UEM) – the main publicly-listed company of Hatibudi, an UMNO investment arm – in 1986, Kit Siang charged the Mahathir administration of favouritism, saying the project should have been awarded through a limited tender forbidding the participation of UMNO linked companies. It was then that the senior Lim accused government of instituting a crony-controlled goods and services sector that was artificially expanded through heavy subsidies.

Yes, back in the eighties and throughout the better part of the nineties, Kit Siang was dead against Mahathir’s anti-free market policies which he claimed were rowing against the tide of globalisation. When Mahathir restricted currency trading, he was the first to jump and scream as if the country was going bankrupt. But today, the two are sitting side by side on a bench dedicated to rubbishing Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak’s equal opportunity policies. Today, they seem to be saying that the Prime Minister needs to subsidise the goods and services sector and control the national currency for the sake of the people.

And to help deliver that message, they’re getting Dato’ Seri Mohamed Apandi Ali’s brother in-law to manipulate speeches delivered by UMNO ministers in all earnest. Now does that not reek of a conflict of interest in the strictest of terms possible, particularly since Apandi helms the office of Attorney-General, the principal legal advisory to government that is required to be transparent, impartial and devoid of partisan interests?

So tell me, why is Apandi still the Attorney-General of Malaysia?

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