KUALA LUMPUR – Despite facing various criticisms for the past eight months he has been in office, Attorney-General Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali said he enjoyed his job and would take criticisms as a challenge.
Mohamed Apandi said as long as his duties involved the law of which he had a passion for, he would always take them as challenges and said that he loved challenges.
He said this when asked by Bernama Chairman Datuk Seri Azman Ujang to describe his tenure as the Attorney-General for the past eighth months, during the question and answer session after Mohamed Apandi gave a luncheon talk titled “Media dan Undang-undang: Perspektif Negara” (Media and the Law: National Perspective) to editors and media practitioners at a hotel here.
Mohamed Apandi said the eight-month that he had been in office was neither “terrible nor conducive”, but he regarded them as trying and challenging.
“My interest is always there, I am enjoying the job and I take the critics in stride,” he said.
Mohamed Apandi was formerly a Federal Court judge before he was appointed Attorney-General on July 27 last year replacing Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail, whose service was terminated due to health reasons.
To another question by The Sun’s editor R. Nadeswaran, on the need of sub judice rule as it raised a gap in journalism, Mohamed Apandi said to avoid judges to be influenced, there was the need to maintain the sub judice rule.
“Judges are human, they are supposed to give decisions without fear or favour but when they are sitting (on the bench), he is confronted with so many supporters for example the accused person staring at him, I heard judges telling me, indicating to me that they feel the fear. The element of the fear factor is there.
“Judges are also human, they have the fear factor, so to avoid that, it is better to still maintain the sub judice principle,” he said.
Mohamed Apandi explained that judges might have not only been influenced by the writing, even the mere people present in the courtroom could also create fear in the judges.
Sub judice means the public are prohibited to discuss anywhere on any case which is still under judicial consideration.
During the press conference, Mohamed Apandi said journalists had the right to sue politicians and ministers who had denied their statements by saying that journalists had misquoted them.
He said that once in a while, journalists had to teach a lesson against them by bringing the cases in court, adding that not all politicians were like that.
During the press conference, Mohamed Apandi said the investigation papers (IPs) opened on former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, has yet to be referred to him for further action.
“I have not seen the IPs yet. The police may have sent the papers to my officers, in the prosecution department. In the final analysis if they (prosecution) want to make any decision they have to refer to me, but they have yet to refer to me until now,” he said when asked on the development of the case.
On April 16, Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar had said that police were waiting for the Attorney-General’s decision on four IPs opened on Tun Dr Mahathir.
On the establishment of the Media Council, he said the draft of the law on the matter had been completed, but he needed feedback from the stakeholder (media) as there was some resistance to it.
“The draft law is completed but we still need your feedback because we notice there are some resistance from your side. So I want to open up and study what are the resistance, may be we can overcome the resistance, we are still in the drafting stage, I can still amend, we can accommodate whatever resistance you want to say,” he said.
Questioned again on the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) case, Mohamed Apandi clarified that he had directed further investigation in respect of other personalities who might be involved in the matter.
“And I am yet to receive back the IPs pertaining to that directive, until now they have not come back,” he said. – BERNAMA