A-G‘S CLAIM OF ACTING PROFESSIONALLY IN SEDITION CHARGES IS HIGHLY QUESTIONABLE
31 October 2014
I refer to A-G Tan Sri Gani Patail’s statement on 30 Oct 2014 that he does not prosecute at his “whims and fancies”. This was in response to widespread criticism over the recent blitz of sedition charges.
The A-G’s claim that he had exercised prosecution powers properly is unbelievable. Over 30 persons were charged or investigated in the Ops-Lallang style crackdown – most of which were based on police reports made by Umno members or pro-BN right-wing groups.
On 14th August, just days before the sedition crackdown began, the A-G had a closed-door meeting with 60 Umno division leaders. Despite public calls for him to disclose the truth about the meeting , the A-G has remained silent.
Also, on September 10, due to public criticism, the A-G issued a statement promising to review the recent sedition charges. But there was no further action at all. Instead more persons were hauled up to be investigated or prosecuted under the draconian Sedition Act.
The A-G claimed that there was a ‘context’ when Ibrahim Ali made his controversial ‘bible-burning statement”, and therefore he was not prosecuted. However Gani Patail clearly did not bother with the ‘context’ when he charged MP Khalid Samad for his opinion on the powers of MAIS or lawyer and MP N Surendran for his statement defending his client Anwar Ibrahim in the Sodomy II case or Professor Azmi Shahrom for his legal opinion.
These charges done in a short span of time and, we believe, in response to direct pressure from UMNO upper echelon leaders, show there was nothing professional about the manner in which the A-G had decided to initiate them.
These sedition charges are a matter of grave concern for Malaysians and have been internationally condemned. We urge the A-G to do the right thing by urgently reviewing and dropping all the sedition charges now pending in the courts.
HEAD OF LEGAL & HUMAN RIGHTS BUREAU, KEADILAN
MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT, SUBANG