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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Zaid questions extent of AG, PP powers to impose or drop charges


Zaid Ibrahim has questioned to what extent the Attorney-General (AG) or the public prosecutor should have unlimited powers to impose or drop charges.

The former minister cited the discharge amounting to an acquittal (DAA) granted to KK Mart founder Chai Kee Kan, his wife Loh Siew Mui, and three directors of Xin Jian Chang Sdn Bhd, regarding the socks bearing the word Allah, as an example of such powers.

Yesterday, the Shah Alam Sessions Court fined KK Mart and the socks supplier RM60,000 each over the socks bearing the word Allah scandal.

The decision came after the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) agreed with the accused's letter of representation. The prosecution team applied for the withdrawal of charges via a discharge not amounting to an acquittal (DNAA), but the criminal court agreed to a DAA instead after the defence team argued for it.

Taking to X, Zaid questioned why the AG withdrew the charges if there was insufficient evidence to begin with.

“Of course, the AG and those working under him are honourable and upright lawyers. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be in the position.

“They would never think of abusing their powers. Even if there is pressure from top politicians, they would gallantly resist it,” he said.

Powerful office

He added that the AG or prosecutor’s office is a powerful one which can choose who to charge and not to. Yet, the powers can’t be questioned even if it is abused, Zaid lamented.

“Are we satisfied with this arrangement, in which the public prosecutor has limitless powers that are totally beyond anyone’s control?"

Zaid further asked how Umno, who had been vocal regarding the socks issue, felt about the issue.

“What does our institutional and law reform minister (Umno’s Azalina Othman Said) think about this? Can she stand up in Parliament and offer a solution?

“After all, the Madani leadership is totally against abuse of power,” Zaid quipped.

He also questioned whether there are any measures in place to ensure only upright lawyers are employed in the AGC and to ensure they remain free from undue pressure or temptation from politicians. - Mkini

Teresa to replace Kluang MP as deputy PAC chief


PARLIAMENT | Teresa Kok (Harapan-Seputeh) has been named to replace Wong Shu Qi (Harapan-Kluang) as the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) deputy chairperson.

According to the Order Paper for today’s Dewan Rakyat proceedings, a minister in the Prime Minister’s Department will table a motion for Kok to replace Wong, and the motion will be voted on by the MPs.

Kok (above), a six-term MP, will replace Wong as deputy to PAC chairperson Mas Ermieyati Samsudin.

The replacement also follows Wong’s appointment last month as Talent Corporation Malaysia Bhd (TalentCorp) chairperson, an agency under the Human Resources Ministry.

In the Dewan Rakyat, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Law and Institutional Reforms) Azalina Othman Said tabled the motion for Kok’s appointment, seconded by her deputy M Kulasegaran, and passed through a voice vote.

Helpful MP, ministerial experience

Mas Ermieyati at a press conference together with PAC members thanked Wong for her services and welcomed Kok’s appointment.

PAC chairperson Mas Ermieyati Samsudin

“Thank you to YB Wong Shu Qi for her services, commitment and contributions to the PAC as a member and deputy chairperson.

“Congratulations on her appointment as TalentCorp chairperson and we welcome YB Teresa Kok as the new deputy PAC chairperson,” said Mas Ermieyati.

“The PAC believes that with her (Kok) experience as an MP since 1999 and a former minister, she can add credibility to the PAC and ensure each report tabled will give impact to the government,” she said.

Since 2018, the PAC - a select committee in the Dewan Rakyat - has always made decisions by consensus.

The PAC is a bipartisan committee and it comprises three MPs each from DAP, Bersatu, Umno and PKR, two from PAS and one from GPS.

Both Wong and Kok are from DAP. The party’s two other representatives are Sandakan MP Vivian Wong and Bangi MP Syahredzan Johan. - Mkini