Among others, PKR is asking why the government appointed a common lawyer instead of the AG to represent the prime minister regarding sensitive matters abroad.
KUALA LUMPUR: PKR has questioned the reason for appointing Umno-linked lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah to represent Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak and his wife Rosmah Mansor on “confidential matters” abroad.
Machang MP Saifuddin Nasution wanted to know why the attorney-general was not tasked with the job.
“Can the government appoint a common lawyer instead of its own attorney-general since public funds would be used?” he asked during a press conference in Parliament.
Saifuddin also revealed a letter from Shafee dated March 23 to Chief Justice Ariffin Zakaria, Appeals Court president Md Raus Sharif and Malaya High Court Chief Judge Zulkefli Ahmad.
In the letter, Shafee had requested for 33 hearings and trials scheduled for this month to be postponed, saying that he had accepted a sensitive legal assignment abroad from Najib and Rosmah.
The assignment would require Shafee to travel to New York, London, Dubai and possibly Paris for three weeks. A copy of the letter was also sent to Najib and Rosmah.
Yesterday, when Saifuddin raised this matter, Minister in Prime Minister’s Department had explained that Shafee was appointed by Najib and Rosmah on a private basis.
Saifuddin however pointed out that Shafee in the letter stated that he was “appointed by the government, Najib and Rosmah.”
The PKR secretary-general also wanted Najib and the government to reveal the confidential task that Shafee was involved in before the general election.
“This is a matter that involves the integrity of Shafee, Najib and the country,” said Saifuddin on the need for the parties concerned to disclose more information.
Linked to Scorpene deal?
PKR Selayang MP William Leong speculated that the trip to Paris was in connection with the French judiciary’s investigation into the Scorpene submarines deal.
Whereas PKR Subang MP R Sivarasa questioned what was the government’s next course of action.
“What action is the government going to take against the lawyer (Shafee’s) claim that he has been appointed by the government?” he asked.
He also raised the confidentiality clause in the letter, saying: “It gives the impression that he has something to hide.”