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Sunday, October 30, 2016

Ex-judge says Pandikar may have acted prejudicially against former ministers



A former Court of Appeal judge says Dewan Rakyat speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia (pic) could have acted prejudicially against three former ministers who recently questioned about 1MDB, resulting in them being probed by the police.
Former appellate court judge Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof also thinks the former ministers did not breach the Official Secrets Act 1972 by asking about 1MDB.
“The OSA contains a clear definition of 'official secret', which is essentially based on documents and any information in relation to such documents. It is apparent that the law protects the contents of such documents.
“If for instance, someone says in Parliament a matter was not discussed in cabinet, how could it be a breach of OSA? A zero cannot be a one, logically speaking,” he told Malaysiakini.
Ariff, who retired last year, and is a former law lecturer at Universiti Malaya, thinks Pandikar should not be giving a view on the law outside the Dewan Rakyat as he could have raised the matter by referring through the Standing Orders.
“In any event, I should think any speaker cannot take it upon himself to give a view on the law, however preliminary it may be, outside the confines of the Chambers.
“He could have raised it when the matter was being discussed with reference to the Standing Orders so that those affected can justify their action. To comment on it later is prejudicial to those affected and uncalled for,” he added further.
This comes as former second finance minister Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah is said to be questioned in Bukit Aman this afternoon, following his remarks in Parliament questioning the purpose of 1MDB's formation and warning about the repercussions of a fallout.
Pandikar had on Oct 27, told a press conference that three ministers may have broken their oaths of secrecy when debating Budget 2017 in Parliament.
This resulted in Jaringan Melayu Malaysia (JMM) president Azwanddin Hamzah, lodging police reports against them for allegedly revealing government secrets.
Besides Ahmad Husni, former deputy prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin, who is now Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia president, had revealed in Parliament that 1MDB was not discussed in cabinet and the cabinet was kept in the dark about Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak's brainchild.
Former rural development minister Shafie Apdal, who is also Parti Warisan Sabah president, is also said to be probed following him also questioning about 1MDB, and what was the return on the investment.
Former de-facto law minister Zaid Ibrahim, was also quoted to have said yesterday, that the three did not commit any crime.
"In any event, it (the secrecy oath) only covers minutes of cabinet’s meetings and not the entire subject matter," Zaid had said.

DAP Parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang had also advised the trio to lodge police reports as the police action could be viewed as an obstruction of their duties.
Even constitutional expert Abdul Aziz Bari, had on Friday, opined that the oath of secrecy is not meant to protect legitimate and legal affairs.
“(The oath of secrecy is) not to protect wrongdoing,” Abdul Aziz said in a statement to Malaysiakini. -Mkini

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