More important to give nation the chance to restore public confidence in administration of justice than to give Gani the chance to prove himself as Attorney-General


Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang

(Penang, Tuesday): The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad said yesterday that incoming Attorney-General Datuk Abdul Gani  Patail should be given a chance to  prove himself and that it was unfair  to criticise his appointment  without seeing how he performed.

DAP does not doubt Ganiís capabilities to be appointed Attorney-General but questions his suitability and the propriety and wisdom of his appointment, based not on suspicions and bias but on his public record of service as the No. 3 in the Attorney-Generalís Chambers as head of the prosecution division which raised the critical question as to whether his appointment would enhance or undermine public confidence in the independence, impartiality and integrity of the  administration of justice.

When Tan Sri Mohamed Dzaiddin Abdullah was first sworn into office as the new Chief Justice of the Federal Court  in December 2000, he made the courageous admission that his first priority was  to restore public and international confidence in the judiciary.

At this juncture when the system of justice is still in the throes of the battle to restore public and international confidence, will Ganiís appointment as Attorney-General be a positive or negative development in this direction?

Undoubtedly, if there is a conflict, it is more  important to give the nation the chance to restore public confidence in the administration of justice than to give Gani the  chance to prove himself as Attorney-General. However,  both these important considerations could be met if Gani is prepared to appear before Parliament to fully account for his role as head of the prosecution division in the AGís Chambers  in the years which plunged the Malaysian system of justice into national and international disrepute, as in the prosecution of Lim Guan Eng, Anwar Ibrahim, Karpal Singh and Irene Fernandez;  the  severe stricture by the Federal Court for his own personal conduct in the Zainur Zakaria contempt case as well as the police report for corruption which Anwar Ibrahim had lodged against him.  Is Gani prepared to do so?

(18/12/2001)



*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman