Putrajaya: AG Is Independent of Parliament, Powers And Discretion Absolute

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KUALA LUMPUR: Law minister Nancy Shukri repeated that the Attorney General’s wide-ranging and “absolute” powers provided by the Federal Constitution meant his decisions on prosecutions may not be challenged.

She said in a statement, "The Federal Constitution has given wide ranging discretion and absolute powers to the AG. The power of the discretion can't be questioned by any party,"

In a written answer to William Leong (PKR-Selayang), who asked if a parliamentary committee should be formed to review the AG's decisions on prosecutions, she said the powers conferred on the AG meant his decisions may not be second-guessed.

Nancy also stated that the AG was not answerable to Parliament unless he is also a lawmaker, citing Standing Orders 20 and 21, which stated that questions for the AG must be directed to the relevant ministers.

Yesterday, lawyers who submitted the motion calling for Attorney General Mohamed Apandi Ali's resignation for refusing to prosecute Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak over deposits in his personal bank accounts have been summoned by police under the Sedition Act.

Francis Pereira, one of three lawyers who proposed the motion at the Malaysian Bar annual general assembly (AGM) on March 19, confirmed that he received a letter from Bukit Aman.

R Shanmugam, who was another proposer of the motion, also received the letter.

The question that needs to be asked is this. Many want to see true separation of powers and for the constitution to be upheld.

Now it is evident that the AG’s position is a truly independent one and that our constitution has enshrined his discretion to be potentially absolute.

So will those opposing him be willing to uphold the the separation of powers and the sanctity of our constitution?

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