Malaysia is a free country, govt accepts all forms of criticism, says Azalina


PENGERANG: There is no issue in the Malaysian Bar passing a no-confidence vote against Attorney General Tan Sri Idrus Harun and admonishing her conduct as Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Law and Institutional Reform), says Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said.

“We are a free country and I have no qualms over it. Everyone, including bodies, have their beliefs – what can I do about it.

“The government we have today practises democracy and we must accept criticism either from the people or professional bodies,” she added.

Azalina, who is also Pengerang MP, said this when met during a Hari Raya Aidilfitri event held in her constituency at Dewan Kejora, Bandar Penawar here on Friday (May 12).

“We are a unity government which practises parliamentary democracy and focuses on transparency,” she said.

On Wednesday (May 10), The Malaysian Bar passed a no-confidence vote against AG Idrus Harun for his “abject failure” to defend the judiciary from attacks, including on Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali.

The no-confidence vote was part of a resolution on the independence of the judiciary and upholding the rule of law, which was adopted at the Malaysian Bar’s extraordinary general meeting.

It said the judiciary had in recent months come under attack as a direct result of the conviction of former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

Justice Mohd Nazlan was the trial judge who convicted and sentenced Najib in the RM42mil SRC International Sdn Bhd case. Allegations arose that there was a conflict of interest in him presiding over the case due to his previous role in Maybank.

The Bar also criticised the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) for producing the report, the timing and the manner in which it was released, and the purported conclusion contained therein, “which was not within the purview of MACC’s powers”.

The Bar also said they had mandated the Bar Council to give notice to the Attorney General to bring contempt proceedings against those “responsible for attacks on the judiciary.”

In the same resolution, the Bar also admonished the conduct of Azalina, which it said “undermined the independence of the judiciary”.

In April, Azalina said the MACC’s probe on Mohd Nazlan concluded that he had violated the Judges’ Code of Ethics and had a conflict of interest when presiding over the SRC International case.

This was based on a report of MACC’s findings dated Feb 20, a copy of which was given to Azalina.

Source: The Star


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