All eyes are now on Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to ensure his government is not undermined by Attorney General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail’s silence over recurring allegations of wrongdoing made by a retired police detective.
Critics say the allegations against Gani are serious: that he fabricated evidence in the black eye case; and that there were elements of foul play in the territorial rights case over Pulau Batu Puteh with Singapore.
Pressure is now mounting on Putrajaya to set up a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) to compel Gani and others to answer the allegations in the 31-page statutory declaration (SD) made by former Kuala Lumpur CID chief Datuk Mat Zain Ibrahim in October.
Only the prime minister can call for the setting up of the RCI and more pressure was piled on him yesterday by a retired judge, an opposition lawmaker, and lawyers who said Putrajaya cannot ignore Mat Zain’s explosive revelations any longer.
“A RCI will be transparent as it will be open to the public,” DAP chairman Karpal Singh said, adding the subject matter raised in the sworn statement was very serious and had far-reaching implications.
Lawyers for Liberty co-founder Eric Paulsen said Mat Zain’s revelations were serious as he had accused Gani of deliberately falsifying evidence and being involved in corrupt practice.
“To let this issue fester will cause serious damage to public confidence on whether Abdul Gani is fit to remain as AG,” he told The Malaysian Insider.
Paulsen said as such, Najib should advise the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to set up a RCI to investigate all allegations and make recommendations, including further action against those who were culpable.
“Being silent is not an option by Putrajaya as the allegations against Abdul Gani have been lingering for a long time and now it is in the form of a SD affirmed by a retired senior cop,” he said.
Retired Court of Appeal judge Datuk Shaikh Daud Mohd Ismail pointed out that what Mat Zain had alleged in the SD will be accepted as the gospel truth if Putrajaya and Gani decide to keep quiet.
Shaikh Daud, who was once the head of prosecution in the AG’s Chambers, said the prime minister should take interest in the SD because the nation’s top government legal officer was implicated.
“A better option is to set up a RCI to determine the truth because a retired senior cop has put the allegation in a sworn document.”
Shaikh Daud added that the matter must be handled with a sense of urgency because he was concerned about public perception as one of the allegations touched on the sovereignty of the country with regards to Pulau Batu Puteh.
Mat Zain had been in the limelight over the last three weeks following his allegations that Gani was responsible for the loss of Pulau Batu Puteh to Singapore.
He further claimed that Gani and former inspector-general of police Tan Sri Musa Hassan were responsible for fabricating evidence in the 1998 black eye incident involving former deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
Mat Zain, who was dissatisfied that a three-member panel consisting of retired judges had cleared the two of any wrongdoing, claimed that Gani should be tried before a tribunal as required under the Federal Constitution.
On Monday, he made public his SD to online news portals and selected lawmakers.
He had about a month ago also delivered copies of it to Najib, the Chief Secretary to the Government, the Solicitor General and the Inspector-General of Police, but there was no action. – December 4, 2013.
BY V. ANBALAGAN, The Malaysian Insider