The new A-G must make PH Govt’s manifesto promise of institutional & legal reforms his top priority
11 June 2018
We refer to the recent appointment of the new Attorney- General, and the pledges made in the Pakatan Harapan manifesto promising wide-ranging institutional and legal reforms.
These pledges were to ensure that Malaysia will never again suffer a repeat of the massive abuse of power, corruption and authoritarianism so long practiced by the old BN regime; they are a blueprint for the creation a free and democratic polity which upholds the rule of law.
Among these pledges are the repeal of all draconian laws such as the mandatory death penalty in all Acts, Sedition Act 1948, UUCA 1971, PPPA 1984, NSC 2016 etc; setting up of Commissions to look into BN-era mega scandals; formation of the IPCMC; reforming the MACC and the office of the Attorney General; parliamentary reform; cleaning up the electoral process; resolving statelessness; restoring public trust in the judiciary; and upholding human rights.
The A-G plays a key role in advising, drafting and initiating proposals and legislation required to carry out the above reforms.
There is now much hope and expectation placed upon the new A-G Tommy Thomas, who as a well-known constitutional lawyer has had a long track record of speaking up for justice and truth.
As the government’s chief legal adviser, it is the task of the new A-G to move forward the reform agenda, which was endorsed overwhelmingly by the people in the recent general elections.
These are the central reforms needed to create a free and democratic Malaysia; there must be no delay in implementing these manifesto commitments.
This is also the best opportunity for the A-G’s Chambers as a whole to redeem their reputation, which has been heavily damaged in the eyes of the public by what is seen as complicity and connivance with the abuse of power and corruption of the BN regime, in particular in relation to the former A-G Apandi Ali’s exoneration of Najib from wrongdoing in the 1MDB scandal.
We call upon the new A-G to make these legal and institutional reforms pledged in the manifesto of the new government, the top priority of himself and his officers.
Lawyers for Liberty