Home Media statements Zahid’s shocking DNAA: Attorney General’s Chambers has plenty of explaining to do!

Zahid’s shocking DNAA: Attorney General’s Chambers has plenty of explaining to do!

To many, this episode stinks to high heaven. What is the ordinary person on the street to think?

Zahid Hamidi - WIKIPEDIA

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Aliran is shocked at the shameful turn of events in the corruption trial involving Deputy Prime Minister Zahid Hamidi.

The deputy public prosecutor (DPP) reportedly told the High Court that he had instructions from Attorney General Idrus Harun to discontinue all 47 corruption charges.

DPP Dusuki Mokhtar told the judge the case should be classified as a “discharge not amounting to acquittal”.

The High Court judge had little choice but to accede to the request.

Dusuki’s request was mind-boggling. The prosecution had already painstakingly established a prima facie (answerable) case against Zahid on the 47 charges. The charges involved corruption, criminal breach of trust and money laundering in relation to Yayasan Akalbudi last year.

The DPP’s request was reportedly to allow for “a more comprehensive and complete investigation into Zahid’s case”.

Now? After all this time, after four long years? How long more is this going to take?

True, the prosecution has a right to request for a discharge of this nature under existing legislation. And yes, a discharge not amounting to an acquittal holds the possibility of a recharging in the future.

But who will monitor and push for fresh charges to be filed?

To many, this episode stinks to high heaven. What is the ordinary person on the street to think?

The lead DPP, Raja Rozela Raja Toran, had apparently opted for early retirement and has gone on leave. Attorney General Idrus Harun is now on leave and is being replaced.

So who is accountable for what is happening? Can people be blamed for speculating that this was part of a deal that brought Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Harapan together after the last general election?

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What can people expect next? An early release for jailed former Prime Minister Najib Razak? It is all so unpalatable!

The optics surrounding the current situation make a mockery of the government’s fight against corruption.

Public trust in the ability of the Attorney General’s Chambers to prosecute effectively has been eroded.

If there is no recharge, it would have wasted an enormous amount of the court’s time and resources, as Judge Collin Sequerah intimated.

What does all this mean for the fight against corruption? Where does it leave the struggle for reforms?

People’s hopes for building back integrity in the country have taken an enormous hit. There will be consequences, and we may see the impact in the upcoming by-elections and the next general election – whether it is in the results or in the voter turnout.

Aliran calls on the Attorney General’s Chambers to explain thoroughly to the public why it requested a discontinuation of the charges. The attorney general must now ensure that the case is not quietly dropped when memories fade.

Aliran urges ordinary people to continue to demand action against high-level corruption. People must be vigilant against any action that suppresses the quest for reforms in the country.

In particular, we demand that the prosecutorial role be separated from the office of the attorney general, who should remain as the government’s legal advisor.

Aliran executive committee
5 September 2023

The views expressed in Aliran's media statements and the NGO statements we have endorsed reflect Aliran's official stand. Views and opinions expressed in other pieces published here do not necessarily reflect Aliran's official position.

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Paul Lim
Paul Lim
10 Sep 2023 5.04am

Is there any honest lawyer in the Attorney General’s Office willing to be a whistleblower as to how the decision was taken?

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