Friday, February 26, 2021

Apandi says Dr M’s ‘negative’ view of him led to his sacking as AG

Mohamed Apandi Ali says there was a constitutional failure in the process of his termination as attorney-general.

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Mohamed Apandi Ali today claimed that former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad had formed a venomous and negative view of him which led to his removal as attorney-general (AG).

“The plaintiff (Apandi) avers and will contend and will lead evidence that the first defendant (Mahathir) had formed a venomous and thus negative view against the plaintiff and was driven to remove the plaintiff in any event from the position as the AG and, that imbued with that determination the plaintiff was unconstitutionally and unlawfully terminated,” he said in his reply to the statement of defence by Mahathir and the government.

Apandi also said he would bring evidence to establish that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s role, satisfaction and pleasure were not taken into account or were brushed aside by Mahathir in his termination.

“Hence, there was a constitutional failure in the process of termination of the plaintiff’s position as the attorney-general,” he said.

Apandi also argued that the position of Mahathir and the government in their statement of defence was untenable in law and suffered from a cloistered reading of the provisions in the Federal Constitution.

He asked for his claim to be allowed with costs.

Lawyer Baljit Singh Sidhu, representing Apandi, told reporters that the High Court had set Dec 11 for case management.

“It is for us to file a discovery application for the purposes of certain documents,” he added.

In their statements of defence filed on Nov 12, the defendants insisted that their act of terminating Apandi’s contract as AG in 2018 was valid and in accordance with the provisions of the law.

Mahathir also denied that he had abused his power in the matter.

He and the federal government filed their statement of defence in response to a RM2.2 million suit brought against them by Apandi.

In his suit filed on Oct 13, Apandi named Mahathir and the government as the first and second respondents and sought, among others, a declaration that his termination as AG two years ago was unlawful.

In his statement of claim, Apandi, who was a Federal Court judge before his appointment as AG in 2015, also sought a declaration that Mahathir had committed misfeasance and misconduct in public office, as well as a declaration that Mahathir had induced a breach of contract between him and the government.

He likewise sought a declaration that there had been a failure in compliance with Article 145 of the Federal Constitution, and a declaration that his termination was not in accordance with the law.

Apandi is seeking special damages of RM2,233,599.36, general damages, exemplary and/or punitive damages, costs and other reliefs deemed fit by the court.

Apandi also claimed that Mahathir had made biased statements against him personally as well as the office of the Attorney-General, proposed the replacement of the plaintiff before the proper termination by the lawful authority who is the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong, refused, failed and neglected to receive advice from the AGC and requested or caused to be used by third parties, including his own personal lawyer, to pressure the plaintiff to immediately resign from office.

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