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Anwar must 'take full responsibility over damage to judicial system' after Zahid discharge, says Muhyiddin

The former prime minister says it reflects Anwar Ibrahim's 'greed to retain power'.

Staff Writers
2 minute read
Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim. Photo: Bernama
Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim. Photo: Bernama

Former prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin today hit out at Anwar Ibrahim over the High Court's decision to discharge his deputy Ahmad Zahid Hamidi in the Yayasan Akalbudi case, calling on the prime minister to "take full responsibility for the damage in the country's judicial system" which he said stemmed from Anwar's "greed to retain power".

"It clearly demonstrates his hypocrisy. The slogans of institutional reform and good governance that he (Anwar) frequently touted are nothing but deceit and empty words," he said.

"The decision to drop charges against the deputy prime minister would undoubtedly shake investors' confidence in Malaysia's judicial system.

"Having someone who was facing corruption charges appointed to the second-highest position in the country and then having the charges dropped paints Malaysia as a rogue state."

Zahid, the Umno president, was crucial in committing the support of his 30 Barisan Nasional MPs to Anwar's government in the aftermath of the 15th general election.

He was given a discharge not amounting to an acquittal yesterday after the Attorney-General's Chambers decided to discontinue the case, which had seen him slapped with 47 charges of corruption.

His lawyer Hisyam Teh Poh Teik later said that he would appeal for a full acquittal.

Muhyiddin described the attorney general's move to use his powers under Article 145(3) of the Federal Constitution to withdraw the charges of criminal breach of trust, corruption, and money laundering against Zahid after he had been called to defend himself in court as "lacking morality".

The Perikatan Nasional chairman also pointed out that the prosecution had successfully established a prima facie case by presenting documentary evidence and 99 witnesses, adding that it means that the court was satisfied that there was substantial evidence proving criminal offences had taken place.

"Strangely, the prosecution, which had successfully proven a prima facie case, requested the court to drop the charges. This is highly unreasonable. Does this mean that the prosecution acknowledges that the evidence they presented in court could not be used? Or was there an order from higher authorities that this case must be dropped no matter what?

"If there was indeed such an order, dropping the charges against Zahid after he was directed to defend himself in court marks a very dark stain on our country's judicial system. This has never happened in the history of independent Malaysia.

"It is high time for the people to reassess the legitimacy of this unity government, which should uphold the rule of law and constitutional integrity."