AG should be a minister answerable to Parliament, says Zaid

PETALING JAYA: Former law minister Zaid Ibrahim has suggested that the attorney-general be made a member of the Cabinet so that he will be accountable to Parliament.

He said the move would increase the transparency of the country’s justice system.

An AG who was a cabinet member would have to face MPs and be obliged to answer their questions, particularly in respect of decisions taken in high-profile prosecutions.

“He will then have to furnish answers to questions brought by the rakyat through their representatives,” Zaid said in an FMT interview.

Zaid said the current situation was unsatisfactory as the AG had discretion as to whether there is a need to give any explanation on any matter.

He said the post of attorney-general in the United Kingdom and Australia was held by a cabinet minister who was answerable to their parliaments.

Zaid had previously asked the Attorney-General’s Chambers to clarify the status of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s investigation into the Court of Appeal Judge, Nazlan Ghazali, after AG Idrus Harun said the investigation papers were not with his department.

He had also asked former AG Tommy Thomas to explain why a family member of former governor of Bank Negara, Zeti Akhtar Aziz, who allegedly received funds from a wanted businessman, Low Taek Jho, has not been charged in court.

Earlier, Zaid also questioned the AG’s decision to withdraw charges in criminal cases involving Nicky Liow, the son of Vincent Tan, and oil and gas company Serba Dinamik.

He, however, did not receive any response to the inquiry.

Zaid called on Umno to champion the need for these and other critical improvements to the current justice system in the run-up to GE15.

“We need structural and policy changes so that our country’s (justice system) is fairer to all,” he said.

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