Is the Malaysian Bar attempting to name its own person to be the Attorney General?
PERSATUAN PEGUAM-PEGUAM MUSLIM MALAYSIA (PPMM)
DATE: MAY 14th 2018
1. PPMM views with immense concern at the suggestion, as reported in the local media today, that the Malaysian Bar is proposing Ambiga Sreenevasan as the next Attorney General.
2. If the reports, as carried out in several media are correct, we are of the opinion that, in suggesting the name of a particular individual for the post of Attorney General, is poor judgement on the part of the Malaysian Bar, and would set a bad precedent to be followed. It is even more so when the person named is the former President of the Malaysian Bar.
3. We also believe that Bar Council members were not consulted when the President issued the statement.
4. The unilateral announcement by the President of the Malaysian Bar is uncalled for, and should not restrict the options of the Prime Minister in advising the Yang Di Pertuan Agong to appoint the Attorney General pursuant to Article 145(1) of the Federal Constitution.
5. Article 145(1) of the Federal Constitution states that the Yang Di Pertuan Agong shall, on the advice of the Prime Minister, appoint a person who is qualified to be a judge of the Federal Court to be the Attorney General for the Federation.
6. Is the Malaysian Bar attempting to name its own person to be the Attorney General? This may give the impression that the Attorney General will be beholdened to the views of the Malaysian Bar. Furthermore, it would be against the principles of neutrality and impartiality which the Bar advocates.
7. Inasmuch as we respect the vast credentials of Ambiga Sreenevasan, we believe that the Malaysian Bar is sending the wrong signals to the public by proposing her as the Attorney General, which we strongly oppose.
8. The Malaysian Bar has no locus to name any individual as the next Attorney General. It would be more acceptable if the Malaysian Bar suggests criteria to be met by the person to be appointed as the Attorney General, without mentioning names.
9. As far as PPMM is concerned, no profesional body or individual should make any stand in proposing names as the Attorney General. Let the choice be made by the Prime Minister, who will then advise the Yang Di Pertuan Agong in accordance with the provisions stipulated in the Federal Constitution.
Dato' Haji Zainul Rijal Abu Bakar
Persatuan Peguam-Peguam Muslim Malaysia