Newly minted Law Minister Takiyuddin Hassan ought to behave like a minister accountable to the public and accept valid criticism in his stride and not resort to calling those who make such criticisms hypocrites.
Takiyuddin recently called former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohammad a hypocrite for questioning the order of the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court in granting an order of discharge not amounting to an acquittal (DNAA) to Riza Aziz in his money laundering case recently.
Takiyuddin should realise that many are questioning the said order, particularly since the Attorney General’s Chambers seems to believe there is evidence against Riza as ‘ad-hoc’ prosecutor Gopal Sri Ram has indicated that the trial against Riza will continue if he fails to honour his side of a bargain which is meant to see a return of assets worth some USD100 million to the government.
Although Section 92 of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001 provides that the offence against Riza may be compounded, this can only happen with the consent of the Public Prosecutor.
It is to be noted that former Attorney General Tan Sri Tommy Thomas has firmly said that he never agreed to drop the said charges against Riza as part of a deal during his tenure as AG which begs the question: what has changed since then to justify the decision of the Public Prosecutor now in exercising his discretion under the said section 92?
In such circumstances, it is quite natural for not only the former PM, but anyone, to ask why the charges against Riza will not be proceeded with if he fulfils his side of the said agreement.
Moreover, the decision to compound the charges against Riza must have been that of the Public Prosecutor after considering the facts and circumstances of the case and the representations that were made to him by Riza’s solicitors. As such, it is obvious that only the Public Prosecutor would be in a position to explain his said decision which will be subject to public scrutiny.
In the absence of such an explanation from the Public Prosecutor himself, how can anyone be called a hypocrite for questioning his said decision?
Takiyuddin ought to explain the position to the people instead of resorting to such name calling which is totally unbefitting of a Law Minister.
Dated this 17th of May, 2020.
MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT
CHAIRMAN NATIONAL LEGAL BUREAU
DEMOCRATIC ACTION PARTY