KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 19 ― Rejecting repeated claims that changes in the Attorney-General's Office last month was purely administrative, DAP’s Lim Kit Siang suggested today that an independent panel investigate if Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail was removed for allegedly preparing to prosecute Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
The DAP lawmaker proposed the formation of what he described as a “Commission of Inquiry by Malaysian Elders” to investigate the existence of the so-called coup to topple the Najib by hauling him to court, as well as determine if the prime minister's decision to remove Abdul Gani and reshuffle the federal Cabinet was meant to thwart this attempt.
Lim also asked if there was any truth to a Malaysiakini report today claiming that on July 27, a day before Abdul Gani's unceremonious removal and the Cabinet reshuffle, the senior lawyer had told a high-powered meeting with the police, the armed forces and the anti-graft commission that he would prepare the charges against Najib.
“Is this true and what are other pieces of this jigsaw puzzle?” the Gelang Patah MP asked.
In its report, Malaysiakini, quoting “those who claim to be in the know”, said during the meeting, the anti-graft officers investigating SRC International Sdn Bhd, a former subsidiary of 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), had claimed to have sufficient evidence to haul Najib to court for corruption.
The report said that Abdul Gani then offered to prepare the charges himself.
But the following day, the senior leader was removed from office due to “health reasons”, according to a letter from Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Ali Hamsa. He was then replaced with Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali, who was a Kelantan Umno treasurer before he was made a judge.
“This is one piece of the big jigsaw puzzle of what happened in the 'Last Days of July 2015 in Putrajaya' where the Prime Minister of Malaysia was to be toppled by a corruption charge by his own Attorney-General,” Lim said today, when demanding the truth behind the report.
“This jigsaw puzzle is not a child’s play but concerns the fate and future of 30 million Malaysians ― and not just one person, Najib or his new coterie of strategists which clearly included Abdul Rahman,” he added, referring to Barisan Nasional (BN) chief strategist Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan.
Abdul Rahman yesterday accused Lim of being a “master spinner” for criticising his remarks in The Star on the weekend regarding the draft document containing charges against Najib that was published online after Abdul Gani's shock removal.
In the interview, the Umno minister said the draft charge sheet “could be there” and that it may have been part of a plot to criminalise Najib. He also said that any politician would have taken pre-emptive steps to cripple such a plot.
Yesterday, Abdul Rahman denied claiming that the draft charge sheet was genuine and explained that he was only explaining the existence of possible theories.
Lim scoffed at Abdul Rahman's remarks, however, and insisted that an inquiry be held to determine the truth behind the entire episode, which he repeatedly dubbed the “Last Days of July 2015”.
“Malaysia is a democratic country in an information era, and Malaysians are entitled to know the truth... whether there was an attempted coup, whether (Abdul) Gani Patail was sacked because he was about to serve a corruption charge on the Prime Minister, or what were the reasons for the sacking of the Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and the crackdown against top officials in various government agencies?” he asked.
The Commission of Inquiry of “Malaysian Elders” that should probe the matter, he said, should include leaders like former prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, former deputy prime minister Tun Musa Hitam, former Chief Justice Tun Mohamed Dzaiddin Abdullah, former Inspector-General of Police, Tun Hanif Omar, former Attorney-General Tan Sri Abu Talib Othman.
Other notable personalities who should participate in the probe, he said, are leaders like Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz, Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam, Tan Sri Simon Sipaun, Datuk Seri Daniel Tajem, Datuk Noor Faridah Ariffin (who is also spokesperson of the group of prominent Malays 2015 ― G25), jurists Datuk P Cumaraswamy, Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan and Yeoh Yang Poh.