A-G bad choice to draw up ISA replacement laws, says ex-CID chief

By Debra Chong, The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 23 – Datuk Seri Najib Razak has picked the wrong man to spearhead his legal transformation programme, a former senior police officer said today.

Datuk Mat Zain Ibrahim urged the prime minister to rethink his choice of Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail to lead the government group tasked with drawing up two new security laws to replace the soon-to-be repealed Internal Security Act (ISA) and other laws that allow for preventive detention.

“Concern arises because PM Najib is still using the services of an Attorney-General whom the government itself has confirmed to be involved in criminal wrongdoing in the name of public justice,” the ex-Criminal Investigation Department (CID) chief said today in an open letter.

“Is he still qualified and suitable to lead a taskforce to draft vital laws that control freedom of speech and national security?” he asked, referring to the government’s top lawyer whom he described as being dishonest and having serious credibility issues.

Though the three-page letter was addressed to Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar, Mat Zain reminded Najib that the criminal allegations against Abdul Gani were made publicly in two previous parliamentary sessions — the first in March 2009 and the other just last December.

The ex-cop stressed that it was no ordinary group that had mounted the investigations into Abdul Gani but an independent three-man panel, which included the Solicitor-General, and that one of the panellists had concluded the A-G was involved in evidence tampering.