No discussion held with AG on Rafizi case

Azhar Azizan Harun

I refer to the news report by The Edge entitled “AG says appeal against Rafizi’s acquittal done without his knowledge”, dated Dec 6.

This report has also been requoted by numerous news portals and newspapers.

Among others, the said report quoted Tommy Thomas as saying: “I am shocked as it was decided after a discussion I had with the Election Commission chairman Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun that we will not be appealing and the decision was conveyed to the relevant officers.”

I wish to put on record that I had not discussed the Rafizi Ramli case or appeal with Thomas or any officer from the Attorney-General’s Chambers that led him to decide to withdraw the said appeal and institute disciplinary proceedings against any of his officers or in any way influence him in his decision-making process.

In addition, it would not have been possible for me to do so, as at the relevant time on Dec 6, I was rushing home to attend to my two children who were diagnosed with dengue.

I was at a private hospital arranging their admission from 7.30pm that day till about 1am the next day.

The only case that I had discussed with Thomas in recent times was the Tian Chua (former Batu MP) case, where the Election Commission was a party thereto and therefore had a direct interest in the case.

I had, in my official capacity, sought advice from Thomas on whether or not to file an appeal against the decision of the High Court in that case.

I have been a staunch advocate of the doctrine of separation of powers and am always conscious of the purviews and jurisdictions of the various institutions and agencies of governance.

The record will show that I am a stickler to this doctrine and I wish to assure the public that I will not interfere or meddle with the affairs of any institution and agency of governance to which I am not related, let alone partake in their decision making.

Azhar Azizan Harun is Election Commission chairman.