Apandi wants correspondence between Dr Mahathir and govt over his service termination as AG | Malaysia

Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali is pictured at the Kuala Lumpur High Court March 9, 2020. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

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KUALA LUMPUR, March 29 — Former Attorney General (AG) Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali is seeking the correspondence between former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and the Malaysian government over his termination as AG to prove his lawsuit against them.

Mohamed Apandi’s counsel Datuk Abd Shukor Ahmad told the High Court here today that the documents related to the termination were also not classified as official secrets.

“The documents are relevant to the case. They (documents) are in the possession of the defendants (Dr Mahathir and the government) and they are not classified as falling under official secrets,” he said in his submission at the hearing of Mohamed Apandi’s application to obtain the documents before Judicial Commissioner Datuk Seri Latifah Mohd Tahar through Zoom application.

In the application filed on December 11, last year, Mohamed Apandi as the plaintiff, among others, sought a court order to allow him to freely inspect and be provided with a copy of the documents or letters on the termination of his service.

He said the documents were in the possession, custody or within the power of both defendants and these should be given to the plaintiff to prove his lawsuit.

Senior federal counsel Shamsul Bolhassan who acted for the defendants in opposing the application, submitted that Mohamed Apandi’s request was too vague.

He also said that there was a high possibility that the unidentified documents sought were classified documents and that the application was a waste of time.

“The documents sought are not relevant, not necessary and not sufficiently specified, and the unidentified documents requested have a high possibility of being classified as ‘RAHSIA’ under the Official Secrets Act 1972 and cannot be disclosed, hence the application is a waste time,” he said.

The court fixed May 25 for a decision.

On October 13, last year, Mohamed Apandi filed a suit naming Dr Mahathir and the government respectively, as the first and second defendants, seeking, among other things, a declaration that his dismissal as AG made by the former prime minister was unlawful.

In his statement of claim, Mohamed Apandi, who was a Federal Court judge before being appointed as AG in 2015, is also seeking a declaration that the first defendant had committed misfeasance and misconduct in public office and a declaration that the first defendant had caused and induced the breach of contract between him and the government.

He also wants a declaration that there was a failure of compliance with Article 145 of the Federal Constitution over his service termination and a declaration that his termination as AG was not in accordance with the law and was hence unlawful.

Mohamed Apandi is seeking special damages in the sum of RM2,233,599.36, general damages, exemplary and/or punitive damages, costs and other relief deemed fit by the court.

In a statement of defence filed on November 12, last year, both the defendants stated that there was no abuse of power by the first defendant, Dr Mahathir, in the termination of Mohamed Apandi’s service as AG and of his contract as a legal officer. — Bernama

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