MACC must conduct probes discreetly, say former AG, lawyer

Source: FMT News

PETALING JAYA: A former attorney-general and an ex-Malaysian Bar president said the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) must conduct their investigations discreetly to avoid the naming and shaming of suspects and witnesses.

However, both acknowledged the anti-graft agency has wide investigation powers that include the power to arrest and seize documents.

Arrest and seizure of items for investigation must be done discreetly, says former AG Abu Talib- Pic from FMT News

Ex-AG Abu Talib Othman said the MACC should act based on reliable information and reports made to them.

“However, any arrest and seizure of items for investigation must be done discreetly,” he told FMT.

Abu Talib, who was AG between 1980 and 1993, said it took time before suspects were prosecuted as the decision was up to the public prosecutor.

“The job of the MACC is to investigate and collect evidence and it is for the public prosecutor or his deputy to decide whether there is sufficient evidence to frame charges,” he said. Read more

Former AG: Putrajaya can acquire state territories by law

Source: FMT News

Abu Talib Othman says that provisions in the constitution however must be met, including getting the consent of the affected state government. Pic from FMT News.

Abu Talib Othman says that provisions in the constitution however must be met, including getting the consent of the affected state government. Pic from FMT News.

PETALING JAYA: Putrajaya can acquire any part of Malaysia provided provisions in the Federal Constitution are complied with, former attorney-general Abu Talib Othman says.

He said, for a start, the affected state must consent to surrender its territory by passing an enactment in its legislature.

However, Talib said, any acquisition of state territories could be blocked now as the Barisan Nasional (BN) central government did not have the two-thirds majority in Parliament to amend the constitution.

“Also, the affected state governments through their state legislatures must pass a law with a simple majority to surrender part of their territories,” he told FMT. Read more

Punishment for whistleblowers uncalled for, says former A-G

Source: The Malaysian Insider

Former attorney-general Tan Sri Abu Talib Othman believes the proposed sentence for whistleblowers under the Official Secrets Act 1972 ran counter towards transparency and openness. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, February 9, 2016.

Former attorney-general Tan Sri Abu Talib Othman believes the proposed sentence for whistleblowers under the Official Secrets Act 1972 ran counter towards transparency and openness. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, February 9, 2016.

The proposed sentence of life imprisonment and 10 strokes of the cane for those who leak state secrets under the Official Secrets Act 1972 (OSA) is “disproportionate” to the offence, says former attorney-general (A-G) Tan Sri Abu Talib Othman.

The proposed amendments also ran counter to the rest of the world’s march towards transparency and openness, said Abu Talib.

While he believed that some restrictions should be placed on such, in the country’s interest, Abu Talib urged current A-G Tan Sri Mohamad Apandi Ali to reconsider the amendments.

“That is out of proportion. What an impression it will have on the world. I think he should review this proposal in the interest of the nation and people.

“The sentence is disproportionate to the nature of the offence,” Abu Talib told The Malaysian Insider. Read more

Get with the times, ex-AG tells Apandi on OSA expansion

Source: Malaysiakini

OSA-222x300Former attorney-general Abu Talib Othman has reminded attorney-general Mohamed Apandi Ali that the world is now moving towards a greater freedom of information.

Abu Talib said this when commenting on Apandi’s proposal to expand the Official Secrets Act 1972 to punish journalists who do not reveal their sources after publishing confidential information.

“The world is moving towards more transparency, not secrecy,” Abu Talib told (photo) Malaysiakini yesterday.

Apandi, in an interview with Sin Chew Daily, said he wants the law expanded to also implicate the “journalist, editor, assistant editor and editor-in-chief”, for withholding a identity the identity of their source. Read more