Veteran newsman A Kadir Jasin has questioned whether Abdul Gani Patail was removed as attorney-general because he was on the verge of filing charges in the 1MDB case.
He said this in reference to the investigation of the special task force on 1MDB including claims that RM2.6 billion was deposited into Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak's private bank accounts.
"Is it because he is about to charge the 1MDB perpetrator or perpetrators in court that his tenure was prematurely terminated?
"The scrambling for cover was such it creates the impression that the charging was to happen today or tomorrow," said Kadir ( photo ), a close ally of former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Chief secretary to the government Ali Hamsa today announced that Abdul Gani's tenure had ended due to health reasons but the former appeared clueless about his termination.
Abdul Gani was only due to retire in October. He was replaced by former Federal Court judge Mohamed Apandi Ali.
The special task force's investigation probe would be rendered moot if the new attorney-general refuses to proceed with the case as he controls all prosecution powers.
However, Kadir, who served as New Straits Times group editor-in-chief for 12 years under Mahathir's government, believed that this would not be enough to cover up the 1MDB scandal.
"Assuming that the case is in such an advanced stage, would the 'sacking' of the attorney-general and dismissal of the deputy prime minister and a couple of ministers seal the boiling cauldron?
"Would it not leak or, worse still, explode and spill the 1MDB muck for the whole world to see?
"The potency of the executive power may be able to stop the 1MDB muck from being exposed in a court of law, but it has no power to stop it from being tried in the court of public opinion," he said.
Muhyiddin must act fast and furious
Najib had also caused a separate 1MDB probe by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to stall after he appointed half of the eight BN MPs in the committee into the government in the cabinet reshuffle.
PAC chief Nur Jazlan Mohamed reportedly said the committee's probe would be frozen pending the appointment of new members in the next Parliament sitting.
In the cabinet reshuffle, Najib also purged his 1MDB critics, including Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and Rural and Regional Development Minister Shafie Apdal.
Kadir said Muhyiddin must now react swiftly following his ouster by Najib.
"On his part, Muhyiddin has to act fast and furious if he does not want to disappoint the rakyat.
"If he buckles, the cause is lost for the majority of the people, for Umno and the BN.
"And it will be a double whammy for the country if the opposition, because of their internal squabbles, is unable to take over the torch," he said.