Today marks the first anniversary since Mohamad Apandi Ali was appointed as attorney-general, replacing Abdul Gani Patail who was removed based on health grounds.
And the past year has been nothing short of tumultuous for the former Federal Court judge, whom detractors accuse of being a puppet of the current administration, a charge which he vehemently denies.
In an opinion piece published in Berita Harian today, Apandi said he was perplexed over the criticism against him despite explaining his decisions, which were made in accordance with the law.
“Everything I do is according to the law. But still, there are those who want to table a vote of no confidence against me in the Dewan Rakyat, urge that I resign and even drag me to court.
“For example, when the Attorney-General’s Chambers decides not to initiate proceedings in a case, the reason for our decision is explained. The decision is based solely on the evidence in possession,” he penned.
Apandi, 66, said this is what motivated his decision on Jan 26, where he was satisfied that there was no wrongdoing in the high-profile investigations submitted to him.
Though he did not mention the case, it is believed that the AG was referring to the investigations concerning Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak.
On the US Department of Justice (DOJ) suits in relation to the alleged abuse of 1MDB funds, Apandi noted how he immediately issued a media statement to point out that no criminal charges had been levelled against the individuals involved.
“I also emphasised that the investigations by local authorities were still ongoing and that I would not hesitate to begin proceedings on all individuals involved should there have been criminal elements and sufficient evidence,” he added.
Meanwhile, the AG also reminded media organisations to report the news in a responsible manner as what is published could have affect the public’s thinking.
Of late, Apandi said he had seen irresponsible writings and reports, especially on social media.
“Because of that I would like to remind all parties to adhere to the law,” he added.
Humanisation of AGC
Meanwhile, The Sun reported that since taking over the reins, Apandi has embarked on the humanisation of the AGC with an open door concept which allowed his officers to meet and consult him personally.
“Since taking over as the ninth AG, he encourages his officers to meet and discuss matters with him personally whenever he is in office.
“By enhancing greater relations between the officers, we at the AGC can sense the closer working relationship between our officers,” an AGC staff was quoted as saying.
“The entire AGC has since become more cordial and everyone enjoys a better working relationship. This helps us work faster and, in turn, enhance productivity,” added the staff.
The Sun also learnt that the AG achieved a personal KPI of 99.27 percent during his first six months in office.
The report stated that in line with his first-year anniversary, Apandi had introduced a new slogan – 'Steadfast in Upholding Justice', which now graced the entrance to the AGC in Putrajaya.
Apandi holds an LLB (Hons) degree from the University of London and is a barrister-at-law of the Inner Temple London. He has also pursued studies at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, London.
He was legal adviser to the Trade Ministry from 1979-1982, when he left to start his own legal practice.
He was then invited to join the judiciary in 2003 as a judicial commissioner and was confirmed as High Court judge in December 2004. Apandi was elevated to the Court of Appeal in April 2010 and the Federal Court in September 2013.