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Friday, January 15, 2016

Dr M: Will they sack MACC chief like what they did to Gani

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today cast doubt on the removal of former attorney-general Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail and questioned if Putrajaya would similarly act against the current head of the anti-graft agency.

Dr Mahathir said Gani's removal last July was made on grounds of his ill health, but added that the former A-G denied this.

"And now Gani is reported to begin a career as a lawyer. Obviously he is fit to work," the former prime minister said in his blog today.

Dr Mahathir said this raised the question as to whether Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief Tan Sri Abu Kassim Mohamed would also be "retired prematurely for health reasons". 

Abu Kassim said he would not bow to pressure to step down from his post, in response to a report by The Malaysian Insider of talk that he would be replaced, after the anti-graft agency submitted its reports on the RM2.6 billion “donation” to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and SRC International, a firm owned by the Finance Ministry. 

"It is known that the MACC has submitted its report to the A-G.
The A-G says he would act without fear or favour. But he requires time as the report piles up to his height. How much time?"

Dr Mahathir said. Dr Mahathir said Putrajaya and its government institutions were suffering from a trust deficit.

He questioned whether procedures were followed in the removal of Gani, who had been heading a high-level task force comprising the heads of different agencies in investigating 1MDB then.

"If the officer’s appointment is at the pleasure of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, then the certificate must be produced for the Agong to agree to his retirement, and for his signature.

"There is doubt whether in the case of the former A-G Gani, the procedures were followed. When he was retired, Najib stated that it was for health reasons. Gani himself denied this although he was suffering from kidney failure.
A kidney failure person can work for quite a considerable length of time. It is not a cause for early retirement."

Similarly Abu Kassim had health issues, Dr Mahathir said, but added that the MACC chief himself was expecting to retire at 60 and did not think that his health would force him to retire anytime soon.

"(The) government has certain procedures for sick employees to retire before reaching retirement age. A medical board will have to be set up to examine the health of the person who seeks to retire early.

"The board will issue a proper medical report on the state of the person’s health and certify his being unfit to work."

Dr Mahathir said the government would get "nowhere" by insisting that everything was "fine" because of the trust deficit people had against it.

"The removal of Tan Sri Abu Kassim will only convince the people that all that is being said against the government is true, that it exist merely to prevent the rule of law being applied to the leadership of the nation."

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