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Friday, December 23, 2016

Former AG Gani starts new career as lawyer

Former attorney-general Abdul Gani Patail, whose service was abruptly terminated three months short of his retirement due to health reasons by the government, has been called to the Bar today.

Abdul Gani, clad in his legal robes which he owned since 1980, looked energetic when he appeared at the long call ceremony, presided by Kuala Lumpur High Court judge John Louis O'Hara.

Former Bar Council president Christopher Leong, who moved the motion of Abdul Gani's admission, in his speech, said the former AG of 13 years, was a fit and proper person for the admission.

"I recall that even when he was undergoing dialysis treatment at Kuala Lumpur Hospital, he would conduct meetings in the hospital, and thereafter rush off to his office or to some meeting.

"I asked him during a meeting with him at the hospital as to how he could maintain his pace of work. He cheekily pointed to the dialysis machine and said it was a re-charging machine. He offered that I should try it. I politely declined," Leong said.

Leong claimed that Gani, his friend of 20 years, was a "nutcracker" who could be as hard as nails, aggressive, gruff and a tough negotiator.

"In reality, he was a consummate professional in his undertakings and in our dealings. In doing so, he can be firm, demanding and a hard counterparty with a no-nonsense approach," he added.

Abdul Gani was accompanied by wife Maimom Arif and son Faezul Adzra Patail, who had set up a new law firm, Gani Patail Chambers in Kuala Lumpur Sentral a few months ago.

Former solicitor-general Azailiza Mohd Ahad who had opted for an early retirement this year, had joined the firm.

O'Hara described this as the historical moment for him by having Abdul Gani, whom he knew in 1980s, at the event.

Abdul Gani had rarely made public appearances after his early termination in July 27, 2015, amidst the deepening 1MDB fiasco.

He, however found himself again under the spotlight when many asked to take photographs with him.

The usually serious looking former public prosecutor entertained these requests with a broad smile.

"I have nothing to say, I have started a new career," he said curtly when approached by the media.

He declined to respond to issues related to 1MDB, including the convictions in Singapore courts related to 1MDB transactions and the way the Attorney-General's Chambers dealt with the Swiss authority's request for mutual legal assistance.

He also refused to comment on blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin, who wrote that both former inspector-general of police Musa Hassan and he had been used by then-prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad to imprison former deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim in the 1990s.

"I have told you that I am not saying a word," he added.

Asked if he is ready to face the AG's Chambers and his successor Mohamed Apandi Ali himself, he replied," Let me think about that." - Msiakini

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