AG Apandi must quit if he loses confidence of govt, says ex-judge

Ex-judge Gopal Sri Ram says although it is the right of the Agong to terminate the attorney-general’s service, as a constitutional monarch, the king must act on PM’s advice.

PETALING JAYA: Attorney-General Mohamed Apandi Ali must resign the moment he loses the confidence of the government, says retired judge Gopal Sri Ram.

Sri Ram said under the Federal Constitution, Apandi held office at the pleasure of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

“Although it is the right of the Agong to terminate Apandi’s service, as a constitutional monarch, he must act on the advice of the Prime Minister. This is mandatory,” he told FMT.

Asked whether the king could demand that Apandi tender his resignation, Sri Ram said this did not arise as the right to terminate was absolute.

“The real problem may arise if the king does not accept the PM’s advice to terminate the AG. The PM then has to request the Conference of Rulers to intervene and advise the Agong,” he said, adding that there was a constitutional mechanism to regulate what happened next.

Sri Ram made this comment in response to a statement by DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang that Apandi must be prepared to be sacked if he continued to stall from resigning honourably and with dignity as AG.

The Iskandar Puteri MP said the May 9 historic vote to oust the Barisan Nasional (BN) government was not only a thumping verdict of no confidence in Najib Razak as prime minister but also on Apandi as AG.

Lim said the constitutional stalemate was in fact a reflection that Apandi should not have been appointed as AG in the disastrous last week of July 2015.

“Apandi should not exploit the constitutional niceties and loopholes but resolve the three-week constitutional stalemate by submitting his resignation without any ado,” Lim said.

On May 14, Apandi was told to go on a 30-day unrecorded leave during which time Solicitor-General Engku Nor Faizah Engku Atek would stand in for him.

Apandi’s three-year contract will expire on July 27. However, the BN government last month gave him a three-year extension.

Sri Ram said the right to terminate Apandi was unaffected by the contract he has and this legal position was made clear in a Federal Court ruling in 1969.

“The contract therefore gives Apandi no protection at all,” he added.

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