Being in shock is not good, ex-AG tells MACC

Abu Talib Othman hopes both the AGC and MACC will work closely in the 1MDB case. (Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: The Attorney-General’s Chambers and law enforcement agencies should be on the same page, says former attorney-general Abu Talib Othman.

Abu Talib, who served for more than a decade during the earlier administration of Dr Mahathir Mohamad, was commenting on the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s (MACC) response that it was shocked with the AGC’s decision today to drop corruption charges against Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng.

MACC had brought the charges against Lim in 2016 when he was the Penang chief minister.

Abu Talib said the anti-graft body’s statement was worrying as both were also involved in other major cases.

“I sincerely hope that they will work together in the 1Malaysia Development Berhad case which is under investigation,” Abu Talib told FMT, referring to the troubled state firm which is under probe by several agencies including MACC and AGC officers.

Abu Talib, who currently heads an advisory committee to Mahathir on 1MDB, also reminded MACC of the powers of the AG under Article 145(3) of the Federal Constitution.

Lim and businesswoman Phang Li Koon were today acquitted of the corruption charges involving the purchase of a bungalow at below-market prices as well as the rezoning of a plot of land.

Meanwhile, lawyer M Visvanathan said MACC’s response reflected poorly on AG Tommy Thomas.

“What MACC had openly done today does not instil public confidence in the administration of justice,” he said.

He said enforcement agencies and the public prosecutors should at least be seen to be on same page.

But Visvanathan said Thomas still owed an explanation to the public on why he withdrew charges against Lim and Pang after the prosecution had called 21 witnesses.