PETALING JAYA: The MCA leader who criticised a leaked memo on instructions to hasten judicial hearings of high-profile cases and was subsequently summoned by Bukit Aman for questioning, has defended her comments.
MCA Central Committee member Chan Quin Er had previously questioned on Facebook the impartiality of the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) based on a viral letter that made its rounds on Twitter last week.
Speaking to FMT, Chan said the main reason why she put out such a statement was because there was no need for the deputy public prosecutors (DPP) under the AGC to receive instructions from Putrajaya.
“The DPPs can do their jobs and do not need interference, by means of instructions and reminders from the executive level or the prime minister, on how to conduct a prosecution for a case and how to do their job.
“So, that’s where my statement came from — a place of respect and belief in the professionalism and competence of the AGC officers, especially the DPPs,” she said tonight, just hours after being released by Bukit Aman.
After being called in by the police to assist in investigations on the issue, Chan arrived at the police headquarters at 9.30am today and left three hours later at 12.30pm with her smartphone confiscated.
Chan told FMT that she was questioned by the police to facilitate investigations under Section 233A of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 (CMA) and Section 203A of the Penal Code.
Section 233A of the CMA criminalises the use of “network facilities” or “services” to transmit communication deemed offensive or causing annoyance. Section 203A of the Penal Code relates to “disclosure of information”.
The latter carries a fine not more than RM1million, imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year, or both.
Meanwhile, Chan again expressed her view of the need to separate the functions of the public prosecutor from the AGC, pointing out that this was something Pakatan Harapan (PH) pledged to do in its GE14 election manifesto.
She also expressed hope that this investigation would not turn out to be “selective” persecution because of her association with MCA, pointing out that she is just a “small fry” in the party who only joined politics last year.
The viral letter in question was signed off by Solicitor-General III Mohamad Hanafiah Zakaria, who asked that efforts to delay cases related to the previous “kleptocratic government” be “strongly objected to”.
Chan had said it was wrong to use the term “kleptocracy”, which was first coined by the US attorney-general to refer to the Department of Justice’s seizure of assets linked to 1MDB.
Taking to Facebook last week, Chan, a former federal counsel with the AGC, had said this was because such an accusation had “never been investigated, much less proven or led to any conviction”.
As such, she asked how the AGC could “legally and logically” use such a term, which was later popularised by PH politicians prior to the general election last year.
Chan had also alleged that the letter “strongly suggests that the AGC is taking instructions from the prime minister”.
This followed a Cabinet meeting on Dec 19, 2018, where Dr Mahathir Mohamad had advised that prosecutions involving graft cases against certain “specific individuals” must proceed according to schedule.