AG to advise govt to release report on tribunal’s recommendations

Attorney-General Tommy Thomas says he is disappointed in today’s decision not to proceed with the hearing on alleged misconduct by former EC members.

KUALA LUMPUR: Attorney-General Tommy Thomas says he will advise the government to release the report on the recommendations of the tribunal set up to hear allegations of misconduct against six former Election Commission (EC) members.

He said the report, which comprises the majority and minority findings of the five tribunal members, involved elements of public interest.

“I hope the report can be released in due course, and we can study the recommendations made by the five tribunal members,” he said when met after the hearing today.

Thomas and senior federal counsel Mazlifah Ayob had been the conducting officers for the tribunal.

In a majority decision earlier today, the tribunal said it would not proceed in the hearing against former EC deputy chairman Othman Mahmood and fellow ex-commissioners Md Yusop Mansor, Abdul Aziz Khalidin, Sulaiman Narawi, Bala Singam Karupiah and Leo Chong Cheong.

Three panel members – Steve Shim, Zaleha Zahari and Suriyadi Halim Omar – were against hearing the allegations of misconduct while the two others – Jeffrey Tan and Prasad Sandosham Abrahim – said the hearing against the six should proceed.

The tribunal members also said they would submit their report to the relevant authorities.

Thomas said he was disappointed with the majority decision not to continue with the hearing on grounds that it would be a waste of time and energy.

“I think the right-thinking Malaysians will ask whether it matters that this hearing will continue for about two months and that it is expensive to inquire after the truth.

“The 13 complaints against them for alleged malapportionment, gerrymandering and the 11-day campaigning period were legitimate,” he said.

Meanwhile, Bersih 2.0 chairman Thomas Fann said the electoral watchdog would consult its lawyers on the next course of action after the tribunal’s decision.

“To us, there is the sense that justice was not served,” he said, adding that the decision does not bring to an end Bersih’s efforts to seek justice over unfair elections.

He said the change of government does not mean that the process to elect it was conducted in a clean and fair manner.

Lawyer K Balaguru, representing former EC commissioner Bala Singam, said they accepted the tribunal’s decision.

“We will wait and see what the Yang di-Pertuan Agong will decide on the tribunal’s recommendations,” he said.