KUALA LUMPUR: De facto law minister Takiyuddin Hassan said today he was prepared to face an investigation into a PAS visit to Najib Razak on the night of his sentencing last week, saying there was nothing abnormal about the event.
Takiyuddin made his response when questioned in the Dewan Rakyat about contempt of court cases and whether a new law on contempt was being prepared.
PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang, Takiyuddin and other PAS leaders were shown in a photograph visiting Najib at home last week.
Takiyuddin said the visit was not abnormal, and that Anwar Ibrahim, when he was first sentenced to jail, had similarly been visited by the PAS president at the time, Fadzil Noor.
“As a practitioner of the law, I’m also subject to the law. If what I do is subject to the law and if I’m called up by the police, I’m ready to cooperate with them,” he said.
On the contempt law, he said there was no specific law on contempt at present, but the Attorney-General’s Chambers were looking into whether a special law on contempt of court was needed.
A study was being done of laws in other countries such as Singapore, India and Britain. “The government will also obtain the input of all important stakeholders in the matter,” he said.
The question had been raised by Liew Vui Keong (Warisan-Batu Sapi) whether there were plans to introduce such a law as there were more of such incidents occurring on social media.
Takiyuddin said the proposal for a special law had been talked about since 2010. In 2013, a draft law had been prepared and referred to the courts and reached the confirmation stage in 2016.
However, a review was needed after the home ministry made amendments to the Sedition Act, to see if the draft was in line with the amendments.
“Right now, the courts use common law principles (for these cases). It is also provided for under the Civil Law Act, Article 126 of the Federal Constitution and Section 13 of the Courts of Judicature Act,” he said.
Liew said contempt of court had become a new normal under the Perikatan Nasional government, citing an investigation into a Twitter account holder who claimed that the judge who presided over the Najib Razak corruption trial was related to Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
He also mentioned the photograph of the PAS leaders’ visit posted by Najib on the night after he was sentenced to a 12-year jail term and RM210 million fine on charges of corruption, embezzlement and money laundering.