PETALING JAYA: Solicitor-General Ahmad Terrirudin Salleh appears to be the frontrunner to succeed Idrus Harun as the attorney-general when Idrus’s six-month contract extension ends next month, sources said.
A source said senior lawyers and serving and retired judges may be reluctant to take up the job as it would involve dealing with several high-profile cases.
“At the moment, Terrirudin looks set to take on the post, which is considered a ‘hot seat’,” the source told FMT.
Another source said there is also a possibility that Idrus will be asked to remain in office until the end of the year. FMT has reached out to him for a response.
If appointed, Terrirudin, 54, will be the first candidate to come directly from the Judicial and Legal Service since Abdul Gani Patail held the top job between 2002 and 2015.
Terrirudin was the Federal Court’s chief registrar before being appointed solicitor-general in March last year.
Former Federal Court judge Apandi Ali was appointed the attorney-general from July 2015 to May 2018, but was removed from office, and senior lawyer Tommy Thomas was appointed to the position in June 2018, but resigned in February 2020.
Idrus, a former solicitor-general, was a Federal Court judge before being made the attorney-general in 2020.
Article 145(3) of the Federal Constitution states that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong shall appoint the federation’s attorney-general on the advice of the prime minister.
“In essence, it is up to Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim to decide who will be AG-cum-public prosecutor,” lawyer A Srimurugan told FMT.
Meanwhile, the legal fraternity and the public will be watching closely for the outcome of deputy prime minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s representations to have charges brought against him for money laundering, criminal breach of trust and corruption involving Yayasan Akalbudi funds dropped.
This case is now at the defence stage.
Zahid also wants the prosecution to withdraw its appeal following his acquittal last September in a separate corruption case involving the foreign visa system.
Former prime minister Najib Razak’s lawyers also submitted fresh representations last month seeking that the prosecution drop charges brought against him for allegedly misappropriating RM6.6 billion in public funds involving payments made to International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC).
Najib has also asked the prosecution to withdraw three money laundering charges in which he is said to have accepted the proceeds of illegal activities amounting to RM27 million through three AmBank accounts.
Najib’s wife, Rosmah Mansor, who is charged with money laundering and tax evasion amounting to RM7 million, has also made representations for her charges to be dropped.
Her trial before Justice K Muniandy began yesterday after the High Court refused to grant an adjournment pending the prosecution’s review of representations made by her earlier this month.