KUALA LUMPUR: The Pakatan Harapan-led government is committed to implementing separation of powers of the Public Prosecutor and the Attorney-General but cannot take the risk of rejection should the motion be brought to the Parliament at this time, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Mohamed Hanipa Maidin.
He said this is due to the constraint of the government at not having a two-thirds majority in the Dewan Rakyat as the matter requires a constitutional amendment.
“If the government intends to separate the powers between the Attorney-General and the Public Prosecutor in this country, we need to amend Article 145 of the Federal Constitution, and to amend the constitution, based on Article 159 (3) of the Federal Constitution, it requires a two-thirds majority.
“At the moment we do not think we can get two-thirds backing, we would not want to the risk of tabling the bills as it might not be passed. Currently, it has been discussed but there has been no decision yet to bring this matter (to the Parliament), it might happen, I do not know when,” he said during the Question-and-Answer session in the Dewan Rakyat today.
He was responding to a question from Datuk Johari Abdul (PH-Sungai Petani) on the latest development on the plans to separate the roles of the Public Prosecutor and Attorney-General.
Mohamed Hanipa said the matter was in PH’s manifesto for the 14th general election (GE14), and it has been implemented in several other countries.
Opposition MP, Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man (PAS-Kubang Kerian) the stands up to give an assurance that PAS would support the motion if it were to be tabled as he considered the matter needed to be accelerated.
Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan (BN-Pontian) concurred saying the Barisan Nasional would not stand in the way to ensure two-thirds support.
Mohamed Hanipa said he will consider Johari’s suggestion for the government to set up a committee with the inclusion of opposition MPs to discuss the matter so it could be implemented in the near future.
“We will take Sungai Petani’s proposal seriously, I will present it to the related authority. Nonetheless, although now we have no separation, there has been huge changes after we appointed the current Attorney General (AG).
“It had never occurred to us that a former prime minister would be charged, it is something that has only happened in (South) Korea (in Asia), but for the first time, the people are witnessing a former (Malaysian) prime minister being brought to court.
“It is also not impossible that the former AG would be brought to court by the current AG, this shows how serious we are in regards to this matter,” he explained. — Bernama