KUALA LUMPUR: News of his appointment as the country’s Attorney-General is only slowly sinking in for Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali (pic).
“It is slowly sinking in. To me, it’s an honour to be given the position. It’s a big responsibility as basically, I have been appointed as adviser to the Government,” he said, adding that he only received his letter yesterday.
He said he had also gone to the Attorney-General’s Chambers yesterday to meet the staff.
“My phone kept ringing,” he said, laughing.
Prosecutors and federal counsels here are optimistic Mohamed Apandi would make a good administrator due to his vast experience in the legal service and judiciary.
“He will listen to our submissions attentively without putting pressure to us. He was a fair judge,” said a federal counsel.
Another prosecutor said the 65 year-old Mohamed Apandi, who was a former Federal Court Judge, is “funny and has a good sense of humour”, which made him approachable.
The former apex court judge, who is from Kota Baru, is married to Puan Sri Faridah Begum K.A. Abdul Kader. He has seven children.
He obtained his law degree from the University of London in 1972.
He was the presiding judge of the Court of Appeal on Aug 23, 2013 when it overturned the Shah Alam High Court’s decision to convict Sirul Azhar Umar and Azilah Hadri of murdering Mongolian model Altantuya Shaariibuu.
Mohamed Apandi, who chaired a three-men panel, had allowed the appeal of the two former Special Action Unit personnel, sparing them from the gallows.
The panel held that circumstantial evidence adduced by the prosecution was insufficient and that the duo’s guilt had not been satisfactorily proven.
The ex-senior judge also chaired a Court of Appeal when it ruled that Catholic weekly The Herald would not be allowed to use the word “Allah” to refer to the Christian God.
Earlier, Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Dr Ali Hamsa said that the Agong has consented to the termination of Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail’s tenure as the Attorney-General due to health reasons effective Monday.
“Under Article 145(1) of the Federal Constitution, the King on the advice of the Prime Minister has consented to the appointment of Apandi as the new Attorney-General,” he said in a statement.
Abdul Gani would however continue to serve as Judicial and Legal Service officer until his mandatory retirement on Oct 6 this year, the statement said.