PETALING JAYA: Attorney General Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali (pic)
has lamented about being "more associated" with his Umno membership than being in the "inner circle" of the Bar Council as the treasurer.
In an interview with news portal The Malaysian Insider
, Apandi said he was an Umno member from 1982 to 1991 and Pengkalan Chepa Umno youth chief but never the division's treasurer.
"In Umno I was the Youth Chief of the division, Pengkalan Chepa. That's all. It had nothing to do with the state liaison committee. Nothing. The post of treasurer is related to big state liaisons. I was never a treasurer. Please erase it from whatever it is," he said.
“It is not correct! I was never, have never, ever been an Umno treasurer,” Apandi, 65, said, adding in a half-jokingly manner “I want to scream at the person who wrote the biography!”
Apandi, former Federal Court judge was appointed A-G to replace Tan Sri Gani Patail at a controversial time when MACC enforcement officers were arrested or transferred and the Cabinet reshuffled over the 1Malaysia Development Bhd investigations.
Apandi emphasised that he had spent far longer time in the Bar Council - from 1991 to 2003 and two terms as treasurer - and even spoke up against the government when they were wrong.
“I've been a victim of wrong perception, because, as far as I'm concerned, my short tenure in Umno – obviously I didn't hold any high posts – have been used (against me) to say that I am an Umno man and whatnot.
“But, on the other hand, I was more active in the Bar Council.
"I was a treasurer of the Bar Council and I was a member of the office bearers, the inner circle. You know who are the inner circle? President, vice-president, treasurer, secretary. Four people. These are the inner circle. They can all be Bar Council members, but they are out of the inner discussion. I was a part of it.
"First time I was a treasurer, I started speaking my mind. So they all tried to gag me. Scolded me. The inner circle. The likes of Tommy Thomas and Sulaiman Abdullah. I tell you the names.
"They wanted to get me because at that time I was chairman of the Kelantan Bar. I was chairman of the Kelantan Bar for seven years.
"So as chairman of the Kelantan Bar, the papers sometimes came and asked me whatnot, so I gave my take on whatever the issue was.
"Some of my views weren't liked by the inner circle of the Bar Council. So they started hammering me and whatnot," he said.
Apandi said the Bar also tried to stop him from airing his views so much so that he resigned member in 2001.
"The person who can tell all of this, I tell you, is someone who is synonymous with the Bar Council, Ms Catherine Eu. She's still alive, her memory's still good, go ask her. She can vouch for whatever I'm telling you.
"Talking about the Bar Council, I was in the Bar Council before the likes of Ambiga (Datuk S. Ambiga), Lim Chee Wee, Christopher Leong and Steven Thiru. Steven Thiru (current Bar Council president) was a young lawyer when I was doing election petitions. He followed me around, carrying my bag and file," Apandi said.