Wee questions 'executive' meddling of legal process


PETALING JAYA: Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong has expressed concern that the executive branch of government is undermining the independence of the judiciary.

The MCA president said he had obtained a reply to his written question in parliament stating that the Attorney General could follow the Prime Minister's directive.

"Can the Prime Minister meddle with the decision of the Attorney General's Chambers?

"Is there still judicial independence?" he said in a Facebook post on Thursday (March 14).

Dr Wee had asked if the Prime Minister could order the Attorney General to ensure criminal cases filed against certain individuals were carried out as scheduled without any delay, citing a leaked circular from the Solicitor General II informing his officers via e-mail of the Cabinet directive issued on Dec 19 last year.

"What are the cases that should be expedited? And what are the cases that should be slowed down?

"Cases that involve Indonesians should be expedited while cases that involve Vietnamese should be slowed down?

"Who makes the decision? The Attorney General? The law? Or someone else?" he said.

Dr Wee said in the first four paragraphs of the written reply, the Prime Minister explained the responsibilities of the Attorney General and clearly stated that the latter had the discretion to decide on the timeline for criminal prosecution procedures.

He said that in the subsequent paragraph, the Prime Minister changed his tune and claimed that the Attorney General could follow his directive.

"How could the Attorney General follow the directives of the Prime Minister?" he asked.

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On the issue of the Prime Minister directing the Attorney-General’s Chambers to carry out prosecution according to schedule, I’ve asked the question of the relationship between the administration department and the Attorney-General’s Chambers. In the first four paragraphs of his written reply, the Prime Minister explained the responsibilities of the Attorney-General and clearly stated that the Attorney-General holds the discretion to decide when to begin, carry out and end the prosecution process in criminal cases. When it comes to the fifth paragraph, his tune suddenly changed and stated that it can follow the “directives of the Prime Minister”. How could the Attorney-General follow the directives of the Prime Minister? Can the Prime Minister meddle with the decision of the Attorney-General’s Chambers? Is there still judicial independence? What are the cases that should be expedited? And what are the cases that should be slowed down? Cases that involve Indonesians should be expedited while the cases that involve Vietnamese should be slowed down? Who is the one that makes the decision? The Attorney-General? The law? Or someone else? 🤔

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