Azhar: My big brother, the AG


  • Nation
  • Sunday, 08 Mar 2020

New AG Datuk Idrus Bin Harun

PETALING JAYA: No one has to worry about Attorney General Tan Sri Idrus Harun asking and giving favours, says his younger brother Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun.

The Election Commission (EC) chairman said while his family was very proud with Idrus’ appointment, they realised that it would be a tough and thankless job.

“Idrus has never been partial or biased to anyone. When I was a lawyer, I used to take up cases against the government and he was then the Solicitor-General.

“In fact, I’ve even criticised publicly some of the judgments he made.

“In all the 27 years or so that he was with the government, I never even went once to his office.

“I believe I would not have to do so in the future.

“The EC is an independent agency and has nothing to do with the government.

“Idrus, being the AG, means that he is an adviser to the government. We are in two completely different compartments, ” he said.

Azhar said both of them, who are from a family of nine siblings, were seven years apart in age and very different in personality.

“He has always been the calm, studious and bookish type since young – very disciplined, unlike me, ” laughed Azhar during the interview.

National Human Rights Society (Hakam) president Datuk Dr Gurdial Singh Nijar said Idrus’ appointment could bring much hope for the upholding of human rights.

Gurdial, who is also a legal expert, said Idrus had distinguished himself in the Court of Appeal when he gave a comprehensive judgment in favour of an Orang Asli community in a dispute with their lawyers.

“He has a good sense of justice and sensitivity for human rights and fair play. He is well qualified to take on the role of an AG.

“I am confident that he will bring his experience and sense of justice to his new position, ” said Gurdial.

On Jan 17 last year, the Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal by two lawyers and their firm against a court order to return RM38.5mil to a group of Orang Asli settlers in Johor for loss of livelihood.

According to the panel of judges chaired by Idrus then, S. Kanawagi, his son Dinesh and the firm Messrs Kana & Co must account for the money paid by the Johor government to the Orang Asli.

Electoral watch group Bersih 2.0 chairman Thomas Fann said he hoped that Idrus would not be partisan to anyone when discharging his duties as the AG.

“We hope that he will uphold the rule of law and that the prosecution of individuals will not be selective and politically motivated.

“All eyes will be on him on whether he will proceed or drop charges against former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, former deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and all those charged with corruption, ” he said.

Idrus was appointed as the AG on Friday to replace Tan Sri Tommy Thomas who resigned on Feb 28.

The former Federal Court judge will helm the post for two years.

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