No compromise on judiciary's freedom nor powers of enforcement agencies, says PM

SHAH ALAM: The government will not compromise on the freedom of the judiciary nor the strength of enforcement bodies such as the Attorney General’s Chambers, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, the Inland Revenue Board and the police force.

"These entities must be free and able to act without any political interference," said PKR president and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in the party’s special convention in commemoration of its 25th anniversary.

Anwar said it was important to the reform agenda to not interfere with judicial decisions.

"I was attacked recently in regards to the deputy prime minister’s affidavit and I don’t understand what is the problem," said Anwar.

Recently, allegations arose over the presence of an "addendum order" issued by former Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah pertaining to former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s house arrest application.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said this in an affidavit in support of Najib's application for leave to commence judicial review proceedings in relation to the royal addendum he claimed was granted to him along with his royal pardon.

In the document, the Umno president said he was shown the document by former Selangor Umno treasurer Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz at his (Ahmad Zahid's) house at Country Heights on Jan 30.

Ahmad Zahid said Tengku Zafrul showed him a copy of the addendum order on his (Tengku Zafrul's) phone which he personally photographed or scanned from an original copy.

Responding to this, Tengku Zafrul then said on Wednesday (April 17) that he would be obtaining legal advice and looking to file an affidavit to correct certain factual errors contained in Ahmad Zahid's affidavit.

Meanwhile, Anwar said the onus was on the Pardons Board to act on such matters based on advice from the King and the Malay Rulers.

Hence, said the Prime Minister, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong would be the one making the final decision in his capacity as the Pardons Board chairman.

"We have been clear that any decision by the Pardons Board and the Agong’s decision is the final decision," he added.

And this would be done without eradicating the records and decisions made by the judiciary.

"That is the way we did it," said Anwar.

He added from Merdeka to today, there has never been a government action that undermined the role and powers of the Malay Rulers.

"We will uphold this," said Anwar.

The Pardons Board had commuted Najib’s jail sentence, for the SRC International case, by half to six years.

The fine that had been imposed on him, upon conviction, had also been reduced to RM50 mil from the initial RM210mil.

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