Pisahkan jawatan peguam negara dan pendakwa raya dengan segera (Malay/English)

44 views
Photograph: Wikimapia

[ENGLISH VERSION BELOW] Gabungan Pilihan Raya Bersih dan Adil (Bersih 2.0) telah melancarkan laporan kajian yang bertajuk “Reformasi Jawatan Peguam Negara dan Perkhidmatan Kehakiman dan Perundangan di Malaysia”.

Laporan ini, yang dinaungi oleh Bersih 2.0 dan ditulis oleh Andrew Yong, menunjukkan kekurangan kawalan perlembagaan terhadap jawatan peguam negara merangkap pendakwa raya, yang menyebabkan pendakwaan terpilih dan penguatkuasaan undang-undang jenayah yang tidak sama rata di Malaysia, serta menunjukkan pemisahan kuasa yang tidak mencukupi antara Jabatan Peguam Negara dan badan kehakiman mahkamah rendah.

Laporan ini mengkaji peruntukan perlembagaan semasa yang mengelola peguam negara dan perkhidmatan kehakiman dan perundangan di Malaysia dengan merujuk kepada sejarah dan amalan semasa yang terbaik yang diguna pakai di pelbagai negara Komanwel.

Ia telah mempertimbangkan skop dan fungsi, proses pemilihan dan jaminan jawatan peguam negara dan pendakwa raya di Malaysia, serta hubungan Jabatan Peguam Negara dengan kerajaan-kerajaan negeri dan institusi persekutuan yang lain.

Pemecatan peguam negara Abdul Gani Patail secara tiba-tiba pada tahun 2015 dan tindakan penggantinya, Apandi Ali, dalam membersihkan Najib Razak daripada semua kesalahan jenayah berkaitan skandal 1MDB telah membusukkan nama jawatan peguam negara dan menyumbang kepada ketidakpercayaan masyarakat terhadap sistem keadilan jenayah di Malaysia.

Layanan lembut terhadap menteri-menteri kerajaan, berbeza dengan tindakan pantas dan drakonian yang diambil terhadap pemimpin pembangkang dan pemimpin masyarakat madani, telah menimbulkan persepsi umum bahawa peguam negara di Malaysia beroperasi sebagai orang suruhan perdana menteri dan bukannya sebagai pegawai kuasi-kehakiman (quasi-judicial) yang tidak berpihak.

Pada bulan Julai 2021, menteri undang-undang dalam kerajaan Perikatan Nasional sebelum ini, Takiyuddin Hassan, telah menyatakan bahawa kerajaan tiada bantahan untuk mempertimbangkan pembentukan suruhanjaya siasatan diraja untuk mereformasi jawatan peguam negara. Ini telah disokong oleh ahli-ahli politik dan parti-parti politik termasuk Azalina Othman Said, Dr Mahathir Mohamad dan MCA.

Dengan kejatuhan kerajaan Perikatan Nasional dan muslihat-muslihat ahli politik dari “kluster mahkamah”, yang menghadapi tuduhan atau disabit kesalahan rasuah serta kesalahan lain terhadap rakyat Malaysia, kini penting untuk tindakan diambil bagi menghilangkan pengaruh politik serta gangguan lain daripada pendakwaan awam dan sistem keadilan jenayah di Malaysia.

Bersih 2.0 menyeru agar kerajaan segera memulakan dan bekerjasama dengan parti politik lain di Parlimen untuk menjalankan reformasi perlembagaan yang telah diperincikan dalam laporan, seperti yang diringkaskan di bawah:

Pemisahan pejabat peguam negara dan pendakwa raya

  • Oleh kerana peguam negara adalah seorang lantikan politik tanpa jaminan jawatan, beliau perlu berhenti memegang jawatan pendakwa raya atau menjadi anggota di mana-mana suruhanjaya perkhidmatan. Kewibawaannya hendaklah terhad kepada Jabatan Peguam Negara sahaja dan bukan kepada keseluruhan perkhidmatan perundangan
  • Perdana menteri harus memiliki fleksibiliti untuk memilih calon terbaik sebagai peguam negara dan untuk jawatan menteri undang-undang dan boleh menggabungkan kedua-dua jawatan tersebut dalam satu individu, sebagaimana yang dianggap sesuai. Namun, Parlimen harus mempunyai hak untuk mewajibkan pencalonan perdana menteri dikemukakan untuk mendapat persetujuan Jawatankuasa Pemilihan Khas Parlimen
  • Peguam negara harus menghadiri sesi kabinet secara berkala dan harus juga berhak, seperti menteri kabinet, untuk mengambil bahagian secara ex officio dalam prosiding kedua-dua Dewan. Namun, jika peguam negara dilantik sebagai menteri undang-undang, maka beliau mesti menjadi anggota Dewan Parlimen
  • Pendakwa raya harus dilantik oleh Agong atas syor suruhanjaya perkhidmatan yang sesuai, setelah mempertimbangkan nasihat perdana menteri. Syor tersebut boleh dikembalikan kepada suruhanjaya sekali sahaja untuk ditimbang semula. Parlimen harus mempunyai hak untuk mewajibkan nasihat perdana menteri dikemukakan untuk mendapat persetujuan Jawatankuasa Pemilihan Khas Parlimen sebelum dipersembahkan kepada Agong
  • Pendakwa raya hendaklah dilantik untuk satu penggal selama lapan tahun, tertakluk kepada usia persaraan maksimum yang sama seperti hakim Mahkamah Persekutuan dan dengan jaminan jawatan yang sama
  • Parlimen harus mempunyai kuasa untuk mewajibkan pendakwa raya supaya berunding dengan peguam negara dalam kes-kes tertentu, tetapi tidak boleh mewajibkan pendakwa raya bertindak tertakluk kepada persetujuan atau di bawah arahan atau kawalan mana-mana pihak
  • Parlimen harus mempunyai hak untuk memberikan kuasa kepada pihak berkuasa yang lain seperti Suruhanjaya Pencegahan Rasuah Malaysia dan Suruhanjaya Sekuriti untuk memulakan dan menjalankan pendakwaan atas kesalahan-kesalahan tertentu dalam bidang kuasa masing-masing; namun pendakwa raya harus memiliki kuasa, dengan kebenaran mahkamah atau persetujuan pihak berkuasa yang berkenaan, untuk mengambil alih sebarang pendakwaan
READ MORE:  Reforming the office of attorney general and the judicial and legal service

Pemisahan perkhidmatan kehakiman dan perundangan

  • Perkhidmatan Kehakiman dan Perundangan harus dibahagikan kepada perkhidmatan kehakiman dan perkhidmatan perundangan yang berasingan, masing-masing mempunyai suruhanjaya perkhidmatan yang tersendiri
  • Suruhanjaya perkhidmatan kehakiman harus kembali dipengerusikan oleh ketua hakim negara sebagai ketua badan kehakiman, dengan pemegang jawatan kehakiman yang lain dan wakil ketua Suruhanjaya Perkhidmatan Awam sebagai anggota ex officio. Ia juga harus memegang kembali tanggungjawab untuk mencalonkan anggota tribunal bagi menamatkan jawatan hakim mahkamah atasan dan untuk mengesyorkan penggantungan jawatan sementara menunggu keputusan tribunal tersebut
  • Suruhanjaya perkhidmatan perundangan harus tidak lagi mempunyai peguam negara sebagai anggota ex officio, dan tempatnya harus digantikan oleh peguamcara negara dan pendakwa raya. Ia harus bertanggungjawab ke atas pelantikan, kenaikan pangkat, pemindahan dan disiplin semua anggota perkhidmatan perundangan. Ia juga harus memiliki tanggungjawab untuk mencalonkan anggota tribunal untuk menamatkan jawatan pendakwa raya dan untuk mengesyorkan penggantungan jawatan sementara menunggu keputusan tribunal tersebut
  • Peguam negara dan peguamcara negara tidak harus berkuasa memberi arahan kepada  anggota perkhidmatan perundangan yang dilantik atau ditugaskan untuk berkhidmat di jabatan pendakwa raya, kerajaan negeri, Parlimen atau suruhanjaya-suruhanjaya yang bebas
  • Pembaharuan undang-undang hendaklah terus menjadi tanggungjawab setiap kementerian, bekerjasama dengan Jabatan Peguam Negara. Akan tetapi, sebuah suruhanjaya pembaharuan undang-undang yang terdiri dari ahli akademik undang-undang dan bekas hakim harus dibentuk, di bawah pengawasan kementerian undang-undang, bagi membentukkan cadangan untuk pembaharuan undang-undang, yang hendaklah dibentangkan di Parlimen

Bersih 2.0 mendesak semua parti politik di Parlimen untuk bekerjasama bagi melaksanakan saranan ini tanpa bertangguh lagi, bagi meyakinkan rakyat bahawa mereka mempunyai iltizam politik dan komited terhadap reformasi institusi yang dijanjikan kepada rakyat. – Bersih 2.0

#KetuanPengundi
#HidupDemokrasi

English version

Separate the offices of attorney general and public prosecutor without delay

The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih 2.0) has launched a report entitled “Reforming the Office of Attorney General and the Judicial & Legal Service in Malaysia”.

The report, commissioned by Bersih 2.0 and written by Andrew Yong, highlights the lack of constitutional safeguards in the combined offices of the attorney general and public prosecutor, which has led to selective prosecutions and the unequal enforcement of criminal law in Malaysia, as well as the insufficient separation between the Attorney General’s Chambers and the subordinate judiciary.

READ MORE:  Tommy Thomas reveals all! Where is Malaysia heading?

The report studies the current constitutional arrangements governing the attorney general and the Judicial and Legal Service in Malaysia with reference to historical and current best practice in various Commonwealth countries. It has considered the scope and functions, selection process and tenure of the combined attorney general and public prosecutor in Malaysia, as well as the relationship of the Attorney General’s Chambers with other federal institutions and the states.

The sudden dismissal of the then-attorney general, Gani Patail, in 2015 and the actions of his successor, Apandi Ali, in clearing Najib Razak of all criminal offences in relation to the 1MDB scandal, has brought the office of the attorney general into disrepute and contributed to widespread public distrust in the impartiality of the criminal justice system in Malaysia.

The lenient treatment of government ministers, contrasted with swift and draconian action taken against opposition and civil society leaders, have given rise to a general perception that the attorney genera in Malaysia operates as the henchman of the prime minister instead of as an impartial quasi-judicial officer.

In July 2021, the law minister in the previous Perikatan National government, Takiyuddin Hassan, said the government had no objection to considering the establishment of a royal commission of inquiry  into reforming the office of the attorney general. This has been supported by politicians and political parties, including Azalina Othman Said, Dr Mahathir Mohamad and the MCA.

With the fall of the PN government and manoeuvrings by politicians of the so-called “court cluster”, who face criminal charges and convictions for corruption and other offences against the people of Malaysia, it is now essential that action is taken to remove political influence and other interference from public prosecutions and the criminal justice system in Malaysia.

Bersih 2.0 calls upon the government urgently to initiate and to work with other political parties in Parliament to pass the constitutional reforms detailed in the report, as summarised below:

Separation of offices of attorney general and public prosecutor

  • As the attorney general is a political appointee without security of tenure, he should cease to hold the office of public prosecutor and to be a member of any service commission. His authority should extend only to the federal Attorney General’s Chambers and not to the rest of the legal service
  • The prime minister should have the flexibility to choose the best candidates for the office of the attorney general and for the position of law/justice minister and should be able to combine both positions in one individual, as he may judge appropriate. However, Parliament should have the right to require the prime minister to submit his nomination for the approval of a parliamentary committee
  • The attorney general should attend cabinet on a regular basis and should also have the right, like a cabinet minister, to participate ex officio in the proceedings of both Houses of Parliament. If, however, the attorney general is appointed law/justice minister, then he must be a member of one or other House
  • The public prosecutor should be appointed by the Agong upon the recommendation of the appropriate Service Commission, which may after considering the advice of the prime minister be returned to the commission once for reconsideration. Parliament should have the right to require the prime minister, before advising the Agong, to submit his advice for the approval of a parliamentary committee
  • The public prosecutor should be appointed for a single term of eight years, subject to the same maximum retirement age, and with the same security of tenure as a Federal Court judge
  • Parliament should have the power to require the public prosecutor to consult with the attorney general in particular cases, but must not require the public prosecutor to act subject to the consent or under the direction or control of any person
  • Parliament should have the power to authorise specialist agencies such as the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission and the Securities Commission to initiate and conduct prosecutions for specific offences within their remit, but the public prosecutor should have the power, with the permission of the court or of the agency concerned, to take over any prosecution
READ MORE:  Pas, attorney general should not ‘merepek’ about confidence vote

Separation of the judicial and legal service

  • The judicial and legal service should be divided into a judicial service and a separate legal service, each with its own service commission
  • The judicial service commission should revert to being chaired by the chief justice as the head of the judiciary, with other judicial office-holders and the deputy chairman of the Public Services Commission as ex officio members. It should also regain responsibility for nominating members of tribunals for the removal of superior court judges and for proposing any suspensions pending the decisions of such tribunals
  • The legal service commission should cease to have the attorney general as an ex officio member, with his place being taken by the solicitor general and the public prosecutor. It should be responsible for the appointments, promotions, transfers and discipline of all members of the legal service. It should also have responsibility for nominating members of a tribunal for the removal of the public prosecutor and for proposing any suspension pending the decision of such a tribunal
  • The attorney general and the solicitor general should not have authority over members of the legal service appointed or seconded to serve the public prosecutor’s chambers, state governments, Parliament or independent commissions
  • Law reform should continue to be the responsibility of individual ministries, working together with the Attorney General’s Chambers. However, a law reform commission, consisting of legal academics and retired judges, should be created, under the oversight of the Ministry of Law/Justice, to make proposals for law reform, which should be laid before Parliament

Bersih 2.0 urges all political parties in Parliament to work together to implement these recommendations without delay, to convince the public that they have the political will and are committed to the institutional reforms promised to the public. – Bersih 2.0

#KetuananPengundi
#HidupDemokrasi

Thanks for dropping by! The views expressed in Aliran's media statements and the NGO statements we have endorsed reflect Aliran's official stand. Views and opinions expressed in other pieces published here do not necessarily reflect Aliran's official position.

Our voluntary writers work hard to keep these articles free for all to read. But we do need funds to support our struggle for Justice, Freedom and Solidarity. To maintain our editorial independence, we do not carry any advertisements; nor do we accept funding from dubious sources. If everyone reading this was to make a donation, our fundraising target for the year would be achieved within a week. So please consider making a donation to Persatuan Aliran Kesedaran Negara, CIMB Bank account number 8004240948.
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments