Call for review and reversal of decision to keep settlement of Apandi’s dismissal suit as Attorney-General by Mahathir in 2018 an “official secret” as it is completely indefensible in terms of public interest

I call for review and reversal of the decision to keep the settlement of Mohamad Apandi Ali’s dismissal as Attorney-General by Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad in 2018 an “official secret” as it is completely indefensible in terms of public interest.

Last week, the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Law and Institutional Reform) Azalina Othman Said told Ipoh Barat MP M Kula Segaran in a written parliamentary reply that legal counsels to both parties in the matter had agreed to conceal the terms of the settlement during their negotiations.

This is against the public interest, especially as Mahathir had said that he was “mystified” by Putrajaya’s decision not to reveal the details of the settlement with former attorney-general Mohamed Apandi Ali over compensation for the latter’s dismissal from his post.

I agree with Mahathir.

Apandi, the former Attorney General under Najib Abdul Razak’s government, made his demand publicly. He even named the amount of RM2.23 million.

Mahathir had asked: “Yet the compensation the government made is a secret. Why? I have reason to find out why because I do not think he deserves to be compensated at all.”

During Mahathir’s stint as prime minister in the previous Pakatan Harapan administration, he terminated Apandi’s service as the AG in June 2018 amid the 1MDB probe.

On Oct 13, 2020, Apandi filed a suit against Mahathir and the government over his alleged unlawful termination as AG.

On April 13, 2022, Apandi and the government reached an amicable settlement over the lawsuit.

Mahathir maintained that he made the right decision in sacking Apandi and that the matter was done according to procedure.

He was shocked to read the news about the out-of-court settlement being made between the government and Apandi.

He said when news of the settlement broke: “I was not informed about the settlement even though I was a key witness.”

Public interest require the out-of-court settlement to be made public.

The Cabinet should reverse the decision to keep the out-of-court settlement from the knowledge of the public, as the government is acting on behalf of the public.

If Apandi wants to institute legal action as a result of the publication of the out-of-court settlement, he should be free to do so.

Lim Kit Siang DAP Veteran