KLSCAH: “Releasing Zahid is unity govt’s self-defeating move”

THE Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH) has expressed concern about the discharge not amounting to acquittal (DNAA) granted to Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

It said while it respects the judicial decision, the prosecution office must provide a sufficient explanation to the public for the verdict considering that the prosecution had previously successfully proven Zahid’s prima facie case.

“KLSCAH believes that the attorney-general’s (AG) position is a political appointment and should not concurrently hold both roles as government legal advisor and prosecutor with the power to charge and withdraw charges,” said the non-governmental organisation (NGO) in a press statement today (Sept 5).

“Therefore, it is imperative for the government to promptly announce a timetable for implementing prosecutorial independence to restore the people’s confidence in the independent operation of the judiciary.”

According to KLSCAH, the unity government needs to assure the people that the DNAA verdict does not equate to “testing the waters” for the release of former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

“After all, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim promised a strict crackdown on corruption, but the verdict in Zahid’s case has undermined the confidence of the people and civil society in the government’s efforts to combat corruption,” it stressed.

“It resembles the past government’s selective prosecution or withdrawal of charges against some political figures, ultimately appearing as a self-defeating move by the unity government.”

KLSCAH went on to note that a DNAA verdict without sufficient reasons is “truly unacceptable and unconvincing”.

“The separation of powers among the legislative, executive and judicial branches has become mere rhetoric. Therefore, rebuilding public confidence in judicial reform is essential,” it asserted.

“Ensuring that even with changes in political leadership, the judicial institutions will not favour any party in power and that the phenomenon of selectively charging or dropping charges against certain political figures does not persist is something the unity government urgently needs to consider.” – Sept 5, 2023

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