SHAH ALAM, 8 Sept 2009: The High Court here has ordered the Attorney-General (AG) to reply to an affidavit-in-response filed by the Selangor government relating to his (the AG’s) application to have a circular, which directed officials and staff of the state government to assist in Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) investigations during office hours with the presence of lawyers, as null and void.
Assistant registrar Mohd Hafizi Abdul Halim, when making the order in his office, also ordered the AG to reply to an application filed by the Selangor government on Friday to strike out the originating summons.
The court fixed 15 Sept for re-mention of the case.
Senior federal counsel See Mee Chun represented the plaintiff while the defendants were represented by Yusmadi Yusoff.
On 20 Aug, the Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail filed an originating summons in the High Court registrar’s office here to apply for an order to declare that the circular issued by the Selangor state secretary Datuk Ramli Mahmud dated 28 July was null and void.
Besides the Selangor state government, Abdul Gani as the plaintiff named the state secretary as a defendant
In his supporting affidavit, Abdul Gani stressed that the circular was null and void as it went against Section 30(1)(a) and Section 30(3)(a) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009 (Act 694).
Abdul Gani said viewing the circular as an administrative directive, it bound all officials and staff of the Selangor state government, and if it was not followed, it could be used as grounds for disciplinary action against them.
Also on Friday, the Selangor state government filed an application to set aside the originating summons filed by the AG.
A supporting affidavit to oppose the application of the AG and to support the application of the Selangor state government was filed on the same day.
The Selangor state government said the AG had no locus standi to begin the proceedings, and that the proper party was the MACC as the commission was directly affected by the order.
The Selangor government also charged that the method used to initiate the proceedings should be through a writ of summons and not an originating summons, as there were many contentious facts and issues that could only be determined in a trial through cross-examination of witnesses.
The 55-page affidavit atested by Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim stated, among others, that the circular dated 29 July 2009 was issued after getting the advice of the state’s legal adviser Datin Paduka Zauyah Be T Loth Khan, and was issued with the intention to help in MACC investigations and not otherwise.
The affidavit also stated that the circular needed to be issued as state officials and staff were allegedly continously disturbed and called without notice by the MACC to surrender various documents. — Bernama