LAST_UPDATEFri, 20 Jul 2018 6pm

AG Chambers Not To Represent Any Party In Election Petition - AG

Tommy Thomas. Tommy Thomas.

PUTRAJAYA -- The Attorney-General's Chambers will not represent any party in any election petition and the Election Commission (EC) must appoint members of the Malaysian Bar of its choice to represent it in the legal proceedings, said Attorney-General (AG) Tommy Thomas. 

He said the Federal Constitution expressly stated that the EC chairman must enjoy public confidence, likewise the EC itself.

"As the neutral arbiter in the conduct of elections, the EC should not be represented by members of this Chambers because of any potential conflict of interest and the perception that justice must be seen to be done," he said in a statement today. 

Thomas said Malaysia's legal system established 'ad hoc' Election Courts to hear and determine election petitions for disputes arising from the conduct of elections by the EC and its staff.

"Because members of the government are invariably parties to such election petitions, whether as members of parliament, state assemblymen or defeated candidates, it is invidious for the Chambers to also act for the EC," he added. 

Thomas stressed that the primary duty of the Chambers was to act as the legal advisor to the executive branch of government led by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and to represent them in civil and criminal proceedings in the courts.

The EC was established at the time of Merdeka to be an independent and impartial agency to conduct elections freely and fairly and was intended to be neutral between political parties competing with each other for the right to be chosen by the voters to govern them for a maximum period of five years, he said.