CEO Morning Brief

Batu Puteh Inquiry: Objection to Mohamed Apandi's Appointment Should be Made Earlier, Says Wan Junaidi

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Publish date: Thu, 30 Jun 2022, 12:31 PM
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TheEdge CEO Morning Brief
Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali (The Edge filepix)

KUALA LUMPUR (June 29): Any objection to Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali’s appointment as chairman of the special task force to review laws relating to the sovereignty over Pulau Batu Puteh (Pedra Branca), Middle Rocks and South Ledge should have been raised and brought to government’s attention earlier.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar stressed that no issues had arisen regarding the Cabinet’s decision on Oct 29, 2021 to appoint Mohamed Apandi as chairman, as due consideration had been given to the decision to set up the task force.

He said this in response to former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s decision not to continue with the witness interview session with the task force’s Sub-Committee on Tort of Misfeasance at the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) here on Tuesday (June 28).

It was reported that the former prime minister came to the AGC for the interview but refused to proceed with the session and decided to leave as soon as he found out that Apandi was still its chairman.

“The task force only wanted to hear and get his opinion on the situation which occurred in 2018, when the government then decided to withdraw the application to review the case at the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Tun (Dr Mahathir Mohamad) was well aware of the appointment of the task force chairman and he could have turned down the invitation to attend the session at the AGC,” Wan Junaidi said in a statement here.

Wan Junaidi said Dr Mahathir’s decision not to cooperate was indeed disappointing and shocking to the panel of interviewers and the thing that the former premier should have been able to share could not be obtained by the task force.

He said the special task force was formed with specific objectives to review and study the legal options for Malaysia, as well carrying out investigation relating to the withdrawal of the review application at the ICJ in 2018.

“The task force has been carrying out its duties for seven months and will continue until the completion of the interim and final reports. It is also in the midst of preparing follow-up actions.

“It is impossible for me to act arbitrarily without any justification to remove Mohamed Apandi as the task force’s chairman, when the decision on his appointment was made by the Cabinet,” he said.

The minister stressed that the task force would continue its commitment and fulfil its responsibility to come out with a final report as planned, in line with the objective of its establishment, which is to review laws relating to the sovereignty over Pedra Branca, Middle Rocks and South Ledge.

Source: TheEdge - 30 Jun 2022

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