After Bersatu claims persecution, AG says decisions to prosecute made impartially
KUALA LUMPUR, March 10 — Attorney General Tan Sri Idrus Harun today rejected allegations that his agency engaged in selective prosecution and persecution, such as Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia leaders alleged over the charges against Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin today.
In a statement emphasising the impartiality of the Attorney General’s Chambers, the AG said all decisions to prosecute depended entirely on statements and evidence gathered, rather than pressure from any source.
“Such decisions are made fairly based on investigations papers, without any bias, guided by the integrity of ensuring victims, witnesses, the accused, and the public obtain justice in accordance with the law, and in line with the AG’s powers under Article 145(3) of the Federal Constitution,” the AG said in a statement today.
The statement was issued shortly after the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission sent out its own to insist on its complete independence in the investigation of the JanaWibawa scheme, for which it has charged three Bersatu leaders including Muhyiddin today.
The AG said his office rejected the allegations of bias and persecution against any individual, before insisting that the decisions to prosecute were made without fear or favour.
“In the event there is testimony and firm evidence that any individual has committed an offence under the law, the person will be prosecuted based on the legal provisions without regard to his status or background,” the AG said.
Earlier today, Muhyiddin was charged with four counts of corruption and two counts of money laundering, becoming the latest Bersatu leader to be prosecuted over the Bumiputera assistance scheme launched when he was the prime minister.
The Jana Wibawa, or “Program Jana Ekonomi Pemerkasaan Kontraktor Bumiputera Berwibawa”, was launched with the professed aim of improving the capacity and resilience of Bumiputera contractors in construction, ostensibly to support Malaysia’s post-pandemic recovery.
After he was released on bail by the MACC yesterday, Muhyiddin alleged that the commission appeared to be acting on instructions from “above”.
Former prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin reacts as he leaves the Kuala Lumpur High Court March 10, 2023. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Today, he reiterated his claims of political motive, purporting that the charges against him were meant to put his party on par with Umno, which is part of the current government and whose president Zahid remains on trial for corruption.
Bersatu had pre-emptively claimed persecution even before its leaders began to be charged over the JanaWibawa scheme, and began doing so after the party’s bank accounts were frozen as part of the MACC investigation earlier this year.