A-G hits back, questions if Dr Mahathir’s attacks in accordance with Islamic teaching

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KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 5): After absorbing numerous attacks from Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Attorney-General (A-G) Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali shoots back at the former prime minister, questioning if his statements are in accordance with the teachings of Islam.

"He is entitled to his opinion, but I doubt if his utterance is in accordance to the true teachings of Islam," Apandi told The Malaysian Insider in a WhatsApp message today.

The A-G broke his silence for the first time after announcing last week that there was "insufficient evidence" to frame any charges against Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak over several financial scandals.

Apandi's retort today came just hours after Dr Mahathir's latest blog posting where he had said, "The A-G saying he (Najib) is innocent means nothing. He, the A-G, has no credibility."

In his blog posting, Dr Mahathir also said Najib should resign in order for Malaysia to regain its reputation.

On Tuesday, the 90-year-old statesman had told the Financial Times that Apandi was under the control of Najib following his decision not to frame charges against the prime minister.

"I think the attorney-general is under the control of the subject of the investigation, the prime minister," Dr Mahathir was quoted as saying.

Dr Mahathir, who has become Najib's fiercest critic, also described as "nonsense" Apandi's reason not to take action, because the US$681 million (RM2.6 billion) donation had come from the Saudi royal family.

Apandi, at a press conference on Jan 26 to announce the investigations by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, said that there was no wrongdoing, because Najib had returned US$620 million in August 2013.

The total sum of US$681 million had been put in the prime minister's accounts between March 22 and April 10 that year.

"In the first place I don't believe the money was given by the Saudis, and I don't believe the balance was returned to the Saudis.

"If this is true, I want to know who gave, what is their financial position, whether indeed it was the king and what is the record of the banks because such money must go through the banks, (it) must move from one bank to another," Dr Mahathir was quoted saying in a video that was posted on the Financial Times website along with the article.

Apandi also said there was not enough evidence to charge Najib over money that went to his accounts from Finance Ministry-owned firm SRC International Sdn Bhd.

On Wednesday, Dr Mahathir in one of his tirades against Apandi said the A-G owed his position to Najib who made the appointment through “false" representation to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

“This means the A-G owes to the PM his position. Can he be expected to charge the person to whom he owes his position? Knowing his predecessor was dismissed for trying to do the same, the new A-G is not likely to prefer a charge against the PM," Dr Mahathir said.