PETALING JAYA, Oct 1: Former attorney-general Mohamed Apandi Ali is demanding compensation from the government for “unlawful termination” by Dr Mahathir Mohamad two years ago.
In a letter of demand sent to the Attorney-General’s Chambers on Sept 30, legal firm Shukor Baljit & Partners said Apandi categorically stated that his dismissal from office was unlawful and thus null and void.
“As a result, our client had suffered damages, including but not limited to, loss of earnings and other benefits from July 27, 2018 to July 26, 2021,” said the demand letter sighted by FMT.
It is learned that monetary loss suffered by Apandi during that period is about RM2 million.
The legal firm said a suit would be filed after seven days of the notice unless Apandi received an offer of restitution and damages acceptable to him.
Apandi’s term had seen a series of controversies from the day he replaced Abdul Gani Patail whose services were abruptly terminated for what the government said were health reasons.
Also, in early 2016, Apandi cleared the then prime minister Najib Razak of wrongdoing in 1MDB, a bone of contention by Mahathir and the opposition he was leading.
The letter said Apandi, a former Federal Court judge, was appointed by the King on the advice of the prime minister (Najib) for a three-year period until July 26, 2018.
It said Apandi’s appointment could only be terminated by the King pursuant to Article 145 (5 ) of the Federal Constitution.
Just before the 14th general election in May 2018, Apandi’s tenure was extended by another three years.
Pakatan Harapan ousted the BN government with Mahathir returning as prime minister for the second time on May 10, 2018.
The letter said the chief secretary to the government in a letter dated June 5, 2018 notified that the King had consented to his termination but that there was no evidence to that effect.
It said the dismissal was decided by the prime minister himself, and that he had abused his position and committed the tort of misfeasance in public office.
“The prime minister had conducted himself with the intent to cause or induce a breach of contract between the government and our client,” the letter stated, adding that Mahathir’s conduct then was one of “colourable exercise of power”.