The attempt by leading Malaysians to bring an action in tort to force arch criminal Najib to account, which failed in the High Court, was also rejected yesterday in the Court of Appeal.
Regrettably both courts found correctly that the suit failed because arch thief Najib is not a “public officer” as defined in the Interpretation legislation of Malaysia. It takes only a cursory look at that legislation to see that it was made part of the law of the country long before Independence and was framed by a colonial administration that did not envisage a colonial Governor, who would anyway have been a “public officer”, stealing billions of public funds.
Sixty years have passed since it became possible for Malaysia to update its laws but this has not been done. Why? Incompetence and laziness on the part of successive Attorneys General in not bringing forward revised legislation appropriate to a nation State or deliberate malfeasance in order to conserve outdated colonial legislation to hide behind. One can take one’s choice but whatever may be the conclusion drawn it cannot conceal legal incompetence on a staggering scale.
Once UMNO are in the rubbish bin of history, and its leaders in Sg. Buloh, a priority task for a new AG and legal department should be the revision and updating of left over colonial laws so that no future politician can imitate the current crooks in sheltering from their crimes through defective and antique legislation.
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