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Should the A-G’s power be limited?

Should the A-G’s power be limited?

The A-G (Attorney-General) of Malaysia is known to be one of the most powerful men in Malaysia. This is mainly because the A-G, as he is known has the direct power to enforce laws and take someone to court if they have broken the law.

The A-G’s powers are accorded through Article 145(3) of the Federal Constituion where he can ‘institute, conduct or discontinue’ any proceedings for an offence where this is not applicable for the Syariah Court. Such proceedings can be held at a court or court-martial and it can all be done at his discretion.

In other words, it is the A-G’s right, in which he is free to exercise them in any proceedings of an offence which pretty means that he will be able to change the outcome of a proceeding. Essentially, it means that the A-G need not be accountable to anyone or provide any justification when making any recommendations.

On the other hand, he is also allowed to overrule even the strongest recommendation to prosecute without having to justify anything. It has always been argued, especially in terms of the intention of the Constitution that allowed so much power in one man which if abused could be extremely damaging.

This is however enshrined in the Constitution which means the power could be changed if the Constitution is amended. Changing the Constitution is also possible if the ruling party do not have two-thirds majority in the cabinet and the call to limit the power of the A-G have been going on for some time.

Having said that, the A-G’s power will not change an outcome of a case or change the sentence given out but it will affect all other matters related to this which means that the A-G is required to evaluate all related documents like investigation papers and such before deciding whether a case should proceed.

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