KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 19 — DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang today said that keeping the settlement terms of former Attorney General Tan Sri Mohamad Apandi Ali’s lawsuit against Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad private goes against the public interest.
He said public interest required all terms be made public and it was indefensible to keep it a secret as Apandi had already stated the amount he was seeking for his dismissal which was RM2.23 million.
He called on the government to review and reverse its decision.
“Public interest requires the out-of-court settlement to be made public. The Cabinet should reverse the decision to keep the out of court settlement from the knowledge of the public, as the government is acting on behalf of the public,” Lim said in a statement this morning.
“If Apandi wants to institute legal action as a result of the publication of the out-of-court settlement, he should be free to do so.”
In a written parliamentary reply to Ipoh Barat MP M. Kulasegaran on February 14, law and institutional reform minister Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said had said Apandi’s lawsuit against Dr Mahathir and the government had been settled out of court without any admission of liability.
Azalina said that Apandi’s lawyers and the Attorney-General’s Chambers had agreed during the negotiations for settlement that the settlement terms would be kept confidential and not disclosed to the public.
Azalina had said that all communications regarding the settlement negotiations and the agreed settlement terms have been classified as a secret according to the Official Secrets Act, in line with the agreement to keep the terms confidential.
Apandi sued Dr Mahathir for terminating him from his post in June 2018 amid a 1MDB probe.
He had claimed in his lawsuit that the government had told him in April 2018 that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong had consented to his reappointment from July 27, 2018, onwards and that he had accepted this, but said it was allegedly cut short after Dr Mahathir became prime minister from May 10, 2018.