Lawyer advices Tun M not to join RCI Batu Puteh if chairman not replaced

He said RCI should be seen as clean and impartial so that the public would not question the authority of the commission's findings.

Aisyah Basaruddin
Aisyah Basaruddin
16 Feb 2024 08:51pm
Md Raus, Dr Mahathir
Md Raus, Dr Mahathir
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SHAH ALAM - Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's lawyer will advice the former Prime Minister not to join the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) related to the Batu Puteh, Batuan Tengah and Tubir Selatan sovereignty case (Batu Puteh RCI) if the chairman of the commission is not replaced.

Lawyer Rafique Rashid said the appointment of Tun Md Raus Sharif as RCI Batu Puteh chairman was against the principle of basic justice, claiming that Raus has a vested interest.

He said RCI should be seen as clean and impartial so that the public would not question the authority of the commission's findings.

"However, the appointment of Raus created a real 'bias' that will taint the entire RCI proceedings and affect the credibility of its findings.

"In the name of justice for Dr Mahathir, we humbly request the government to replace the RCI Chairman with someone who does not have a conflict of interest.

"In order to find the truth here, Raus should withdraw from the position. If not, we have no other option but to advise Dr Mahathir not to join RCI," he said in a statement on Friday.

Previously, Sinar reported that the RCI to Review the Handling of Matters related to the Sovereignty Case of Batu Puteh, Batuan Tengah and Tubir Selatan was established in accordance with the Commission of Inquiry Act 1950 [Act 119] after receiving the approval of the Yang Dipertuan Agong, Sultan Ibrahim.

The Legal Affairs Division (BHEUU) of the Prime Minister's Department (JPM) in a statement announced that Sultan Ibrahim also approved the appointment of seven RCI Commissioners chaired by Raus and former Federal Court Judge Tan Sri Datuk Zainun Ali as Deputy Chairman.

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Also appointed as members were legal practitioners Datuk Dr Baljit Singh Sidhu; former Dean of Law Faculty in Universiti Malaya Dr Johan Shamsuddin Sabaruddin; Constitutional and Administrative Law Expert Professor Datin Dr Faridah Jalil; Johor's Finance Officer, Datuk Mohammed Ridha Abd Kadir and the Southern Region Marine Director, Malaysian Marine Department, Dickson Dollah.