KUALA LUMPUR: Lawyer Syazlin Mansor should not have withdrawn herself from the inquest into the death of firefighter Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim even though she was instructed to withdraw herself from representing the Ministry of Housing and Local Government and the Fire and Rescue Department, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said.
He said the lawyer should have continued acting for the deceased family if she really wanted to find justice in the case.
“The Attorney-General (AG) has issued a statement on what actually happened. The lawyer is acting for Adib’s family, then she agreed to act for the government (ministry). How is that possible when the government, through the (inquest) proceeding, wants to ascertain the cause of Adib’s death.
“The person who appointed the lawyer was unaware that she was already acting for Adib’s family. When it came out in the open, the lawyer must withdraw from representing the government and continue representing Adib’s family, but she withdrew from representing all (three) parties in a bid to find the truth.
“The truth can be found in court. Now, even a prime minister has no power in court. If we don’t believe in court, who can we believe in to make decisions,” he said.
Dr Mahathir, who is also Bersatu chairman, said this after chairing Bersatu Supreme Leadership Council meeting at Yayasan Selangor Building here yesterday, which was also attended by party president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
In a statement earlier yesterday, Housing and Local Government Ministry which oversees the Fire and Rescue Department said it had instructed Syazlin to withdraw from the inquest into Adib’s death in accordance with AG’s advice.
Syazlin announced her withdrawal from the inquest on the 37th day of the proceeding before Judge Rofiah Mohamad at the Coroner’s Court Monday, thus raising speculation about conspiracies and attempts to influence the outcome of the inquest.
Muhammad Adib, 24, who was also a member of the emergency medical rescue services (EMRS) at Subang Jaya Fire and Rescue station, was seriously injured in a riot at Sri Maha Mariamman Temple, USJ 25, Subang Jaya on Nov 27, 2018.
He passed away after 21 days on Dec 17 at the National Heart Institute.
To the question whether AG Tommy Thomas should be sacked in connection with this issue, as demanded by certain quarters, Dr Mahathir said:
“People are going for this person (Thomas) for no reason. Whatever he does, there is a reason. The reason was, this lawyer was representing two conflicting parties, so at the very least, she should resign from being a lawyer for the government.
“The minister (Zuraida) did not know she (Syazlin) was also the lawyer for Adib’s family, you want me to sack Zuraida too?” he chided. – Bernama