FreeMalaysiaToday reports that the AG confirmed that ‘deputy public prosecutor (DPP) Farah Azlina Latif has been dropped from the prosecution team in the sodomy trial of former deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim’ following upon RPK’s allegation that Farah was inappropriately involved with star witness, Saiful.
Not only that, the AG also confirmed that for the same reason, Farah has been dropped altogether from the Prosecution Division of the Attorney-General’s Chambers.
He, however, insisted that she had been dropped not because she was guilty of the matter alleged, but to avert any negative public perception on the prosecution team.
However, in so explaining, the AG may have inadvertantly given away more than he had intended or he might have wrongly cast aspersions on a young woman’s reputation.
Which is it?
“The Attorney-General’s Chambers cannot compromise on any issue that can tarnish the image or credibility of the department and we are looking at such matters very seriously. This can be very difficult for us but any personal matter, if it can have any implication in whatever form on the department, will be handled very seriously”, he is reported as saying.
Now, the action taken has all but ended any career prospects Farah may have had in the AG’s Chambers. We should not be at all surprised if, in the near future, we hear that she has resigned from the service.
Seen that way, if there was no truth to the allegation, one would have expected the AG to stand by his officer and not abandon her in what must surely be a difficult time for her.
One would have expected him to condemn the allegation as outright lies.
Which he has not done.
The AG’s chambers has instead taken very serious and drastic action, as they rightly should and, as the AG has said would be taken, where a personal matter of an officer implicates the department.
Does not this serious action, then, in itself, confirm that there was a personal matter involving the officer concerned, a matter of sufficient gravity to warrant the drastic action that has been taken?
In the absence of a fuller explanation from the AG as to what that ‘personal matter’ might be, would the public not be entitled to reason that there must have been truth in RPK’s allegation, even if not whole, at least in part?
If there is in fact no truth to the allegation, the DPP’s reputation should not be sullied by the natural inference to be drawn from the action that has been taken against her, without any further explanation.
On the other hand, if the personal matter does somehow involve the witness, has not the entire proceedings been irretrievably compromised?
After all, as the AG himself conceded, is it not public perception that is paramount?