Past Events

12 Jan’16 – The Role of The Attorney-General: Time for a Re-Think?

role of the attorney general

Penang Institute, the public policy think tank of the Penang state government is proud to host a  public lecture and conversation on ‘The Role of The Attorney-General: Time for a Re-Think?
Date: 12 January 2016
Time: 8pm – 10pm (Registration at 7.30pm)
Venue: Level 5, Wawasan Open University

Malaysia’s Attorney General’s Chambers holds tremendous powers spanning at least four significant functions: offering legal counsel to the government; drafting of laws; bringing prosecutions; and overseeing the administration of the lower judiciary. For decades, criticisms have been made about conflicts of interest, selective prosecutions and undesirable effects on the independence of lower judiciary. The recent 1MDB investigation and the effective disbanding of the Special Task Force related to it have raised certain important questions concerning the role of the AG’s Chambers, especially when viewed in the context of checks-and-balances within government.  Against this backdrop, it is felt that the time has perhaps come to embark on a serious and wide-ranging debate over the status, functions and powers of the AG’s Chambers.

About The Speaker
Prof Venkat Iyer, an internationally renowned law expert, barrister and a former Law Commissioner for Northern Ireland, has agreed to lead a conversation which will identify issues of relevance to the proposed debate and offer some international perspectives on the subject. He will draw from experiences of the United Kingdom, India and other Commonwealth countries on how the powers and functions of the AG’s Chambers may be redesigned for more effective checks and balances and a healthier parliamentary democracy.

7.30pm – Registration
8.00pm – Welcoming Speech by YB Steven Sim, MP Bukit Mertajam & Penang Institute’s Board of Director
8.10 pm – Speaker : Dr Venkat Iyer, Ulster University
8.40 pm – Panel discussion, moderated by Dr Wong Chin Huat, Fellow of Penang Institute
                   Discussant: Mr. Philip Koh, Senior Partner, Mah-Kamariyah & Philip Koh
9.150pm – Question & Answer
9.30pm – Adjourned

Admission is FREE and registration is on a first come first serve basis. Kindly register your interest below.

For further enquiries, please contact the secretariat at 04- 228 3306 or email to

Online Registration