Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Its Dangerous To Be Right,When The Goverment Was Wrong

Tulisan Dr DZulkefly Ahmad Ahli Parlimen Kuala Selangor didalam blog beliau

As if the rots that have plagued the judiciary weren’t enough to erode the confidence of the people towards this critical institution, the de facto Law Minister, DS Nazri Aziz, on Monday, stunned the House when he said that there’s no law to criminalize brokering for judicial appointment. Despite all the hue and cry, VK Lingam is after all going to be scot-free as no crimes were established.

This has surely brought utter disrepute to the already tainted judiciary, now badly in need of a ‘total overhaul’ of its image and integrity. While the claim of an absence of a legislation or an act to ‘illegalise’ and ‘criminalise’ may be unfortunately true, his suggestion that ‘Lingham might have just acted to fix the appointment of judges to impress’ was really a very bad joke. I almost wanted to say that he has turned himself into a clown. But I would reserve it for another day.

But this decision has made a huge mockery of the Royal Commission of Inquiry on VK Lingam’s fiasco. I stood in that august house on that day, to make the minister to commit saying that ‘what may be morally wrong could be legally or politically right’ in this country of ours.

He answered in the affirmative without hesitation. He wanted to lecture us on that. He chose to be oblivious of the saying of Abraham Lincoln and many a great mind on the subject of “Philosophy of Law”, “Moral Foundation of Law” and “Theory of Law” 101.

Admittedly also, the acrimonious debate is a long standing one, from time immemorial. Notwithstanding, the case of Lingam is surely so obviously ‘wrong’ as much as it is ‘immoral’. When an action could not, but be interpreted, as brokering or lobbying for an appointment of the highest position of the office of the judiciary, it indeed is an open assault on the integrity of the judiciary.

And that is almost subversion and ‘treason’ to the state. The entire act of those involved in the Lingam’s case is despicable as it inevitably brings one to the next logical conclusion. If judges’ appointment could be fixed than logically verdicts/judgments of judges could as well be similarly fixed, at a ‘certain price’ of course.

Most atrocious in the Lingam’s case is the fact that, while the ‘brokering’ may be immoral but legal, the latter ie writing judgment, while both immoral and illegal, also escaped the long arm of the law. The nation must not take all these assaults lying down. This will be elaborated later.

Nazri had in fact earlier said that further investigations into the Lingam’s case cannot be undertaken by the MACC as the key witness could not be located. The MACC had subsequently classified the case as ‘no further action’ (NFA).

In an effort to counter the various indiscriminate claims of the law minister, the Opposition MPs have brought a key witness sought by the Malaysian Ant-Corruption Commission (MACC) to Parliament yesterday (Tuesday 10). Jayanthi L.G Naidu was Lingam’s former secretary at the time of the royal commission’s probe into Lingam’s alleged involvement in brokering the appointment of judges.

Reading from her written statement, Jayanthi explained that she has been available to assist MACC in their investigations at all times and was very willing to cooperate with the ant-graft body. She was also called in as a witness by the commission to testify about Lingam’s holiday with the former Chief Justice Eusoff Chin to New Zealand.

She had given a full statement in 1998 regarding the trip to the former Anti-Corruption Agency (now MACC). She repeated this at the royal commission’s proceedings. She had told the ACA and the royal commission that Lingam and Chin’s family holiday trip to New Zealand in 1994 was arranged and paid for by Lingam. She stands her ground to date. Kudos Jayanthi! Her safety is now the responsibility of the nation.

However, the commission found that no crime has been committed as both parties had paid for their own respective holidays and that further investigations cannot be undertaken as a key witness could not be located. The rakyat now wishes to know who the person is, as only he or she is capable of putting the case to rest for ever.

But most appalling, the MACC and Nazri had both refused to name the witness that could not be located. If it’s not Jayanthi, they must now name the person as it is critical to safeguard the integrity of the judiciary. Their actions are indeed at best irresponsible and at worst amounting to ‘subverting’ the judiciary. Is that both moral and legal?

Inter alia, Jayanthi also divulged information pertaining judgment delivered by Judge Mokhtar Sidin in the Vincent Tan vs MGG Pillai ’s libel case that was written in the office of Lingam. Besides, on various occasions, she confessed having withdrawn large sums of cash between RM100,000 and RM300,000 under Lingam’s instructions which then were wrapped in gift boxes with the understanding that they were to be hand-delivered by others to individual judges.

“On one occasion I saw one of these money boxes being placed with a box containing a cake to be delivered to a judge,” she testified.

Despite the commission’s recommendation to conduct fresh investigations into the Lingam’s case, authorities decided to close two of the investigation documents and another was marked as ‘no further action’.

The Pakatan MPs and the rakyat the nation over, now unequivocally demand that the MACC and the relevant authorities would re-think their position.. The buck must stop at the premier. Pak lah, as a reminder to all and particularly to Najib, has now left a ‘legacy of lost opportunity’.

Najib had equally pronounced high-sounding rhetoric, ever since he took over the premiership in the same tradition of his predecessors. But slogans without substance undermine trust.

This is an opportune time to placate grouses against himself and vindicate his claims of People’s First. If he insists of doing it wrongly again, let him be reprimanded that, (quoting Voltaire), ”It’s dangerous to be right, when the government is wrong”!.

He shall be duly punished come next 13th GE

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