Archive for January 18th, 2008

Lingam tape RCI – Mahathir evasive, forgetful and irresponsible

Former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad was a poor witness yesterday at the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Lingam videotape scandal.

He was evasive, uncharacteristically forgetful as to be prone to sudden bouts of amnesia on certain crucial events which Mahathir had never been known to suffer from and broke his word that he would respond to all questions to the best of his ability.

Most of the time, Mahathir was evading questions to the best of his ability, including his resort to “prerogative” to refuse to answer questions for the reasons why he rejected the recommendation of the then Chief Justice Tun Dzaiddin Abdullah in 2002 for the appointment of the late Tan Sri Abdul Malek Ahmad as Chief Judge of Malaya, favouring instead of Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim.

Mahathir was downright wrong and irresponsible in pleading prerogative to refuse to answer questions why the recommendation of a Chief Justice who was most familiar with the best qualities of his brother judges was rejected.

While the prerogative of the Prime Minister under the Constitution to decide on who should be recommended for appointment to the various high judicial offices in the country is not challenged or doubted, it is wrong to equate of prerogative of a Prime Minister in a democratic system of government with the royal prerogative of divine rule.

This is because the prerogative of a Prime Minister in an elected system of government, while assuring the Prime Minister as having the final say in the decision-making, does not give the Prime Minister the immunity to disregard accountability, transparency and integrity in the exercise of the prerogative.

This is my second disappointment with the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Lingam Tape scandal. Two days ago, I asked why the Royal Commission of Inquiry had not subpoenaed V. K. Lingam to be the first witness to ascertain from him whether he conceded the authenticity of the 14-minute tape, especially as he has authorized his lawyer to say that the person in the tape looked and sounded like him Read the rest of this entry »


I will be in Keningau this evening


Kit Siang to visit Keningau tomorrow


Opposition leader and Democratic Action Party (DAP) National Adviser Lim Kit Siang will visit Keningau on Friday to hear the problems of the people, especially from this district.

Lim will be accompanied by State DAP coordinating chief Teresa Kok, Interior DAP chief Paul Kadau said on Tuesday.

He said Lim is expected to meet the people at Juta Hotel about 7pm.

Paul disclosed that all the DAP machineries in the interior are ready for the coming general election.

“I have set up nine election centres in this district to assist me in the campaigns,” he said.

Paul said DAP would not face any problem because all preparations were going smoothly and the people’s support was very encouraging.


Time for new Education Minister if Hishammuddin cannot free national schools from the clutches of Little Mullah Napoleons (LMN)

A parent of a student in SMK Taman Selesa Jaya, Skudai, Johore has emailed his complaint of a new school ruling by the head master and discipline teacher banning the bringing of non-halal food to school.

This is put in black-and-white in the School Regulation 3.15 on “Makan dan minum” which stipulates:

“c. Makanan yang tidak halal tidak dibenarkan dibawa masuk ke kawasan sekolah.”

This is repeated and elaborated in Regulation 7.9 on “Barang-Barang Larangan” which states:

“7.9 Gula-gula, chewing gum, makanan ‘junk food’, makanan tidak halal.”

In his email, the parent was upset about one categorization of “serious offences” in breach of school discipline, viz. Item No. 28 which states “Menganjurkan atau membabitkan dalam acara kebudayaan tanpa kebenaran pihak sekolah, PPD, JPNJ dan Kementerian Pendidkan Malaysia”, causing him to ask: “I don’t understand why cultural activities outside of school is their concern. Soon going to church or celebrating Deepavali will need the same approval, or for that matter CNY.”

The School Regulation also prescribes the dress code for visitors to the school, viz:

“9.2 Pakaian pelawat, ibubapa mestilah kemas dan menutup aurat (tidak boleh berseluar pendek). Pihak sekolah boleh tidak melayan pelawat atau ibubapa yang tidak mengikuti/menendahkan peraturan tersebut.”

Malaysiakini columnist Helen Ang has coined the term “Little Mullah Napoleons” (LMN) to describe the little bureaucrats who are taking upon themselves to micro-manage how Malaysians dress – and this dress regulation for visitors to SMK Taman Selesa Jaya Skudai, Johor qualify its headmaster Haji Masdar bin Abu and discipline teacher Haris bin Ismail to join the rolls of Helen Ang’s LMNs. Read the rest of this entry »