Archive for May 7th, 2008

The Empire Strikes Back 2

When the witness becomes the accused
Citizen Nades – By R. Nadeswaran
The Sun
7th May 2008

EVER WONDERED why the police force is unable to close files and solve crimes? Do you know why witnesses to crimes do not want to come forward? Why do witnesses suddenly have memory lapses and declare: “I did not see anything.” I got the answers yesterday. Two police officers from the Commercial Crime Division of Bukit Aman gave an insight into how investigations are carried out and I can tell you with a clear conscience that it was an exercise in futility because their line of questioning would have insulted the intelligence of any right-thinking person.

Assistant Superintendents Wan Zainal Wan Mat and Albany Hamzah turned up at the office and said that they needed to record my statement in relation to police investigations into the transfer of funds from Balkis. To say that they came ill-prepared would be an understatement. To say that they never read any of the reports in theSun or any other newspaper would be the bitter truth. They are supposed to be investigating the transfer of RM9.9 million, and yet had no clue as to how to go about doing the job. This is because they came with pre-conceived notions and pre-prepared questions, perhaps drafted by their superiors, in the hope that this writer would shoot himself in the foot by implicating himself.

After the caution was administered under the Criminal Procedure Code and the usual questions on my qualifications and my career, it was crystal clear they wanted me to reveal my sources and wanted documents in my possession. Not that I had run foul of the Official Secrets Act because none of the documents cited were classified, but they came on a fishing expedition to get me to expose my hand and to find out what is going to be published in the future. They expected me to sing like a canary!
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Anti-Corruption & Media Reform

The reform proposals announced by the Prime Minister in the fight against corruption are also most unsatisfactory, viz:

· The Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) to become an “independent” Malaysian Commission Against Corruption (MCAC) by year end, to be answerable to Parliament.

· Increase of the MCAC’s workforce to 5,000 officers over a period of five years, whistle-blowers protection legislation and improvement in the public procurement system.

An anti-corruption agency does not become “independent” just because the government describes it as “independent” – particularly when it continues to come under the Prime Minister’s Deparment instead fo operating as a completely autonomous organization, bereft of prosecution powers for corruption as this will remain the discretion of the Attorney-General.

Whether Malaysia can break the back of the problem of worsening corruption is not just through organizational or institutional changes but on whether there is the political will by the highest level of government to support an all-out war against corruption, vesting all the necessary powers to the anti-corruption institutions.

After his unprecedented landslide victory, Abdullah launched the National Integrity Plan which set the five-year target to improve Malaysia’s ranking in the Transparency International Corruption Perception Index from No. 37 in 2003 to at least No. 30 by 2008. Read the rest of this entry »


On judicial reform

The Prime Minister recently announced reform proposals for the judiciary and in the fight against corruption.

Many were disappointed by the Prime Minister’s speech on “Delivering Justice, Renewing Trust” at a special dinner hosted by the Bar Council on April 17, 2008, as more, much more, than what was announced to restore public and international confidence in the independence, impartiality and quality of the judiciary had been expected, viz:

• Ex-gratia payment for “the pain and loss” suffered by the late Tan Sri Eusoffe Abdoolcader and Tan Sri Wan Suleiman Pawanteh and their families, Tun Salleh Abas, Tan Sri Azmi Kamaruddin, Tan Sri Wan Hamzah Mohamed Salleh and Datuk George Seah in the 1988 Judicial Crisis;

• A Judicial Appointments Commission;

• Review of the judiciary’s terms of service and remuneration to ensure that the Bench can attract and retain the very best of the nation’s talent.

The thunderous and prolonged applause at the Bar Council dinner which greeted Abdullah’s recognition of the “contributions of these six judges to the nation, their commitment towards upholding justice” and acknowledgement of “the pain and loss they have endured” in the 1988 judicial crisis cannot hide the general disappointment that the Prime Minister had fallen far short of expectations to ensure a fair and just closure to the Mother of Judicial Crisis in 1988. Read the rest of this entry »


Belated genuine reforms or just sloganeering?

It is almost two months since the March 8 political tsunami of the 2008 general election which saw the end of Barisan Nasional’s unbroken two-thirds parliamentary majority and the loss of state government in five states – Penang, Perak, Selangor, Kedah and Kelantan.

More than two weeks after the March 8 political tsunami, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi admitted that the result of the elections was a strong message that he “had not moved fast enough in pushing through with the reforms that he had promised to undertake’ when he was given an unprecedented mandate in the 2004 general election winning 91% of the parliamentary seats.

Abdullah said: “I thank the Malaysian people for the message. Point made and point taken.”

It was a sign of the Prime Minister grappling with the serious problem of denial but it was not assuring enough as he had missed the whole point of the March 8 electoral verdict – not that he “had not moved fast enough” in reforms he had pledged more than four years ago, but that he had hardly moved at all apart from reform sloganeering and periodically paying lip service to them.

Have Abdullah and his Cabinet now got the full message of Malaysians in the March 8 political tsunami? Read the rest of this entry »


The Empire Strikes Back in video

The first 33 minutes of my speech in Parliament on the Royal Address motion yesterday was on the prosecution of RPK, which is on video in four parts.

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The Empire Strikes Back…

This morning, Raja Petra Kamaruddin, the editor of the news portal Malaysia Today, was summoned to the Kuala Lumpur magistrate’s court to be charged with sedition in connection with his recent posting on Altantunya Shaariibuu murder case , “Let’s send the Altantunya murderers to hell”.

Last Friday, the Police Cybercrimes Division sent a squad to his house in Sungai Buloh and confiscated his laptop and CPU in connection with police investigations under the Sedition Act 1948 for incitement and also because he “commented on a case before the court made its decision”.

Any offence in the latter category would fall under “contempt of court” to be dealt with by the presiding judge for the Altantunya murder case. When and why did it become an offence under the Sedition Act?

The police and prosecution action, coming immediately after the denial by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak through his press secretary of having anything to do with the murder of Altantunya Shaariibuu, smacks of an orchestrated response to Raja Petra’s blog – and must be deplored in the strongest possible terms. Read the rest of this entry »