Archive for October 28th, 2008

PAC Chairman Azmi should withdraw from PAC Eurocopter Inquiry because of “close proximity”

Datuk Azmi Khalid, the Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), should personally withdraw from the PAC inquiry into the RM2.3 billion 12 Cougar EC725 Eurocopter deal because of his “close proximity” to the Executive as two-term member of the Cabinet until seven months ago.

Azmi’s background as a two-term Cabinet Minister under Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi would be important considerations to the Prime Minister why Azmi is regarded as politically suitable, stable, reliable and trustworthy candidate as PAC Chairman although from the perspective of established parliamentary conventions in mature democracies, these same factors would be regarded as precisely the reason why he is not suitable or qualified for the post.

In fact, in mature and developed parliamentary democracies, the Chairman of PAC is invariably from a senior Opposition MP, and not an MP from the administration, let alone a person who had just been a two-term Minister under the Prime Minister-of-the-day.

Credibility is greatly stretched for anyone to believe that a two-term Minister would be prepared to be very zealous to conduct a no-holds-barred PAC investigation into any major government irregularity or impropriety like the RM2.3 billion 12 Cougar EC725 Eurocopter deal – especially as Azmi was a Minister in the original Cabinet decision of 18th July 2007 to phase out the Nuri fleet of helicopters after the latest Nuri helicopter crash the week before.

As the maxim goes, justice must not only be done but must be seen to be done. Any hint of conflict-of-interest whether arising from “close proximity” as a two-term Cabinet Member of the Prime Minister-of-the-day or other reasons should be avoided at all costs. Read the rest of this entry »


No Umno/MCA/Gerakan/MIC MP to emulate Billy Abit Joo?

Is there not a single Umno, MCA, Gerakan or MIC MP (including Minister/Deputy Minister) in Peninsular Malaysia who dare to emulate Sarawak BN MP, Billy Abit Joo (Parti Rakyat Sarawak) to support a parliamentary debate on the review of the Internal Security Act (ISA) – and if so, why do they want to get elected into Parliament?

Barisan Nasional MPs from whichever component party cannot remain blind, deaf and dumb to the increasingly widespread and popular demand from all sectors of Malaysian society for review and repeal of the draconian Internal Security Act, which stands as a symbol of the lack of democracy and rule of law in the country.

Yesterday, October 27, was the 21st anniversary of the Operation Lalang mass ISA arrests in 1987, with 13 MPs among 106 persons arrested under the infamous detention-without-trial law.

If the BN MPs suffer from amnesia of history of what happened two decades ago, they cannot be unaware of the blatant and scandalous abuse of the ISA only last month when the ISA was used against the latest trio of ISA victims – Sin Chew senior reporter Tan Hoon Ching, DAP MP for Seputeh Teresa Kok and blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin on completely baseless grounds. Read the rest of this entry »