MP SPEAKS The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), like Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, is becoming “curiouser and curiouser” - in its pronouncements, staff movements and selective, even malicious, investigation and prosecution of corruption cases.
I agree with Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s lawyer Mohd Haniff Khatri Abdulla who questioned why the MACC issued a statement of denial on the reason cited by its former Special Operations Division director, Bahri Mohd Zin, on his early retirement.
It is certainly “strange and awkward” that the MACC had done this after allegedly contacting Bahri, who allegedly denied to MACC in making such a statement and yet the MACC could not coax Bahri to issue a denial - resulting in the MACC statement losing all credibility.
There is considerable merit in Mohd Haniff’s challenge urging attorney-general Mohamed Apandi Ali and the MACC chief commissioner Dzulkifli Ahmad to explain transparently the MACC’s investigations into SRC International and why the SRC International case was never brought to court, when it seems to be an open-and-shut case against Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak for corruption and abuse of power.
Earlier yesterday, Bahri confirmed that he opted to retire from his post two years earlier because he was frustrated with how the MACC investigations into SRC International went.
When contacted last night by Malaysiakini on the MACC statement, Bahri said to wait for his official statement soon, commenting that “Those who consume ‘dedak’ (animal feed) are everywhere, on the outside and within the government.”
He said: “Don’t confuse the people by making statements on my behalf, hear it from my own mouth.”
The whole scenario became trebly “curiouser” when the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department tweeted for “stern action” against retired civil servants who used their position to make statements which could cause a bad perception on the present government.
What if these retired servants are speaking the truth?
Does Azalina Othman Said want the retired civil servants to live with lies and falsehoods for the rest of their lives, as if they are not upright, honest and God-fearing human beings?
Bahri’s early retirement reminds Malaysians of another early retirement of the MACC chief commissioner, Abu Kassim Mohamad, mid-year which was more than two years earlier than his contract which was due to end on Dec 4, 2018.
‘Early retirements’ supposed to be ‘voluntary’
Both “early retirements” were supposed to be “voluntary” - although the more correct term would have been “voluntarily forced out” of their positions because they have lost the power to be effective MACC officers.
Malaysians are also reminded of Abdul Gani Patail’s “voluntary relinquishment” of the post of attorney-general three months before his retirement, allegedly for “health” reasons, but in his recent call to the Bar on Dec 23 last year, Gani was the very picture of “health and fitness”.
What was the real cause of Gani’s unconstitutional sacking as attorney-general which he had held for 13 years - had it anything to do with the alleged charges being prepared against the prime minister himself in connection with corruption and abuse of power relating to MACC’s SRC International investigations under Abu Kassim and Bahri?
The “forced” early retirements of Abu Kassim, Bahri and even Gani Patail, are the latest examples that the federal government had lost its moral compass, deviating from the five Rukunegara principles, viz - Belief in God; Loyalty to Agong and Country; Upholding the Constitution; Rule of Law and Good Behaviour and Morality - the legacy of Abdul Razak Hussein, the second prime minister of Malaysia and father of the present prime minister.
Is the Najib government prepared to restore the moral compass to his government by commissioning a public inquiry where former public servants like Gani Patail, Abu Kassim and Bahri Mohd Zain can speak openly, freely and frankly on the lessons the country and future generations can learn from their public services?
A government which is afraid of the truth and want to hide in the darkness of deceit and falsehood would not want any such airing of what the country can learn from the public service experiences of leading public servants.
We would then be afraid of the light, cower from the truth, and deviated from the Rukunegara principles in particular “Upholding the Constitution, Rule of Law and Good Behaviour and Morality”.
This is the greatest tragedy of Malaysia - six decades after Merdeka in 1957.
LIM KIT SIANG is the MP for Gelang Patah and DAP parliamentary leader.- Mkini