Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Lingam video scandal : need for revamp of Judiciary

The Royal commission of Inquiry an insult to the intelligence of the people

The Royal Commission Inquiry into the Lingam video has come to an end and the question in everyone’s mind is whether the commission will come up with any credible conclusions and recommendations to heal the ailing judiciary. The general opinion is there will not be any tangible outcome from it therefore confirming perception that it was just a sandiwara.

The commission began with various high profile personalities denying everything that was obvious to the eyes and minds of the ordinary person. It is sad that what is seen and heard become by one’s own eyes and ears can be disputed by those in power and influence. If such evidence was presented of ordinary citizens, they would have been convicted and sentenced without the need for an elaborate Royal Commission requiring the expenditure of thousands of ringgit of taxpayer’s money.

The allegations and the evidence of the various witnesses were extremely serious that has tremendously tarnished the integrity of the judiciary at the highest level. They have cast serious doubts of the integrity of the judiciary in the minds of the rakyat.

Imagine the following scenario:

1. A lawyer writing the judgment for a very senior judge and the accused being convicted and fined RM10million, the highest so far for a crime of that nature.
2. The top judge in the country and his family going on holiday to a foreign land with a lawyer involved in the cases being deliberated by the judge.
3. A lawyer sending expensive gifts to top judges and their families.
4. A lawyer brokering the promotion of not junior but very senior judges to the highest positions in the judiciary.

In most democratic countries these allegations would have been sufficient to pass a vote of no confidence in the government of the day and call for fresh elections. In Malaysia unfortunately the ruling party may not only win the election but with an increased majority because the people are fearful of losing their positions of comfort with somebody else coming into power. They prefer the economic and social “security” over accountability, transparency and good governance.

The way the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Lingam tape conducted itself, is an insult to the intelligence of the people. Should we continue to accept such insults? Isn’t it a time for change? We should ponder over these questions and act wisely come March 8.

The judicial corruption is the making of the BN government especially under the leadership of former Prime Minister,Tun Dr. Mahathir over the last 2 decades. When called to testify before the Royal Commission he conveniently chose to forget his The way the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Lingam tape conducted itself, is an insult to the intelligence of the people. Should we continue to accept such insults? Isn’t it a time for change? We should ponder over these questions and act wisely come March 8.

part that contributed to the emasculation of the judiciary. He was however very vivid with his memory as far as his authority was concerned. He was arrogant enough to say that he owes nobody any explanation for his decisions, not even the Chief Justice in the appointment of judges. He was mainly responsible for the mess in our judiciary today.

There was much hope that after Mahathir’s exit, the new prime minister may initiate measures to clear the mess but it was too much for him. Consciously or otherwise he managed to expose the filth, but he has proven that he is not capable to restore the judiciary and the country to its past glory. Can we trust a party which has created all this mess to be responsible enough to clear them as well? How can we when the government doesn’t even admit its mistakes?

As citizens we are helpless against the powerful government which continues to bulldoze its unfair policies without consultation or dialogue. All peaceful means of expression are denied.Peacful assemblies are crushed brutally with water canons and tear gas.

It is election time and it is the only opportunity for us to make known in uncertain terms our frustrations to the government we chose all these years. We must deny them the 2/3 majority that gives them absolute power to do as they please. We must not lose this golden opportunity to put things right. We must act and now is the time.

Dr.Chris Anthony

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