Time to write a proud new chapter
The night of April 17 was a memorable one for the former Lord President Tun Salleh Abas and his colleagues whose honour and integrity were restored by the humble gesture of Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.His words of praise for them were carefully selected, meaningful and expressed with sincerity. The only drawback is that it should have come soon after his land-slide victory in 2004.
Furthermore admitting the mistakes of the past in front of a crowd comprising the disgraced judges and their families, Bar Council members, lawyers, important personalities and more so opposition leaders is an indication of Abdullah’s humility in willing to listen and act according to the verdict of the people on March 8.
It was the most gratifying moment in Abdullah’s five-year rule. His bold move to restore the trust of the people in the judiciary and paying tribute to the disgraced judges, whom he described as "towering judicial personalities" were most commendable.
His admission that “It was a time of crisis from which the nation never fully recovered,” is very apt. In fact the crisis of confidence in his leadership today is just a continuation of that and many debacles of the past which he has not been able to undo. It is still not too late for him now to firmly act to deliver the nation out of the many crises it faces.
Restoring the judiciary to its past glory is the responsibility of all parties. This is an area where all parties, political and non-political, government and non-government, could work together for greater benefits of the rakyat.In this respect it was heartening to see all present at the event, including the opposition members and other critics of the government, joining hands in giving support to the Prime Minister in his endeavor to strenghten the judiciary.
We hope with Abdullah’s bold move to undo the wrongs in the judiciary; he has set the trend for a comprehensive overhaul of his administration in keeping with the demands of the people for better governance in all areas. There should be more conscious attempts to develop greater accountability and transparency, fighting corruption, greater freedom of expression, abolishing repressive laws, greater racial and religious integration and ensuring a fairer socio-economic system for all Malaysians.
As Abdullah says the time has come to write a proud and new chapter in the history of our nation.