“As virtue is the business of all men, the first principles of it are written in their hearts, in characters so legible, that no man can pretend ignorance of them, or of his obligation to practice them.” : Thomas Reid
DrM is notably going around nowadays to push for independence of judiciary, abolishment of the 30% nomination rule in the UMNO constitution and greater accountability in the government. He is even espousing the role of the Rulers under the Constitution in particular respecting their functions in appointing Menteris Besar. Hell, he is even questioning cronyism and nepotism nowadays.
Frankly, I don’t give two freaking hoots about what that old man says. He is plain NOT CREDIBLE to me. He is not credible because of at least two factors. Firstly, his real intention(s) for his sudden love affair with real democracy is not known. Is he really pushing for all those things as part of societal and governmental reforms or because of some other agendas? Is he honest and sincere in his push for reform or is it just because it suits him to do so nowadays? Is it just political expediency? Or is he just pissed off when the present administration cancelled many of his pet projects thereby affecting him and/or his cronies? I really don’t know. But after 22 years of his totalitarianism approach, I am not willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. I have had enough of him.
Secondly, he is not credible because he had just done exactly the opposite of what he is saying now when he was in power. He was the one who molested, raped and sodomised the judiciary. He was the one who clipped the Rulers via a constitutional amendment in the 80’s (if I am not mistaken). Listening and being gentle to the people? Well, he was the PM when Ibrahim Libya together with about 10 villagers – old women included – were shot by combat police. He later claimed that he was abroad while that happened! And remember Operasi Lalang? The nerve of it all!! Allowing dissenting views and opposition? Huh? What’s that? He was the one who amended the UMNO constitution requiring any potential challenger to have nomination by at least 30% of the divisions after the 1988 UMNO “black Friday”! Not only that, he also changed the constitution to say that for every nomination the challenger gets, the incumbent would get 10 automatic “free” votes. What a klumptz! You can challenge Mao Tze Tong in the Chinese Communist Party more easily! And what did he do to Anwar Ibrahim? There is no love lost between me and Anwar Ibrahim as I don’t trust the guy a tiny wee bit. But what happened to him was unacceptable by any standard. Independent judiciary? I would not even waste my time writing about what had happened. Correct? More transparency and accountability to combat nepotism, cronyism and corruption? What about the one sided IPP contracts? Or Renong and UEM? Or the Perkapalan/MISC/Petronas deal? What about the toll roads and highways? What about that great white elephant they call Putrajaya and MSC? The Forex losses? The BBMB saga? The Proton deals? Gosh…DrM, have you forgotten all these? I have not. And I am sure fellow Malaysians have not too.
And now DrM is shouting and screaming about those very things he was responsible for as a PM. Why? What is his motivation? What motivates him to suddenly don this social justice cape and trail blazing his way towards reforms? Truthfully, I just wish he would keep quiet and enjoy whatever remaining days he has in his bakery or whatever while reminiscing about the good old days he had. I just wish he lives long enough though. Long enough to see and observe in silence consternation at the crumbling of his burlesque – not to mention, grotesque - empire (thank you Bob Dylan, for that album, Empire Burlesque).
Zaid Ibrahim. Good for you. You are now the Minister in the PM’s Department in charge of the law. And your first call is to propose that the government apologises to Tun Salleh Abas. I applaud your intention although deep down inside I know that it is just the not-so-great- BN or UMNO spinning machine rotating in full blast. Let me say this firstly. Tun Salleh Abas is not the victim! He started the judicial rot by his decision in UEM v Lim Kit Siang. But I will save that for another occasion.
Apologising to Tun Salleh Abas and the other 5 Judges would be an act mired in shallow and simple mindedness. The judiciary has been raped! The victim is the judiciary. And the ultimate stakeholders of the judiciary is THE PEOPLE OF MALAYSIA. WE ARE THE VICTIM. Tun Salleh Abas and the other Judges were just occupant of the seats. Fine. Apologise to them. But the party who really suffered all these while and till this day is the people. Apologise to the people too!
Assuming your move is correct, may I also remind you – just as DrM and some other parties have reminded you – that you once supported the tribunal and the sacking of the Judges. In light of that, you also suffer from the same fate and judgement as that of DrM. That is you lack credibility. And your proposal therefore reeks of, again, political expediency.
You tried to explain your position in answer to the remarks made by DrM. But your approach is, with respect, wrong. You tried spinning it by saying that you supported the proceedings but not the sacking. Well, Minister Zaid, the people are tired of the BN spinning machine. It is another matter if you spin it well but a bad spin would just make you fall flat on your face. Isn’t the sacking a result of the proceedings? Wasn’t it (the sacking) the ultimate purpose of the proceedings? How could you therefore divorce yourself from the result – the very fruit – of the proceedings if you had admittedly supported the proceedings? You asked the whole Bar Council to resign because they were against the proceedings? Why didn’t you then blast the tribunal for making their recommendation to sack Tun Salleh Abas if you had so disapproved the sacking?
If I were you, it would be just so simple. I would go on national television. After all, the national television are all pro BN. I would refer to all my statements made in 1988 supporting the tribunal and the sacking and whatever. Then I would say I had wise up since then. I have wise up after I had seen the debilitating effect of the molestation of the judiciary. I would say I have wise up after I have seen the state of our judiciary ever since. I now realise my folly. I was wrong in my support for the government in that respect then. I have learnt my lesson. The judiciary is an integral part of a just and fair society and administration. And after having seen the wrong that has been done all these while, I am now possessed with the mandate to correct the situation and put it right. I want to try to do so. Give me a chance. It comes from the bottom of my heart.
If I were you Minister Zaid, I would do that. I would do that because I am a decent man who is not afraid to admit that I was once wrong. Because I am a man who is not afraid to make mistake and admit that it was a mistake. Because I am a man who learns from his mistake and would do anything to correct it.
Yes. I would do that. If I were you!