Why Penalise The Four Academicians For Voicing Their Opinion?

Istana Negara

Almost a year ago, voters voted for change and hailed the dawn of a new era.  They kicked out the Barisan Nasional administration for a coalition that promised them better life quality, better pay, freedom of speech among others.

A month later, the Minister of Education announced that public universities could organise debates and forums “like in other renowned universities around the world” (Menteri: IPTA kini boleh anjur debat, forum – Malaysiakini, 6 June 2018).

This prompted an academician, Dr Khoo Ying Hooi, to pen his feelings saying that the newfound freedom of speech is needed to create a new narrative that academicians do not only teach in universities but have a bigger responsibility, that is to contribute to society (Suara hati ahli akademik yang kini bebas selepas berdekad dirantai – The Malaysian Insight, 9 June 2018).

Just six days to a year of taking over the administration, the same Minister of Education wants the four academicians who presented their views to the Rulers Council to resign from their post (Maszlee: Academics must take responsibility for executive summary on Rome Statute).

He was alluding to the fact that they should not continue to hold their post due to alleged lack of integrity.

The four are Professor Datuk Dr Rahmat Mohamad, Associate Professor Dr Shamrahayu Ab Aziz, Dr Fareed Mohd Hassan and Hisham Hanapi.  The four were summoned by the Yang DiPertuan Agong to present their views of the Rome Statute to the Rulers Council.  The four were opposed to the Statute and cited their reasons.

The Rulers Council also summoned Professor Shad Saleem Faruqi and Attorney-General Tommy Thomas to present their views and reasons for their support of the Statute.

If the government is truly serious about respecting freedom of speech and expression, then it should also respect dissenting views.  Furthermore, the four academicians, like Professor Shad Saleem Faruqi and the A-G, were summoned by the Rulers.  They did not just appear in front of the Rulers at their own time, whims and fancies. It was an order.

It just happens so that the views of the four managed to convince the Rulers Council that the Rome Statute is not good for the nation while Shad Saleem Faruqi and the A-G failed to convince their Majesties otherwise.

Therefore, in the name of integrity, shouldn’t Shad Saleem Faruqi and the A-G resign too?

Perlukah Adanya JITN?

Pada bulan Julai 2017, Perdana Menteri telah mengumumkan bahawa unit-unit integriti dan tadbir urus akan diwujudkan di semua syarikat-syarikat GLC dan akan dikawalselia oleh Suruhanjaya Pencegahan Rasuah Malaysia (SPRM).  Ini selaras dengan tugas-tugas SPRM yang termaktub di dalam Akta SPRM.

Ucapan Najib Razak yang menyebut unit-unit integriti dan tadbir urus akan dikawalselia oleh SPRM

Walau bagaimanapun, Menteri Di Jabatan Perdana Menteri, Paul Low pula telah umumkan dua bulan kemudian bahawa kabinet telah bersetuju untuk menubuhkan Jabatan Integriti dan Tadbirurus Negara (JITN) yang akan diletakkan di bawah pentadbiran beliau.

Ini nyata bercanggah dengan pengumuman yang telah dibuat Najib Razak dua bulan sebelum itu.  Percanggahan ini telah mencetuskan rasa tidak puas hati di antara Tan Sri Dzulkifli Ahmad dengan Paul Low dan mengakibatkan sebuah NGO bernama Pertubuhan Belia Generasi Mahkota (PEMBELA) membuat laporang terhadap Ketua Pesuruhjaya MACC itu kerana melawan cakap Menteri.

Yang menjadi tanda-tanya adalah keperluan untuk membentuk sebuah jabatan hanya untuk penambahbaikan integriti dan tadbir urus Kementerian-Kementerian serta GLC-GLC sedangkan jentera-jentera kerajaan yang sedia ada termasuk SPRM sudah boleh menangani ketirisan, ketidak-cekapan serta membanteras perbuatan rasuah.  Apa yang perlu dilakukan hanyalah untuk ketua-ketua jabatan serta GLC menentukan segala kelemahan yang telah dikenalpasti oleh Ketua Audit Negara diambil tindakan segera dengan membentuk jawatankuasa dari kalangan juruaudit dalaman setiap jabatan dan melaporkan kemajuan dan kelemahan kepada unit-unit yang telah disebutkan oleh Najib Razak.

Difahamkan setakat ini memang sudah ada pegawai-pegawai SPRM yang terlatih sebagai Pegawai Integriti Terlatih (CIO) yang ditempatkan di jabatan-jabatan kerajaan.  Bagaimanapun, Paul Low bercadang untuk menempatkan seramai 20 orang pegawai tadbir dan diplomatik (PTD) menggantikan kesemua CIO SPRM yang telah bertugas di unit-unit tersebut.

Ini bermakna, 20 orang PTD ini terpaksa dilatih sebagai CIO, manakala SPRM perlu membuat perjawatan-perjawatan baru untuk menyerap para CIO mereka yang tidak akan mempunyai sebarang jawatan.  Ini sahaja akan melibatkan kos tambahan kerana akan terdapat perjawatan baru.

Bukan itu sahaja, malah dakwaan Paul Low bahawa penubuhan JITN tidak akan memberi kesan kepada SPRM juga nyata terpesong kerana sudah tentu akan ada perubahan struktur organisasi serta tanggungjawab-tanggungjawab yang telah diberikan kepada SPRM melalui Akta SPRM.

Melalui akta apakah kuasa JITN diperolehi?

Pada masa yang sama, persoalan yang timbul ialah bagaimana 20 orang ini boleh memantau kesemua jabatan dan GLC milik kerajaan dengan berkesan?  Adakah ini bermakna kerajaan perlu melantik konsultan luar untuk membantu pengurusan unit-unit di bawah JITN?  Saya tidak yakin bahawa integriti dan penambahbaikan tadbir urus jabatan-jabatan kerajaan serta GLC dapat dilakukan dengan baik oleh hanya 20 orang!

Tugas JITN juga akan melibatkan latihan integriti kepada para pegawai dan kakitangan kerajaan, iaitu satu peranan yang sememangnya telah diberikan oleh Akta SPRM kepada SPRM.  Adakah JITN akan menggunakan 20 orang PTDnya yang dipertanggung jawabkan untuk mengawalselia integriti dan tadbir urus jabatan-jabatan kerajaan dan GLC juga untuk menjalankan latihan-latihan integriti?  Atau adakah JITN akan membayar konsultan luar untuk menjalanjan peranan ini?  Di bawah akta apakah akan latihan ini dijalankan?

Di Akademi Pencegahan Rasuah Malaysia (MACA) juga terdapat sebuah sistem iaitu Sistem Pengurusan Anti Rasuah (ABMS) yang diseliakan oleh CIO-CIO dari SPRM.  Sistem ini memerlukan latihan dan pensijilan khusus untuk mengendalikannya.  Maka, adakah sebuah lagi konsultan akan dipanggil untuk mengendalikan sistem ini, atau adakan sebuah konsultan akan dipanggil untuk mengadakan sebuah lagi sistem yang akan memakan lagi belanja wang rakyat?

Kita maklum bahawa Paul Low sudah berada di penghujung perkhidmatannya sebagai seorang Menteri. Khidmat beliau sebagai seorang Senator akan berakhir pada bulan Mei 2019.  Oleh itu, beliau tidak akan lagi dilantik sebagai seorang Menteri selepas Pilihanraya Umum Ke-14.  Ini membawa kita kepada persoalan adakah Paul Low menggunakan penubuhan JITN ini sebagai rancangan persaraannya?

Pada 2 Oktober 2017, Perikatan Integriti Perniagaan (BIA) telah menandatangani sebuah MOU dengan Jabatan Perdana Menteri (Bahagian Integriti adalah di bawah Paul Low) kerana dilantik menjadi “rakan” kerajaan untuk menjadi pemudahcara bagi pihak kerajaan untuk membanteras perbuatan rasuah di sektor swasta dan sektor awam yang nyata penindihan tanggungjawab dengan SPRM.

Berapa yang kerajaan perlu bayar untuk mereka menjalankan tugas pemudahcara tersebut?

Business Integrity Alliance (BIA) dilantik sebagai pemudahcara pihak kerajaan untuk membanteras rasuah. Adakah ini SPRM kedua yang menjadi salah satu rekaan Paul Low untuk rancangan persaraannya?

Paul Low telah lama berbincang dengan pihak BIA mengenai penubuhan JITN ini.  Pertemuan mereka pertama kali diadakan pada bulan Disember 2016 semasa bersarapan bersama-sama.

Makan-makan dan cari makan bersama

Pentadbiran baru SPRM sejak setahun lalu gandingan mantap Tan Sri Dzulkifli Ahmad dengan timbalan-timbalan Ketua Pesuruhjayanya telah membuahkan hasil yang tidak pernah kita lihat berlaku sebelum ini.

Dalam sembilan bulan pertama tahun ini sahaja sebanyak RM21.4 juta wang hasil rasuah telah dirampas, iaitu kenaikan 400 peratus berbanding dengan tahun sebelumnya.  Sebelum pucuk pimpinan SPRM diambil alih oleh Tan Sri Dzulkifli, SPRM hanya berjaya merampas RM4.95 juta pada tahun lepas dan RM3.9 juta tahun 2015.  Ini menunjukkan bahawa SPRM kini lebih tegas dalam hal pembanterasan rasuah berbanding dengan tahun-tahun sebelum ini sedangkan perbuatan rasuah yang melibatkan pegawai-pegawai kerajaan dan syarikat-syarikat kerajaan.

Kalau JITN itu bagus, kenapa sebanyak 50 NGO dan tokoh-tokoh integriti seperti Ramon Navaratnam, Lee Lam Thye dan Tunku Aziz membantah penubuhan JITN?

Ingat pesanan Allahyarham Tun Razak buat penjawat awam

Pada tahun 1967, Perdana Menteri Malaysia Ke-2 Allahyarham Tun Haji Abdul Razak bin Hussein telah memberitahu para penjawat awam suaya tidak tunduk kepada para ahli politik kerana di dalam sebuah demokrasi para penjawat awam mempunyai tanggungjawabnya tersendiri.

Saya yakin Najib Razak benar-benar ingat akan pesanan Allahyarham Ayahandanya.  Itulah sebab beliau terus membuat ucapan pada bulan Julai 2017 tersebut dengan tujuan menentukan SPRM terus bebas dari sebarang pengaruh politik.

Sekiranya itulah kebenarannya, adakah Najib Razak yang mempengerusikan mesyuarat kabinet di mana Paul Low telah mengusulkan rancangan persaraannya ini supaya diterima dan dipersetujui oleh para menteri kabinet yang tiada sebarang petunjuk atau maklumat mengenai perkara ini sebelum ianya diperbincangkan?

Jika benar tanggapan saya bahawa Najib Razak tidak mempengerusikan mesyuarat kabinet tersebut, adakah ini bermakna PEMBELA telah tersilap dalam langkahnya membuat laporan polis terhadap Tan Sri Dzulkifli sedangkan yang melanggar kemahuan Najib Razak ialah Paul Low sendiri?

Inilah jawapan yang perlu kita cari untuk merungkaikan permasalahan ini.

Lean Should Be Mean

I am not sure how the adding of more departments would improve how the government works in Malaysia.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Paul Low, said that the Cabinet had given the green light for the formation of the Department of National Integrity and Good Governance (JITN) a month ago.

The department would serve as the coordinating body to lead transformational changes in the public and private sectors focusing on good governance, integrity and human rights.

Currently bodies such as the Public Complaints Bureau, the Malaysian Institute of Integrity, the MACC and SUHAKAM handle the said issues individually.

Paul Low added being a department, it will have its own budget and staff to support the transformational changes that need to be done to meet the objectives under the proposed National Transformation 2050 (TN50) plan.

Rather than having more departments to play roles that would overlap the roles of existing agencies, the government should look into strengthening the existing laws and improve the procedures of the agencies that are already handling those issues.

Having a department just to coordinate issues and having these issues handed back to the existing agencies would only increase red tapes and amount of response time.

To ensure good governance we already have the Auditor-General’s Office to audit performances. Give them a stronger mandate to carry a whip to ensure that the various government departments and agencies perform to the expectations of the administration and the people.

The same goes to the other agencies where enforcement laws, manpower and remuneration can be improved to encourage better performance. Adding more departments and staff would only increase the amount needed to pay pensions in the long run.

Agencies such as the police and especially the MACC should be given more in terms of both manpower and remuneration. MACC suffers from lack of manpower – having some 1,900 officers to tackle graft issues nationwide. These same officers are also required to go around and create public awareness on the war against corruption.

Better remuneration for enforcement agencies would serve to reduce the chances of corruption taking place. This would be far better than having too many departments trying to do good, only to have performances dragged down by less enthusiastic officers.

Such allocation to have another department would be better spent on enhancing the knowledge of serving officers and government servants. Training not only makes a person or department better but serves as a morale booster for many.  The same goes for housing. Such perks remove the opportunity for officers to seek more because of want.

In times such as this when the government should be getting more meat for bucks, it would have been more prudent for the government to improve its existing agencies and make them meaner, rather than creating new ones to do the same work.

Najib Should Face Charges

 

Should he?

So said the Oversight Review Panel of the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission that met for the last time on the 24th February 2016 at 10am. The meeting lasted three hours and they concluded the meeting at 1pm.

Look at the time the above was released by The Malaysian Inciter – 7am! Now how did the ORP issue a statement before it even convened?
Suddenly, The Malaysian Inciter got blocked by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission! That’s another big lie up there that they published!

Didn’t the ORP agreed to a statement saying Najib should face the music? The Star came out with this:

  
There is a straight denial by the Chairman of the ORP on the “statement” released to The Malaysan Inciter. The Chairman issued the following statement:

  

Therefore, not only did the ORP not issue such statement, it has also denied requesting the MACC to issue a public statement on the issues.

I have a word of advice for Rohaizat, who is the Director of Strategic Communications and Media for the MACC. The MACC is a body that is supposed to be the epitome of the word integrity. Rohaizat has none and he should just resign, discard his uniform and join the line of ladies who have nothing better to do with their mouth.

  

In the meantime the police should investigate the “ORP statement”, The Malaysian Inciter, and grill Rohaizat to see who is paying him to be such a girl. 

Pillow Talk

  
The Attorney-General has decided not to proceed with the case of the RM2.6 billion donated into a special account bearing the Prime Minister’s name as the account holder with two persons nominated to administer the account on Najib’s behalf.

That has prompted  the Director for Special Operations of the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission, Datuk Bahari Md Zin stating to the press that he will appeal on the AG’s decision. MACC also issued a press statement saying that it will forward the AG’s decision for a review by the commission’s Operations Assessment Panel (PPO).

  
As a layman, I now feel that the MACC is being run and managed by amateurs. They should first and foremost know that the Attorney-General has the final say whether or not a case should be instituted, conducted or discontinued, other than cases that come under the Syariah Law, the native court, or a court-martial. This is specified in Article 145(3) of the Federal Constitution of Malaysia.

MACC’s PPO does not have the jurisdiction nor authority to review the decision of the Attorney-General. It only acts as a “check and balance” mechanism for cases that are being investigated as well as cases that have been acknowledged by the commission for prosecution or cases that the commission has recommended to be closed. You can read further the terms of reference of the MACC’s PPO here.
How is it that such a body that is supposed to be run by professionals who uphold the law and theintegrity of the commisssion not know of its own limits and boundaries that it starts to act ultra vires?

There is a saying in the military that if one is a Corporal, the wife is a Sergeant. In the case of Datuk Bahri, his wife must be the Head of MACC.

 The question is, how much does Datuk Bahri’s wife know of the investigation into the RM2.6 billion donation, or of any other investigation? What kind of pillow talk have this couple been having?

Perhaps the police should investigate Datuk Bahri under Section 8(1)(d)(iv) and (e)(iv) of the Official Secrets Act, 1972, and investigate the wife under Section 8(2) of the same Act. If this is how a senior ranking officer of the MACC behaves, I wouldn’t be surprised if in wartime, he would spill everything to the enemy.

Talking about the police, the MACC has a lot to learn from this organisation from where the MACC once came from. The police has had thousands of cases deemed as “No Further Action” and you don’t see them whining on the Internet like spoilt brats or like undergraduates with alleged perforated stomach. The integrity of the MACC is virtually ZERO!

They should have their feet firmly planted on terra firma. This is not Bollywood! So start behaving professionally!

55 And Still Without Political Integrity

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Malaysia celebrates 55 years of independence. For those who think that this nation only came into being on 16th September 1963, let me tell you that the name of this nation was changed to the Federation of Malaysia to include Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore. Both Alaska and Hawaii joined the United States of America in 1959, but to people from those states 4th of July 1776 is their Independence Day.

For politicians who are trying hard to make the people of Sabah and Sarawak think of themselves as being separated from those on the peninsula, shame on you for trying to tear this nation apart for your political gains.

55 years on, political integrity is what we lack, and that is a big shame to us all. The thing most synonymous with politicians is corruption. I am not just talking about those from the Barisan Nasional, but also those in the loose opposition coalition that calls themselves, ironically, the Pakatan Rakyat. While money politics is still rife within UMNO, we hear of corrupt practices within the Pakatan Rakyat itself. I will let you Google for the links to these yourselves.

Corruption amongst politicians only proves one thing: that power corrupts, and absolute power absolutely corrupts. With power comes the opportunity to enrich one’s self, and to stay in power, one needs to buy his way into a recognised position. And the amount can only increase each time.

The problem lies with us, human beings. God is intangible. Heaven and hell are intangible. Rewards and Sins are intangible. Which is why some people do things without the slightest guilt.

Of course political corruption is not peculiar to Malaysia only, as it is also evident in other nations including in the west, but this is not an excuse for us to accept it as a norm. Political corruption is something that we must all take as a responsibility to eradicate, or curtail. And this is something that needs to be addressed by us as voters to determine the candidates to choose, rather than by party. UNLESS, all political parties can make one important move.

As a voter, I would like all political parties to submit their list of election candidates to the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission and the Royal Malaysian Police, for the potential candidates to be vetted thoroughly. Only names that have been cleared by BOTH agencies, not either or, can stand for elections. That is one way to ensure that voters are not shortchanged by political parties, especially ones that put whoever they have so they could contest.

As voters, we have the responsibility to choose the correct candidates to represent us. Of course, this process would be made easier had the candidate been cleared by the two agencies I mentioned above.

We must strive to choose only candidates who are able to uphold the Constitution, Law and Order, and Justice. We must choose candidates whom have the ability to lead, bring about development and have a certain specialisation. We should choose only candidates who are interested in serving us, not the other way round. What politicians who hold public posts now think is that they are the VIPs and the people should serve them. What they have forgotten is that they are to represent us, help solve our problems. For that reason they are the Wakils Rakyat, not Boss Rakyat. Sad to say that only P Kamalanathan of Hulu Selangor deserves the Yang Berhormat title. He deserves that respect without reservation.

We must ensure the culture of politics with integrity as our way of life as only this can ensure that we continue to live as one, and continue to enjoy this independence. Those with greed for power should be shunned by all and never be allowed to hold office, for that would be like allowing a cancerous cell to spread.

We must ensure that the Executive Branch of the Government administers this nation with proper engagements with the relevant government departments, and not run the country on their own. We have no time for members of the Executive Branch who are only interested in making money.

We must ensure that our representatives in the Legislative Branch do their job as entrusted to them by us the Voters. They must attend sittings and not play truant, and they should debate a bill through and not walk out. If they disagree with anything at all, they should vote any bill out as a registration of protest…not walk out and cheat their voters of their voice. I also hope to see the end of the Whip System as this will ensure that any bill that is to be tabled is thought through and through by all members before it is tabled on the floor. This is to ensure that the party that tables the bill, tables a quality bill that has the support of the significant majority of its members.

We must ensure that the Judiciary Branch remains independent and is free of corruption. The integrity of the Judiciary Branch is key to the preservation of the Government’s integrity.

We must remember that we, the Voters, are the important component in a traveling bus. We elect our representatives to drive the bus, but it is the Voters who determine the destination the representatives ought to drive to.

Remember, if we do not preserve the integrity of us, as Voters, and the integrity of those we have chosen as the driver of this nation, we may not see another 55 years of an independent Malaysia. Preserve integrity and choose wisely, not emotionally.

Selamat menghayati erti Kemerdekaan.