Search This Blog

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Mahathir: Crimes can’t be covered under OSA

KUALA LUMPUR - If Attorney-General (AG) Mohd Apandi Ali wishes to regain his credibility, he should clarify whether he considers crimes perpetrated by officers in government as secrets to be hidden and protected by the Official Secrets Act (OSA).

Former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said this when commenting in his latest blog posting on the AG saying he would like people who leaked government secrets to be caned and sentenced to life in jail.

“It tells of a very primitive and unIslamic mind. I am not going to complain about his primitive mind.”

Mahathir was questioning whether the RM2.6 billion in Najib Razak’s personal and private accounts was part of his work as prime minister.

“Is it in his terms of reference to acquire secret funds and keep it in his personal accounts?

“No prime minister of Malaysia has ever done this.”

In government, recalled Mahathir, there were procedures and rules for receiving and handling funds. “Najib has not abided by these rules.”

In fact, pointed out Mahathir, Najib admitted that the money was a gift to him personally, not to the government.

“He did not inform the government authorities about the money. It’s in fact a secret from the government.

“He seems not to have paid taxes on this money. Clearly, the possession and management of this RM2.6 billion was not part of his work as prime minister of Malaysia.”

The money was therefore not a government secret which was protected by OSA, argued Mahathir.

“The reports by Bank Negara and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) were therefore about wrongdoing involving Najib as a person while in government.”

Such wrongdoing must be investigated and reported by the relevant authorities so that appropriate action can be taken according to the laws of the country, stressed the former prime minister.

“The police and other enforcement authorities must act and investigate the reports.

“Not doing so would be a dereliction of duty. Covering up would be a crime.”

Even though the AG has the right to decide whether a case should go to court or not, said Mahathir, that right should be exercised with due consideration for the elements involved in the cases and public concern about them.

“All sides should be heard.

“This can only be done in a court of law.”

Judgment by the AG, who simply reads reports, was a denial of justice, frivolous and unjust, especially when the reports were made by credible and established institutions, continued Mahathir.

“What the AG has done was to damage the credibility of an institution of governance and a part of the judicial system of this country.”

The OSA was not meant to make a secret of criminal acts perpetrated by officers and employees of the government, warned Mahathir.

“Such criminal acts are not above the law. They should be investigated by the authorities and be put before a court.”

Instead, lamented Mahathir, the person reporting on the alleged wrongdoing by Najib, was arrested together with his lawyer, detained and charged in court.

“The Quran repeatedly enjoins upon Muslims to judge with justice.

“The punishment should fit the crime. It should not be excessive. Even for your foes, you have to judge with justice, if you are guided by the teachings of the Quran.”

When the AG prefers a charge against anyone, the law must fit the crime, said Mahathir. “When the charge does not fit the alleged crime, so much so that the presiding judge dismisses the case, the AG loses his credibility; along with it goes the judicial system.”

The AG can appeal against the decision of the judge, continued Mahathir. “Should the AG win, the institution would lose respect and acceptance by the people.” - FMT

No comments:

Post a Comment