With reference to the Lingam tape controversy, imagine the prime minister saying that he is disappointed with the release of the tape as they have caused a lot of damage to the judiciary. Can mere tapes do that? Isn't he aware of those who have really damaged the good name of our judiciary? Has he just got back from Timbuktu or Perth? Is he really not aware of the rot?
The mainstream media reported that the prime minister said when asked whether a special commission would be set up to investigate the case (the Lingam tape), he said: 'There is no need for one'. Malaysiakini instead reported, 'Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi today rejected calls for the setting up of a royal commission of inquiry to look into the 'Lingam video' controversy.'
Royal commission or special commission, it is not really for the prime minister to decide. Check out Malik Imtiaz blog 'Disquiet' to find out who is the one who gets to call for a royal commission of inquiry. According to Disquiet:
'A royal commission, as it is popularly known, is a commission that is established under the Commissions Of Enquiry Act 1950 (Revised 1973). This Act authorises the DYMM Yang Dipertuan Agong to, where it appears to him to be expedient so to do, issue a commission appointing one or more commissioners and authorising the commissioners to enquire into:
- the conduct of any federal officer;
- the conduct or management of any department of the public service of Malaysia;
- the conduct or management of any public institution which is not solely maintained by state funds; or
- any other matter in which an enquiry would, in the opinion of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, be for the public welfare (other than a matter involving any question relating to the Islamic religion or the Malay custom and/or inquiries for state purposes where Sabah or Sarawak are concerned).
So don't call upon the government or the PM or the speaker of Parliament to have a royal commission of inquiry set up to investigate the Lingam tape and the poison-pen letter against our Chief Justice. Keadilan is obviously going in the right direction. At his press conference when the Lingam tape was first revealed, Anwar Ibrahim had concluded by saying:
'In this regard, we make a special appeal to the Conference of Rulers to continue to play their constitutionally entrenched role in safeguarding the rights of the people by exercising their discretionary powers in all matters within their jurisdiction.'
So let's call the prime minister's bluff and do the right thing and call upon the right person.