Malaysiakini Opinion

A truth commission by omission?

KJ John  |  Published:  |  Modified:

The Sun reported and quoted Dr Toh Kim Woon, state executive councilor and Gerakan member that "the government has rejected the Asli study and its findings." Really? I do not think so, as the leader of Gerakan Dr Lim Keng Yaik has now requested the Economic Planning Unit (EPU) to reveal the basis of its figures, and none other than the deputy premier said the EPU will make the figures and the methodology transparent. To me, the executive arm of the government means the cabinet, and I do not believe that the cabinet has discussed this issue or even seen the Asli study.

All I know from the media is that many of the Umno senior ministers have rejected the basis of the study using simple logic and rather unintelligent dismissive language like "rubbish" or words to that effect. And most recently Mirzan Mahathir, president of Asli also "appears to have unilaterally dismissed the study stating that "the study made some wrong assumptions."

He refers to having discussions with his colleagues in Asli. Obviously that must have not included the author. Consequently, the lead researcher and author of the report, Dr Lim Teck Ghee resigned from Asli, as a matter of principle, because he disagreed with the Asli hierarchy's conclusion on the matter, and especially the president's statement regarding the "wrong assumptions" of the study. After all, this is a matter of intellectual integrity for any serious researcher. Wrong assumptions relate to the theory-building.

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