Malaysiakini Letter

Plain meaning of 'independent'

Clive Kessler  |  Published:  |  Modified:

Excuse me, but as a puzzled outside observer I just do not understand.

Or perhaps it is the case that others do not understand the “plain meaning” of everyday words?

Yesterday Hanif Omar was named to head an “independent” commission of investigation into the events of April 28.

Yet several days ago he joined forces, and combined his voice, with two other former inspectors-general of police to call for action against the leaders of the Bersih movement for mounting a “coup attempt”.

“Independent”?

My amazement here is not directed against Hanif who has always sought to project and prove himself a dutiful, and ever available, servant of the national interest as he sees it.

But I am flabbergasted at the obtuseness of those who have bestowed this serious responsibility upon him, of those who might think that making such an appointment is in any way “seemly” or appropriate.

Governments that behave unwisely, inappropriately, arbitrarily and that show a complete absence of good sense and clear-headedness, even an inability to see and think “straight” and honestly, destroy their own credibility.

And, often, themselves with it.

Where this kind of disingenuous obtuseness meets cunning and outright, brazen shamelessness the insistent will of the powerful is often, and often quite dubiously, at work.

It is not simply a question here of “doing the right thing”, of acting justly and being seen to be doing so.

Even in their own best interests, surely the authorities can do better than this.

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