LETTER

Our worst fears confirmed

Steve Oh

Published
Modified 29 Jan 2008, 10:21 am

I refer to the Malaysiakini report Video links CJ to 'judicial fixing' scandal .

We all talk of the rule of law as if it is all powerful. But what happens when the rule of law is thwarted by behaviour that is unethical, dishonest and downright immoral by those who are its upholders? The Malaysiakini video exposing the judicial-fixing by the Chief Justice is indeed scandalous and frightening.

It shows how vulnerable everyone is to the dark powers that operate behind the scenes. It is like a man caught in another man's bedroom with his pants down.

It confirms what Malaysians have always suspected - that invisible hands pull the strings behind the charade of respect for the constitution and the rule of law. Now that all the window-dressing, denials, excuses and rhetoric have put paid to the pretense, the bureaucracy has been shown for what it is - a 'whitewashed tomb' which is white on the outside but putrid within. Should it still be conducting its business as usual?

The question is how putrid and how widespread is the rot?

Only an independent commission will let us know but I won't be holding my breath for one. In a country where much is manipulated and corrupted, nothing surprises me anymore. The only positive thing from the video is that people can now say 'Seeing (and hearing) is believing' and not only rely on hearsay. The video sends a powerful message to the world that the bureaucracy and the players involved in this incident acted corruptly to pervert justice. It is indeed Malaysia's Videogate!

This is the closest thing to the 'smoking gun' conspiracy theory that bedevils the administration since Dr Mahathir Mohamad's time. Malaysians ought to wake up to the truth that they are being taken for a ride and that much happens in government that is downright dishonest and a mockery of good governance. Abdullah Ahmad Badawi will have much to explain but it is a tough ask when his administration is also bogged in financial fiascos that are covered up and not dealt with in the public space.

High-level corruption and financial mismanagement involving billions of taxpayers' money that are unaccounted for add up to the pile of the nation's sins. What the video shows is that justice can be easily thwarted and manipulated with High Court judges moved about like pieces on a chess board. The question is, are these pieces still being moved about today?

What hope is left for ordinary citizens relying on the judiciary for justice when its highest officials are nothing more than the political pawns of the corrupt puppeteers? Is it any wonder that powerfully linked people often get off the hook? Now we know why because our eyes have seen it and our ears have heard how it is done.

Dishonest lawyers ought to be disciplined by their professional bodies for they not only tarnish the image of their profession but become accessories to criminal conduct. Lawyers involved in felonies are no better than common criminals. They ought to be hauled in with a 'Please explain' whether they are ordinary lawyers or senior counsel.

If this expose does not rile us then we deserve the government we get.

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