YOURSAY | 'Let the court acquit the finance minister - no one would complain then.'
Jocelyn Nya: I think the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) did a disservice to former Penang chief minister and now Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng.
If its appellate and trial division head Mohamad Hanafiah Zakaria thought the case had been weakened and that was his personal opinion, why didn’t he carry on with the case and let the court acquit Lim? No one would complain then.
By withdrawing the case, it was he who decided the fate of Lim and not the court.
Kahlil Gibran: Well, this decision by the AGC to drop the corruption charges against Lim, instead of letting him prove his innocence in court, goes smack against this, and lags behind BN’s past record on similar corruption charges against their menteris besar.
Faced with an ethical dilemma - since he was Lim's counsel before the general election – the attorney-general should have picked the only ethical and honourable option, which was to let the court decide.
After all, as the AG, he must have some faith in the judiciary in this country and surely, the Pakatan Harapan government must do better, not worse, than the old BN regime.
As it is, the AG’s credibility has slumped to dismal depths and the people’s faith in our justice system has been rudely shaken.
The citizens of this country want to see justice done and to ensure that there is not one set of rules for the poor and another for the rich and powerful - whether the sum involved in the corruption is RM2.6 billion or RM2.6 million.
Prudent: Credit goes to Hanafiah for a superb job well done. He anticipated the hyenas that were circling for the kill. He went to great care to ensure that his work is and be seen to be above board.
He noted down the time he informed the deputy public prosecutor in Lim's and businessperson Phang Li Koon's case to the minute.
He ensured that no one is in a position to leak his decision by informing him only at 7.18am on the morning of the trial. He only informed the AG afterwards at 9.44am, thereby protecting the AG's credibility.
He has demonstrated great presence of mind and tact. He is definitely material for the highest offices in the nation's judiciary.
Kim Quek: I share Hanafiah’s view on this case. That this is an artificially cooked-up case for political harassment is obvious from the dubious evidence presented to court so far – lengthy presentation of superfluous witnesses and evidence, and merciless exposure of their questionable integrity through unrelenting cross-examination by skilful defence lawyers.
Hanafiah’s brief statement is impressive. His integrity and professionalism shine through. It should be sufficient to quell any scepticism that may arise from this sudden development.
The instant outburst of reactions over this issue, though mostly negative, is a healthy sign that the country has indeed entered a new era of free expression. It is a refreshing sign that democracy is at work – for the first time in a very, very long while.
Jasmine: This is good, really good. While no explanation was legally necessary, given the kind of situation this was and the unnecessary agitation by racists, bigots and gutless politicians, including the juvenile ones, this statement by Hanafiah should help clear the air as well as assure the doubters of Tommy Thomas’ impartiality.
Wisdom has dictated that an honest and truthful explanation will put to shame all those who jumped onto the bandwagon of criticism.
But in hindsight, knowing that critics will try and capitalise on this decision not to proceed, the AGC could have released this statement earlier.
Anonymous 2378321445352158: I think it is unwarranted to condemn Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman, Permatang Pauh MP Nurul Izzah Anwar and anybody who felt justice was not done in this case initially.
I, for one, was like a small child throwing a tantrum to my family over the fast case dismissal by the AGC without the case going on full trial yet.
I feel bad and I'm sorry for jumping to conclusions without understanding the facts or waiting for clarification from the AGC or even Thomas himself.
Malaysia is indeed reborn with people like Hanafiah in the right job and position to move in the right direction. Job well done, indeed.
To the others who still feel justice is not done, feel free to criticise. This is the New Malaysia.
Vent: The real takeaway from this decision, notwithstanding the succinct explanation by the DPP, is that firstly the case should have gone to court where it could have been convincingly thrown out for being politically motivated.
I'm not one of Lim's adoring fans but it is important for his reputation as finance minister and indeed for that of the entire Harapan government.
Secondly, the MACC needs to be urgently revamped. How can an MACC officer (more so if he is speaking on behalf of the agency) claim to be shocked by the decision when the agency must be privy to all the facts of a case it has purportedly been investigating for about two years?
Is this a case of the left hand not knowing what the right is doing? First to go must be MACC chief Mohd Shukri Abdull. A cagey and vengeful man whose press conferences were more to exonerate and validate himself in its previous employ, has clearly indicated that he cannot be trusted to be impartial or act, shall we say, "without fear or favour"?
Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s cut-and-paste peripheral clean-up of the MACC is coming home to bite him and Harapan.
Roast-Mah: Let this be a lesson for Lim and all politicians. You must not only be incorruptible but be seen to be incorruptible.
Sleepy: The explanation from AGC that it was done for justice, not politics, is welcomed. Some will never be satisfied, but I want to move forward for reforms.
Not Convinced: Whether the decision to drop the case is right or wrong, it’s the public perception that matters, especially the 50 percent who did not vote for Harapan.
As such, not only must justice be done; it must also be seen to be done. It would have been better to let the trial proceed and for the court to conclusively clear Lim, if indeed the case against him is weak.
Anonymous_7310842: I still don't feel this statement answers the question, and of course the AG would never be seen to be the one to bin the case.
If a chief minister buys a cheap bungalow from a developer and then allegedly makes up the buyer's shortfall and more by changing state agricultural land into land upon which the developer can build condominiums, how is that transaction not a bribe?
I want this "new evidence" to be explained really clearly and in very simple terms because the opponents will just keep pointing to this, as things stand. When I'm satisfied, I can rest assured that we've shut the critics up.
This will perhaps understandably be seen as a whitewash by the people we most needed to win over by GE15, the Malay grassroots. It plays right into the hands of BN.
It has done untold damage to the credibility of Harapan and our judicial system, but nobody on this side wants to look at the facts when they are inconvenient, do we?
Just remember these words in the months and years to come because the land transfer aspect of this deal will come back to haunt us. Sleep well, Malaysia, wherever you may be.
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