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'Dr M fears his past may catch up with him?' - Gerakan on delay of RCI

Susan Loone  |  Published:  |  Modified:

Gerakan has questioned the motive behind the delay in setting up a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) to look into alleged judicial interference as claimed in an affidavit filed by Court of Appeal judge Hamid Sultan Abu Backer.

The party's vice-president Baljit Singh said the RCI cannot be postponed any longer as the allegations are serious and would continue to undermine the integrity and credibility of the judiciary if nothing is done about it soon.

"I don't understand why the Pakatan Harapan government is pussyfooting on the matter. Convene the RCI now and let's get to the bottom of this. No more delays. 

"Or is the prime minister trying to delay the matter because he fears his past may catch up with him?" Baljit asked.

Mahathir, during his first stint as prime minister, was widely seen then as having interfered in the judiciary with the controversial sacking of former lord president Salleh Abas in 1988.

"Urging for the set-up of an RCI was a favourite past time of then opposition leaders like Lim Kit Siang, but now, except for a few rumbles here and there, there is no real assurance that this serious case of judiciary intervention will be handled or resolved, " Baljit told Malaysiakini.

He added that there was no need to wait for MACC and the police to complete their probes into the matter before an RCI is formed, which was suggested by fellow lawyer and Advocates Association of Sarawak president Ranbir Singh Sangha (photo).

Baljit said each day the government delays the setting up of the RCI, is one more day of public confidence being shredded in the country.

"This is sheer tragedy as we expected the New Malaysia to jump at the chance of tackling this problem by the horns to show its seriousness and sincerity in reforms as promised in their (Harapan's) GE14 manifesto.

"This is a golden opportunity for Harapan to prove they are better than BN, but sadly, we do not see this happening as every chance for significant reforms has been passed over for one reason or other," Baljit said.

These, he said, include the ratification of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (Icerd), as well as the abolition of the death penalty, which is important to speed up and conclude the murder case of Mongolian national Altantuya Shaariibu.

Baljit joins a host of voices clamouring for a RCI to look into the shocking claims contained in 63 pages of affidavit, such as the judiciary's involvement in swindling of public funds, and judicial interference in the Karpal Singh’s sedition appeal decision at the Court of Appeal.

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