By Zaid Ibrahim
There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that the country’s entire system of administration has to change.
The former Inspector-General of Police’s revelation that Ministers and other higher-ups sometimes directed him not to arrest or investigate certain individuals for alleged criminal acts is a clear case of obstruction of justice, one that has been going on for many years.
For as long as UMNO remains in power, this practice will continue because UMNO leaders believe that they are the law. Did you hear anyone at the UMNO General Assembly express their concerns about these matters? Of course not – they would rather focus on threatening Malaysians with incidents like May 13, which they said would recur if the Barisan Nasional loses power in the next General Election. They also warned that an Opposition win will bankrupt the country.
Businessman Deepak Jaikishan’s disclosure about the alleged role of a member of the Prime Minister’s family in getting private investigator P. Balasubramaniam to retract his first statutory declaration on the murder Altantuya Shaariibuu also bodes ill for the country. Bala told me that he left the country with his wife and child in the middle of the night because they were told to leave for their own safety. It looks like the use of force, intimidation and money will not end if the BN retains power in the coming elections.
Malaysians have a clear choice: we must remove those who flout the law from their political perch or endure more of such blatant abuse of power. We must not regard this obstruction of justice as a small matter. The PM claims that the BN is holistic whilst the Pakatan Rakyat is chaotic. But the PR has been administering its states well and there has been no chaos.
Even if what the PM says is true, I for one would rather have a PR that is chaotic than live under a BN rule where bodyguards kill without motive, or where witnesses are forced to leave the country to save themselves. No democratic government anywhere in the world could have survived the kind of scandals we have witnessed under Najib’s rule. There is no greater ill than the obstruction of justice, especially when it is perpetrated by those in the higher echelons of power.
The PR is only chaotic about articulating some of their policies, and they will have their disagreements on matters like concerts and hair salons. Maybe they will also fight about issues involving gays and lesbians. But I do not believe that they would go so far as to call on the IGP to do their bidding, including the willful obstruction of justice the way UMNO does. They are, in fact, much more decent than the BN.
You can be impressed by the fiery rhetoric at the UMNO General Assembly but these are actually empty words, bereft of meaning. Theirs are desperate voices full of fear, because they know that their days are numbered. We all have to make sure they will not rule again.