Tuesday, August 5, 2008

What’s Good for the Goose is Good for the Gander

As I understand it, abuse of power is indeed a serious offense. Frankly, it is obviously a major concern regardless who commits it, but when such a charge is levelled against the two who hold the highest office in the government, surely our ‘independent’ and ‘highly conscientious’ law enforcement authorities would have to make sure that the wheels of justice move swiftly and diligently to investigate such allegations.

The recent ACA complaint lodged by Mazlan Harun has got me wondering about the kind of investigation we might see undertaken. As reported in Malaysiakini,

‘The complainant, former Umno youth exco member Mazlan Harun, claimed that both Abdullah and Najib - who are prime minister and deputy respectively - had abused government machineries to garner support among Umno members in a bid to sustain their positions in the coming party elections.

The complaint was based on an open letter written by Umno Petaling Jaya Selatan division chief Zahar Hashim and addressed to the party’s secretary-general, demanding that both Abdullah and Najib be disciplined for allegedly abusing their power.’

Furthermore, as quoted in the Malaysiakini report, the open letter apparently notes that ‘Abdullah met with Umno leaders through Jasa in Kuala Lumpur and gave them money and kain pelikat (sarong) or batik while providing them with four-star hotel accommodation as well as entertainment.’

Oooo… Troubling, isn’t it? Very troubling indeed!

Do you suppose, in this instance, we might see Badawi and Najib being summoned to the investigating officers’ premises? Do you think we might even see a high profile army of investigators being unleashed to question ‘witnesses’ who were present at the gathering where money and other perks were allegedly doled out?

How fast do you suppose this investigation will proceed? Well, let me put it this way: do you suppose this ‘investigation’ of the apparent abuse of power will move along like the ‘Altantuya train’ or the ‘Anwar express’ track? Hmmm…I know, tough question, right?

Well, while we’re on the subject of investigations, do you think we might see our distinguished and highly conscientious home minister come out and call for Najib and Badawi to come clean on the matter? Do you think he’d be crying foul if they start to profess their innocence?

By the way, one the matter of Anwar’s investigation, you remember Badawi claiming that Saiful was after all one of Anwar’s own staff? And that that investigation had nothing to do with the Badawi regime trying to pursue Anwar? Yes, my dear Umno friends, please realise that this complaint of abuse of power against Badawi and Najib is not something political. It’s after all brought forth by one of your own. Oh, yes, let me not be remise and fail to point out that there is one key difference: As I recall, in the Anwar matter, Najib himself had – eventually – admitted meeting with Saiful before a police report was lodged against Anwar. As far as we know, there is not any apparent ‘link’ established here between Mazlan Harun – or for that matter Zahar Hashim – and Anwar or PR. Only a minor detail and difference, right?

At any rate, let’s not lose sight of the bigger picture. We must let the ‘independent’ arm of the relevant investigative authorities do due diligence in all matters of alleged wrong doing. As we were recently reminded by the famous words of our prime minister: ‘Everyone is important. The process of law is important. Everyone has the right to seek justice.’

By the way, let’s hope Mazlan Harun and Zahar Hashim don’t go out to Brickfields to have fish-head curry with any police investigators!

G. Krishnan