(Petaling Jaya, Tuesday): In three days’ time, Malaysians will be ushering in the new year - the final year before the new millennium.
A new year is supposed to be a time for a new beginning and this is why there are people who use the occasion to make new year resolutions to embark on new efforts and commitments.
It will be a crying shame and a national disgrace, however, if the scandal of the "black eye" of former Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is dragged into the new year to become two scandals - apart from the original scandal of Anwar’s black eye while in police custody on the first night of his arrest on Sept. 20, the additional scandal of the cover-up of Anwar’s black-eye for more than three months.
Every day, Anwar’s black eye is the talk and query of Malaysians as well as people outside the country who are concerned or interested in Malaysia - as it raises the fundamental question about the independence, impartiality and integrity of the instruments of government in Malaysia.
There can be no acceptable explanation as to why the relevant authorities, whether the Attorney-General or the Prime Minister who must bear final responsibility for Anwar’s black eye not only as the head of government but also as the Home Minister, cannot complete and announce the outcome of investigations into a very simple and straightforward police brutality case - as Anwar was at all times in the custody of the police when the black-eye and other assaults took place.
The government had refused to heed public calls for an independent commission of inquiry into Anwar’s allegations of police assaults resulting in his black-eye and other bruises and as well his losing consciousness, and when the so-called "independent police investigation team" had completed its investigations, the people, country and the world was treated to an outrageous spectacle of the authorities’ nonchalance, indifference and even contempt for national and international opinion that there should be justice in the matter of Anwar’s black eye. Even here, justice delayed is justice denied!
If the Prime Minister and the Attorney-General can close their eyes
to Anwar’s black eye for more than three long months, when everybody
know that the police and the Attorney-General’s Chambers can act with lightning
speed if they wanted, Malaysians are again reminded that if a person
like Anwar who had been Deputy Prime Minister can be denied justice in
such a flagrant manner, how can ordinary Malaysians expect justice and
fair play from the present administration?
I therefore call on the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad to redeem public confidence in independence, impartiality and integrity of the government machinery and personally ensure that the new year of 1999 is not a crying shame and a national disgrace with the scandal of Anwar’s black eye dragged into the new year to become two scandals.
Malaysia has three days to redeem herself as a civil and civilized community. Let 1999 not start with a clear and manifest injustice, with Anwar’s black-eye literally transformed into a black-eye for Mahathir’s 18-year administration.