(Petaling Jaya, Tuesday): The Minister in the Prime Minister's Department, Datuk Dr. Rais Yatim is to be commended for intervening in the public controversy over the circumstances of a police case in Seremban in which a prime murder suspect was allowed bail when such cases are non-bailable offences.
Rais announced yesterday that the the Attorney-General's Chambers will set up an inquiry team to look into the alleged special treatment accorded by the police to a businessman suspected to have shot dead a shop assistant in Seremban last month.
The suspect, a prominent businessman and son of a tycoon, allegedly shot Seow Nam Keong, 27, a car accessories shop worker, in the neck over a parking dispute in front of a pub in Taman Thivy Jaya, Rasah, on Jan 14.
He was granted police bail of RM100,000 with two sureties at the Magistrate's Court on Jan 27. His bail was twice extended for seven days each.
While the inquiry and Rais' assurance that its findings would be made public are most welcome, there is concern over the composition of the inquiry, as Rais said that it would comprise members from the Attorney-General's Chambers and the police.
As the police and the Attorney-General's chambers would be the targets of the inquiry, public interests demand that the inquiry should be a completely independent one without any involvement from either the Attorney-General's Chambers or the police. The inquiry should also be public.
There is no lack of eminent Malaysians of impeccable character and integrity to conduct such an inquiry without any involvement from the Attorney-General's Chambers and the police.
Public confidence would be further enhanced if the inquiry is conducted
in public, which would not only be a highly educational process for
Malaysians about the procedure of police investigations and the bail process,
but provide a good lesson to the Attorney-General's Chambers and the police
on the importance of the maxim, "Justice must not only be done, but
be seen to
be done" in every aspect of their conduct in the administration of justice.