Parliament’s first task when it
meets on September 9 next month is to address and resolve the new crisis of
confidence in the integrity of
government precipitated by the conviction and two-year jail sentence of Keadilan
Youth chief Mohd Ezam Mohd Noor under the Official Secrets Act (OSA) which
sent out the outrageous message to the nation and the world that in
Malaysia corruption is no crime while exposing corruption is the heinous crime.
of Parliament, regardless of party affiliation,
must be fully conscious that their national duty on the first day of the
10-week Dewan Rakyat budget meeting from 9th Sept. to
12th November is to categorically and conclusively destroy
any such notion that in Malaysia corruption is no crime while exposing
corruption is the heinous crime.
not for Parliament to interfere with the legal process over Ezam’s OSA trial
as the Keadilan Youth leader has still to exhaust his right of
appeal to higher appellate courts, whether on conviction or severity of
cannot be blind however to the implications of Ezam’s conviction and sentence
and must rise up to the occasion to be true to their sworn oath
to “preserve, protect and defend”
the Constitution to ensure
that the integrity of the
institutions of governance and Malaysia’s international reputation are
not sullied by double-standards and
the illegal granting of immunities to top political leaders from prosecution for
offences under the law.
just as Malaysians, must grapple with the following
heart-rending issue following Ezam’s
conviction and sentence on Wednesday:
Is Ezam guilty of an offence under the OSA for exposing secret documents of the corruption investigations of International Trade and Industry Minister Rafidah Aziz and former Malacca chief minister Abdul Rahim Thamby Chik at a press conference in November 1999?
If so, this could only mean that the secret documents that Ezam exposed, firstly, a document of the Prosecution Division, Attorney-General’s Office dated 14th March 1995 signed by Abdul Gani Patail which stated that there was prima facie basis to prosecute Datuk Paduka Rafidah Aziz, the Minister for International Trade and Industry, on five counts of corruption under Section 2(2), Ordinance 11, 1970; and secondly, that the Attorney-General’s Chambers and the ACA had concluded by June 1994 that there was prima facie case to prosecute the then Chief Minister of Malacca, Rahim Tamby Cik on four charges of corruption based on the information supplied to the Anti-Corruption Agency by the former DAP Member of Parliament for Kota Melaka, Lim Guan Eng, were true, valid and genuine documents and not fiction or figments of anyone’s imagination. The immediate question that arises is why Rafidah and Rahim were not prosecuted for corruption and on what basis were immunity from prosecution granted to them.
Ezam be convicted and jailed for violating
the OSA for exposing the two secret documents, while
Rafidah and Rahim Thamby
Chik are granted immunity from
prosecution when the government has admitted to the truth and veracity of these
two documents? Which is the more
heinous crime – OSA offence to expose corruption or corruption itself?
The Petaling Jaya Sessions Court
in convicting Ezam under the OSA is not interested or concerned about the truth
or genuineness of the contents of the secret documents, raising the fundamental
question as to whether in administering such “blind justice”, our
justice system is really concerned with justice and the rule of law.
This is a question which
Parliament must address urgently. Even
more important, Parliament must address the issue avoided by the sessions court
– the truth and genuiness of the contents of the secret documents.
Apart from the court of law, there
is the higher courts of public and international opinion which Parliament must address – whether it can
remain blind and unconcerned
to the gross injustice of convicting Ezam under the OSA while immunity of
prosecution is granted to Rafidah and Rahim for corruption, which were the
contents of the secret documents which have sent Ezam to Kajang Prison
from the Kamunting detention centre.
If Parliament is blind, deaf and mute on this grave issue, then Parliament will be guilty of a gross dereliction of duty and become a party to a grave injustice to Ezam, the 23 million Malaysians and the Malaysian nation. This is not the way for Malaysians to celebrate our 45th National Day!