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Bernard Dompok as Chairman
must not buckle down to ulterior and improper pressures to unilaterally
cancel the Parliamentary Select Committee meeting on Monday to hear Zulkipli
and Ramli on ACA corruption
(Parliament, Thursday) : I was shocked when I was informed by the press at about 3 pm about the cancellation of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Integrity (PSCI) meeting on Monday, March 12, 2007 to hear the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) director-general, Datuk Zulkipli Mat Noor and former top ACA officer and “whistleblower”, Mohamad Ramli Manan on serious allegations of corruption in the ACA. The announcement had been made by the PSCI Chairman Tan Sri Bernard Compok.
I was formally informed of the cancellation of the PSCI by a parliamentary officer at 4.40 p.m. by phone, who told me that the Secretary to Parliament, Datuk Mahmood bin Adam, had signed the notice for the cancellation of the PSCI meeting on Monday for it to be faxed out to the PSCI committee members.
This must be the first time in the history of Parliamentary Select Committees not only in Malaysia but in the Commonwealth where the media are given earlier notice than the MPs concerned of the cancellation of a Select Committee meeting.
As the March 12 meeting to hear Zulkipli and Ramli was the formal decision of the PSCI meeting on Feb. 28, when it met to deal with issues concerning the scourge of the false identity card rackets in Sabah, any cancellation of the Monday meeting could only be made by the PSCI itself and not improperly and unilaterally by the Chairman, Tan Sri Bernard Dompok.
As PSCI Chairman, Bernard must not buckle down to ulterior and improper pressures to unilaterally cancel the Parliamentary Select Committee meeting on Monday to hear Zulkipli and Ramli on ACA corruption .
This incident raises the impropriety of a Cabinet Minister heading a parliamentary select committee. Bernard is Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department.
Was the PSCI hearing for Zulkifli and Ramli discussed at the Cabinet meeting yesterday, and was Bernard pressured to cancel the Monday meeting of PSCI, although both Zulkfifli and Ramli have publicly stated their preparedness to appear to tell the whole truth with both claiming that they have nothing to hide.
The filing of legal proceedings by Ramli yesterday against Zulkifli and five other government officials is neither excuse nor justification for the unilateral and unparliamentary cancellation of the PSCI meeting on March 12, as the PSCI is not intended to be a court of law but has special responsibility to address the problem of integrity in ACA, in particular in the latest developments with ACA suffering its worst national and international crisis of confidence in its integrity and incorruptibility.
What is the use of having a Parliamentary Select Committee on Integrity when it is unable to deal with the most acute problem of national integrity – the integrity and incorruptibility of ACA?
The notice to cancel the PSCI meeting on Monday is improper, defective, and unparliamentary and should be regarded as null and void, and utterly invalid.
Under the circumstances, the PSCI meeting on Monday should be held as scheduled, especially as Zulkipli and Ramli have committed publicly to attend. Or will Zulkipli and Ramli use this as an excuse not to appear any more before the PSCI.
I will contact Bernard to impress on him the importance that the Monday meeting of the PSCI should be held as scheduled.
Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic
Planning Commission Chairman
Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman