Media statements issued never do get media coverage, and if it does it often does not report all that is stated. Given the fact, there seem to be no real documentation of all these civil society voices, this Blog has been started hoping to capture and preserve the voices of civil society for all. Appreciate it if you could forward me ( statements that have not been picked up by this Blog.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Bar: Nation’s institutional reforms deserve greater priority and attention than bedroom antics

Press Release
Nation’s institutional reforms deserve greater priority and attention than bedroom antics
The proposal to establish a Royal Commission of Inquiry (“RCI”) to probe the sex video clip publicised by the “Datuk T trio” is misguided. It invokes more questions in people’s minds, than the suggested exercise might hope to answer.

Under the Commissions of Enquiry Act 1950, an RCI is set up to enquire into matters of unarguable public importance, commonly involving or implicating public institutions having authority over some aspects of the life or welfare of citizens. Royal Commissions have been established in the past to investigate the conduct and functioning of public institutions such as the police and the Judiciary, for example the ones on reforming the Polis DiRaja Malaysia, on the “nude ear squats” incident, or that arising from the video clip featuring VK Lingam.

The Government has in the past been reluctant and slow to establish Royal Commissions, where far more pressing and undeniable public interest issues were at stake. Even when set up, often only after incessant public outcry, the Government has been disappointing in implementing their major recommendations, such as with some of the abovementioned RCIs.

Viewed against this backdrop, it is not surprising that the sudden enthusiasm displayed in the call for an RCI in the present instance raises a serious sense of scepticism and indignation in the minds of many enlightened Malaysians.

Countless Malaysians have made themselves hoarse through speaking out to urge the Government to display a genuine sense of purpose and political will in order to urgently deal with long-untreated problems of immense public impact, such as the eradication of endemic corruption and meaningful revamp of vital institutions. Many of these matters are truly deserving of investigation by RCIs, in priority to, and in contrast with, the episode under examination that has curiously but unwarrantedly received so much official zest.

Very often, an RCI has, among its tasks, the restoration of public confidence. This can hardly be achieved, if the people notice that the Government has lost its sense of priority and fair play. Instead of having to face criminal charges for the screening and publication of a sex video, and for what may amount to criminal intimidation, the trio’s members have been inappropriately described as whistleblowers, forgetting that a whistleblower is one who quietly furnishes relevant information to an enforcement agency vested with proper investigative powers, and not one who provides public viewing of a sex video and who desires and demands public attention.

The Malaysian Bar calls on the Government to restore its proper sense of priority, and to channel its energy, resources and political will in ways that will truly benefit the rakyat.

Lim Chee Wee
Malaysian Bar

9 Apr 2011

No comments:

Post a Comment