Host of great breaches of
great promises by Abdullah – Police, Parliament, judiciary, election and
by Lim Kit Siang
Exactly four years ago, on 29th
December 2003, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi
announced the formation of a Royal Commission into the Police.
This is the New Straits Times report of 30th December 2003 on Abdullah’s
announcement in its report “A new image for police”:
- Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi today said a Royal
Commission would study and recommend steps that could transform the police
into a credible force.
He said the commission would also rectify the force's weaknesses and
review work procedures besides coming up with recommendations which could
enhance the confidence of the public.
Abdullah said the proposal would be submitted to Yang di-Pertuan Agong
Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin for his consent.
He said the recommendations by the commission would help the police to
discharge their duties more efficiently and operate in a more transparent
and responsible manner.
Abdullah said the commission would also outline terms and conditions for
recruitment and human resource development.
“We want to make the police force a unit which
can be trusted. I hope the commission will help change the public's
perception of the force.”
Abdullah, who is also Home Minister, said the commission would also look
into the welfare and family matters of police officers so that their
morale and commitment would not be affected.
“The police must be well-versed in human rights when discharging their
duties and dealing with the public. Police brutality, poor service,
corruption and other negative traits must be eradicated,” Abdullah said at
the opening of a conference of police commissioners, state police chiefs,
General Operations Force brigade commanders and commandants at the
Putrajaya Convention Centre.
Four years today, Abdullah’s
great promises of a Royal Police Commission to:
• “transform the police into a
• “rectify the force’s weaknesses…to enhance the confidence of the
• ensure that the police “discharge their duties more efficiently and
operate in a more transparent and responsible manner”;
• change the public perception of the police to become “a unit which can
be trusted” by being “well-versed in human rights when discharging their
duties and dealing with the public”; and
• where “police brutality, poor service, corruption and other negative
traits must be eradicated”;
have all proved to be empty
ones, qualifying to be described as great breaches of the Prime Minister!
The Royal Police Commission resulted in its 125 recommendations to
transform it into an efficient, incorruptible, accountable, professional
world-class police service with the three core objectives to keep crime
low, eradicate corruption and uphold human rights, with its most important
recommendation the establishment of the Independent Police Complaints and
Misconduct Commission (IPCMC).
After four years, Malaysians have the right to expect an IPCMC “lion” with
powerful teeth and claws to check and eradicate police misconduct,
corruption and abuses of power but instead, a toothless and clawless
Special Complaints Commission (SCC) mouse has been produced by the
government in the form of the SCC Bill tabled in Parliament just before
its adjournment in the recent 46-day budget meeting!
An independent, professional and incorruptible police force is not the
only great pledge Abdullah had made in his “First 100 Days” which had been
met with great breaches.
Just to give a quick snapshot of the other great pledges of Abdullah in
his “First 100 Days” as the fifth Prime Minister of Malaysia with their
equally great breaches:
(1) Pledge to create a First
World Parliament, which is not an appendage of the Executive. At the
beginning of the 11th Parliament, I had met the Prime Minister proposing a
First-World Parliament which adopts the full committee system with a
Parliamentary Select Committee to shadow each ministry or important
So far, there had been a Parliamentary Select Committee on amendments to
the Criminal Procedure Code and Penal Code, which had completed its work
resulting in consequential legislative action. There are also two other
Select Committees, one on National Unity and Integration and the other on
Both Select Committees are in danger of ending up as parliamentary
scandals with no report or final report submitted to Parliament if general
election is called by March.
There is another Parliamentary Select Committee which even MPs have
forgotten – the Select Committee on Ethics for MPs, headed by Deputy Prime
Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak which was adopted by the Dewan Rakyat by
way of a motion in May this year and which had its first meeting in June
this year on its programme of action but went to sleep after that.
This is only one illustration of the lack of seriousness and political
will to create a First-World Parliament.
(2) Restoration of the independence, integrity and quality of the
judiciary. Without even going into the Lingam Tape scandal, the state of
the judiciary is a parlous one, which is why the new Chief Justice, Datuk
Abdul Hamid Mohamad had admitted the rot in the judicial system and
promised a “house-cleaning” after his swearing-in earlier this month.
However, how cans one man however well-meaning beat a system which is
rotten? The 3-2 Federal Court decision on Thursday upholding the
appointment of academician Dr. Badariah Sahamid confirms the view that
Abdul Hamid is an “accidental Chief Justice” who will find it very uphill
to carry the judicial system along with him in his short tenure of at most
less than a year as the top judicial officer of the land.
The two dissenting judgments by
Abdul Hamid and Datuk Zulkefli Ahdmad Makinuddin in the Badariah Sahamid
case, that High Court judges and Judicial Commissioners must have at least
10 years’ experience as an advocate or a member of judicial and legal
service before they can be appointed are solid judgments which are
definitely more meritorious and weighty than the majority judgments by the
three Federal Court judges, which make nonsense of the earlier Federal
Court decision which struck down the appointment of the Industrial Court
Chairman who did not have at least 10 years professional experience.
However, this has not saved the country from the extraordinary spectacle
of the Chief Justice ending up in a dissenting minority in a bench of
five, although his judgment are overwhelmingly regarded as the proper
construction of the law.
(3) An independent Election
Malaysians are astounded by the super-swift extension of the tenure of Tan
Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman as Election Commission Chairman for another
To extend Rashid’s tenure as Election Commission Chairman from 65 to 66,
the Constitution had to be amended, which the Dewan Rakyat passed on Dec.
11 under the protest of Opposition of MPs who staged a walkout at the
violation of parliamentary privileges by the police who committed trespass
of the parliamentary precincts on the same day to effect arrests of BERSIH
activists demanding free, fair and clean elections.
Dewan Negara passed the Constitution Amendment Bill and adjourned on Dec.
24. December 25 was Christmas Day and a public holiday. Dec. 6 was a
Wednesday and should be a normal Cabinet day, but Ministers were too much
in a holiday mood to have their weekly Cabinet meeting.
If so, the Yang di Pertuan Agong who had just returned from haj in Mecca,
should also be partaking in the holiday spirit of the Cabinet, but clearly
this was not the case, as the Royal Assent and the gazetting of the
Constitution Amendment Bill (the two final steps before a bill could
become law) were both done on Dec. 26 so that Rashid could extend his
tenure for another year on Thursday, 27th December 2007!
This must be one of the fastest cases of securing the Royal Assent and
gazetting the law immediately after passage by the Senate.
It shows that if the Barisan Nasional wants to do so, it could get a law
enacted in super-quick time unlike the years it could take to translate
important legislative proposals into law.
But where the Barisan Nasional
does not want to do anything, like ensuring a free, fair and clean
election for the country, it will be impossible to move the government and
the legislative process at all.
(4) Anti-Corruption pledge a
Another great breach of a great pledge by Abdullah after four years is the
anti-corruption campaign promised by the Prime Minister which is a total
I call on the Prime Minister to tell Malaysians whether he has totally
abandoned these great pledges he made on becoming Prime Minister four
years ago or whether he is still serious about them despite the great
Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic
Planning Commission Chairman