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Why the double standards in
extending Musa Hassan’s tenure as IGP while refusing to extend Zulkipli Mat
Noor’s term as ACA director-general when serious corruption allegations
against both remained outstanding and unresolved?
(Parliament, Wednesday): At the monthly assembly of the staff of ministries and agencies under the Prime Minister’s Department on July 2, 2007, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi made the surprise announcement of the extension of the term of service of Tan Sri Musa Hassan as Inspector-General of Police to enable Musa to “continue with his crime-fighting agenda”. Musa is to retire on Sept. 13, 2007.
Such an announcement was most unprecedented for many reasons and the circumstances indicate that it was more a statement of intent on the Prime Minister’s part than a statement of fact in that all the due process of such an extension had been completed, including conveying the decision to the Conference of Rulers which will only meet later this month.
The very fact that no one knows for how long Musa’s term as IGP had been extended although it is more than a week after Abdullah’s surprise announcement lends support to the view that the Prime Minister’s statement was one of intent rather than of fact about Musa’s extension as IGP.
The question is why was it necessary for Abdullah to act in so uncharacteristic a fashion in “jumping the gun” to rush such an announcement of his intent to extend Musa’s term as IGP when there are more than two months to go before the expiry of the tenure, and when the practice is to make the announcement of such top-level appointments or their extensions at the last minute.
There are even cases where high offices are left vacant for months like the office of Chief Judge of Malaya, which had remained vacant for more than six months, raising the question whether the country is facing a constitutional crisis in filling top judicial posts.
Was Abdullah forced to announce his intent to extend the tenure of Musa as IGP when it only expires on Sept. 16 to fob off mounting pressures against the extension of Musa’s service, and if so, what are these pressures and reasons for them?
The most critical question which calls for Abdullah’s explanation is the reason for the double standards in extending Tan Sri Musa Hassan’s tenure as Inspector-General of Police while refusing to extend Datuk Seri Zulkipli Mat Noor’s term as Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) director-general when serious corruption allegations against both remained outstanding and unresolved?
Deputy Internal Security Minister, Datuk Mohd Johari Baharum told Parliament during question time yesterday that “the Internal Security Ministry had lodged a report with the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) on the allegations of corruption involving Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan” about a RM2.1 million bribe to release a group of gangsters.
On June 19, I had sought to have an emergency debate in Parliament on a motion of urgent definite public importance on the serious allegations of corruption and abuses of power against both Johari and Musa but this was disallowed by the Speaker, Tan Sri Ramli Ngah, on the ground that it was not urgent as the ACA was conducting investigations.
Johari told Bernama that the ACA report against the IGP was lodged to enable investigations to be carried out as he was not satisfied with several explanations given by the police on the matter. He said the ACA report was made “a long time ago…when the issue on corruption was raised on the website” – which would be in early June.
The question then is why Abdullah decided to extend Musa’s tenure as IGP when the serious corruption allegation had be made against the top police cop for more than a month and the issue raised in Parliament, while he applied a different standard in the case of the former ACA director-general Datuk Seri Zulkipli Mat Noor when serious corruption allegations were made against the top anti-corruption officer?
It is sad and tragic that in a short period of 44 months, the anti-corruption record of the Abdullah premiership is in tatters.
Abdullah started off as the fifth Prime Minister with the pledge to make anti-corruption the top priority of his administration and a major difference with the previous Mahathir administration.
However, never before in the 50-year history of the nation have so many top figures in government been caught in a maze of corruption allegations involving the Inspector-General of Police, the Anti-Corruption Agency Director-General at the time, the Deputy Internal Security Minister, not to mention Cabinet Ministers, with all the corruption allegations outstanding and unresolved.
As a result, the international Corruption Perception Index ranking of Malaysia is now lowest in the nation’s history as well.
The time has come for Abdullah to salvage his anti-corruption programme and check the rot of corruption in his administration or the point of no return would have been reached.
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