Najib reminded that it does
not serve the cause of public confidence for the government to keep mum
after the Cabinet decision on the terms of reference and composition of
Royal Commission of Inquiry
by Lim Kit Siang
I am very disturbed by the
statement by Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak last evening
that there would be no immediate announcement of the Cabinet’s decision
today on the terms of reference, scope of power and membership of the
Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Lingam Tape.
Najib, who will be chairing the Cabinet meeting this morning as the Prime
Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is in Singapore for the ASEAN
Summit, must be reminded that it does not serve the cause of public
confidence for the government to keep mum after the Cabinet decision on
the terms of reference and composition of the Royal Commission of Inquiry
as it will only reinforce widespread anxieties and suspicions that “the
leopard cannot change its skin” and that the Royal Commission of Inquiry
would be so cribbed, cabined and confined by its terms of reference and
scope of power that it would be quite useless in making significant
contributions to end the 19-year crisis of confidence in the independence
and integrity of the judiciary.
Malaysians expect the Cabinet to set an example of “first-world” and
“first-class” mentality which does not make a mockery of the pledge of
Abdullah to lead an administration characterized by openness,
accountability, transparency and integrity.
If the Cabinet slams the Official Secrets Act on its decision on the Royal
Commission of Inquiry today, refusing to announce its decision and to ban
any reporting or disclosure of the Cabinet decision how is the Abdullah
administration more open, accountable and transparent than the previous
administrations? Instead, we seem to be going into reverse.
If the Cabinet this morning has taken decisions on the Royal Commission of
Inquiry, then let Malaysians be informed about them without any delay or
the Abdullah Cabinet will be setting a most undesirable example of being
evasive and opaque instead of openness, accountability and transparency -
completely antithetical to Abdullah’s pledge of wanting to lead a Malaysia
with “First World Infrastructure, First-World Mentality”.
If the Cabinet fails to make public its decisions on the Royal Commission
of Inquiry today, Malaysians are entitled to ask and speculate as to what
the government is hiding from the nation and the world.
Or is this just another confirmation of the critique of former Prime
Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad of a “half-past six” Cabinet at work?
Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic
Planning Commission Chairman