Najib and Hihammuddin should intervene and drop all charges against RMAF pilot Major Zaidi Ahmad

I call on the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak and the Defence Minister, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein to intervene and drop all charges against Royal Malaysian Air Force pilot Major Zaidi Ahmad who should be rewarded and not penalised for speaking up about the indelible ink fiasco in the recent 13th General Elections.

If Pakaktan Rakyat is running the Federal Government in Putrajaya, I would have recommended that Major Zaidi should be promoted for showing utmost patriotism going beyond the ordinary call of duty instead of indulging in the mean and petty vindictiveness of clipping his pilot' wings and reassigning him to a desk job, followed by charges before a court martial which could land him in jail for two years.

Why is the Najib government so unreasonable and even perverse as to want destroy Malaysia's fragile international image with the latest scandal of sending a patriotic air force pilot to jail for two years not because of any heinous crime or moral turpitude but because of the basic honesty of a decent human being in speaking the truth about the "indelible ink" used in the last general elections which was in fact quickly washabke and deletable?

In contrast, the really corrupt and heinous characters in Malaysia, particularly the "big sharks" of corruption who steal tens and hundreds of millions of ringgit of public properties and wealth, enjoy total immunity and impunity,.

In fact, if Major Zaidi is sent to jail for two years for speaking the truth about the "indelible ink" fiasco in the 13GE, all Malaysians will feel utterly ashamed of being Malaysians in the eyes of the world in having such barbaric and savage laws in the country.

The two persons should be the most embarrassed not only in Malaysia but in the world at such a travesty of justice if Major Zaidi is sent to jail should be the Prime Minister and the Defence Minister, but they seem to have become completely numb and insensitive to decent opinions whether in the country or world-wide.

I hope this is an unfair judgment and I am prepared to be proved wrong - which is why I am urging Najib and Hishammuddin to immediately intervene to drop all charges against Major Zaidi - and even to consider a promotion for him, in view of his great act of patriotism in speaking up as a voter about the indelible ink fiasco in the 13GE.

When Major Zaidi lodged a police report about the indelible ink fiasco, he was acting as a Malaysian voter and citizen. He was not lodging a report as an air force pilot.

Is the Prime Minister and Defence Minister suggesting that if Major Zaidi had been bribed to vote for any political party, or he has concrete evidence of election offences committed during the elections such as big amounts of money being used to buy votes from the soldier-voters or other election abuses, he cannot lodge a report to the police without violating his military duties?

Which has the higher calling - loyalty to the Constitution or loyalty to the bureaucratic rules and regulations in the military services?

In any event, any law, regulation or rule whether in military establishments or government service which conflict with a citizen's loyalty to the Constitution cannot stand and must be repealed immediately because, as in this particular case, they are not in conformity with a democratic society, where every citizen, whether in uniform or otherwise, must enjoy the constitutional right to vote freely for the elected representative or government of their choice.

The Election Commission should be thoroughly ashamed of itself that it is standing idly by while Zaidi is being charged for ensuring a free, fair and clean elections in the country.

Is it any wonder that the Election Commission has forfeited all respect and confidence of right- thinking Malaysians when it could be a party to such a travesty of justice against Major Zaidi?

The least the Election Commission should do is to protest in the strongest terms against the court martial of Major Zaidi, and recommend the air force pilot should be rewarded for his great act of loyalty and patriotism in exposing the "indelible ink" fiasco - which though embarrassing to the Election Commission is a great service in the cause of clean, free and fair elections.

Major Zaidi is a cause celebre in Malaysia for democracy, the rule of law and upholding the Constitution.

If Najib and Hishammuddin are not prepared to act to drop all charges against Major Zaidi, then Major Zaidi will become a cause celebre in Parliament when it reconvenes for a month-long meeting on March 10.

Lim Kit Siang DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Gelang Patah