Nancy Shukri should avail herself of making a Ministerial statement in Parliament to rectify two major errors she committed in Parliament last week
The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Nancy Shukri, should avail herself of the opportunity of making a Ministerial statement in Parliament to rectify two major errors she committed in Parliament last week.
She committed the first mistake on the first day of Parliament on Tuesday, 7th October, when answering the question by the Parliamentary Opposition Leader, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim who asked the Prime Minister whether the government’s use of the law against Pakatan Rakyat leaders, activists and intellectuals was in line with the prime minister’s commitment to make Malaysia more democratic.
Defending the blitz of sedition prosecutions and the “white terror” launched by the authorities in the past few months, Nancy claimed that the Malaysian government practises and upholds the doctrine of the separation of powers and as such the government does not interfere in the Attorney-General’s Chambers affairs.
Here, Nancy made the grave error about the doctrine of separation of powers, as the Attorney-General is part of the executive and not the judiciary in the doctrine of separation of powers among the Executive, the Legislature and the Judiciary.
Consequently, the doctrine of separation of powers is totally irrelevant and does not apply in the blitzkrieg of sedition prosecutions – which is an executive action and not an action of the judiciary.
Although Article 145(3) of the Malaysian Constitution vests in the Attorney-General the sole discretionary power “to institute, continue or discontinue any proceedings for any offence”, the AG’s prosecution decisions are actions of the Executive and not of the Judiciary, which means the Prime Minister must assume full responsibilities for the AG’s decision and cannot disclaim responsibility on the ground of the doctrine of separation of powers.
This also means that Parliament is entitled to a full and satisfactory reply as to whether Malaysia has got an Attorney-General who is totally out of sync with the vision of the Prime Minister, resulting in Najib leading a two-headed government – with an Attorney-General aimed at making Malaysia the world’s worst democracy which is totally at odds with Najib’s public pledge to make Malaysia the world’s best democracy!
But it was Nancy’s second mistake in Parliament in a written answer on Oct. 7 which hit the headlines and continues to make waves for her and the Najib premiership.
When answering the Penang Chief Minister and Bagan Member of Parliament, Lim Guan Eng, Nancy said that Perkasa President Ibrahim Ali was not charged over his threat to burn the Malay-language Bible because the police had concluded that the Malay rights group leader was merely defending the sanctity of Islam, and had not intended to create religious chaos with his statement.
Nancy compounded her second error when in response to the host of criticisms against her original answer, she issued a statement on Thursday night explaining that the Attorney-General Chambers’ decision not to charge Ibrahim Ali was because the context of Ibrahim’s speech was in line with the spirit of the Federal Constitution’s Article 11(4).
Both these reasons have been rubbished by thinking Malaysians.
Rational leaders in both UMNO and Pakatan Rakyat have rightly pointed out that no “burning of the Bible” can be justified as defending Islam.
Furthermore, the argument that Article 11(4) of the Malaysian Constitution justified the Attorney-General’s Chambers decision not to prosecute Ibrahim Ali is totally baseless and spurious.
Nancy now claims that she had been wronged and misunderstood, that she was merely passing on the message by the Attorney-General’s Chambers on the actions taken against Ibrahim Ali.
Malaysia does not need a “Ministerial” postman – who must be the most highly-paid postman in the country and the world – but a responsible Minister who has the courage of her convictions and principles.
Nancy has only herself to blame for becoming the butt of national scorn over her parliamentary answer, even causing her predecessor Datuk Zaid Ibrahim to accuse her of being totally unprincipled and willing to “play ball” to keep her Ministership.
Nancy Shukri should avail herself of the opportunity of making a Ministerial statement in Parliament to rectify these two major errors she committed in Parliament last week, and most important of all, to put on record not only the Attorney-General Chambers’ justification for the decision not to prosecute Ibrahim Ali and the spate of “white terror” sedition charges against Pakatan Rakyat leaders, activists and intellectuals, but to state the stand of the Najib administration as well as her own stand on these important issues.