The Najib administration has become a hydra-headed government with Ministers and heads of departments giving different stands on a whole variety of issues
The Najib administration has become a hydra-headed government with Ministers and heads of government giving different stands on a whole variety of issues.
The present meeting of Parliament is providing multiple examples of a hydra-headed government.
For instance, the Home Minister Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi in a written answer to the DAP MP for Kulai, Teo Nie Ching, said police have completed investigations on incendiary statements by Umno leaders, the Agriculture and Agro-based Industries Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob and the former Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Dr Mashitah Ibrahim and are waiting for further instructions from the Attorney-General.
A total of 32 police reports were lodged against Ismail over his call for Malay consumers to boycott Chinese businesses as a way to force down the prices of goods while ten police reports were lodged against Mashitah, who had said that Chinese people had burned the Quran in a religious rite in Kuala Kedah, which was a downright lie as it never happened.
But while the Home Minister said that the Police are waiting for instructions from the Attorney-General, another Minister, the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim, cleared Ismail Sabri of any offence or any crime!
In a written reply to the DAP MP for Taiping, Nga Kor Ming, Shahidan defended Ismail’s statement claiming that Ismail’s call was “directed to all races and not certain races” – which flies in the face of Ismail’s original statement, which was a very explicit, clear-cut and unmistakable statement calling on Malay consumers to boycott Chinese businesses.
If the Prime Minister’s Department is defending and exonerating Ismail’s racist statement, why is the Home Minister indulging in the rigmarole in Parliament with his written answer that the Police are waiting for instructions from the Attorney-General?
This is not the only example from yesterday’s Parliament that the Najib administration has become a hydra-headed government.
In a written reply to my question, Zahid endorsed the twitter-happy Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar who used the social media platform to make announcements of police actions and investigations.
Zahid said Khalid’s twitter habits were aimed at keeping the public informed on the police actions and were not politically motivated or out to scare anyone.
Can Zahid cite a single instance where Khalid had tweeted about police action against UMNO/Barisan Nasional leaders whether Ismail Sabri, Mashitah Ibrahim or even Zahid himself?
If Zahid is unable to cite a single instance, and all Khalid’s tweets were directed at Pakatan Rakyat leaders and NGO activists, this is irrefutable proof of the IGP playing with twitter to harass and intimidate PR leaders and NGO activists as part of a politically-motivated campaign.
Khalid was clearly abusing his powers by using his tweets to announce police action against PR leaders and NGO activists, as he was in the process, as good as passing judgment that the PR leaders and NGOs activists had committed offences even before any police investigation had been commenced and the case referred to the Attorney-General for instructions.
Even if the Attorney-General decides on prosecution, an accused is still innocent until proven guilty, but the IGP had already jumped the gun, not once but thrice, in deeming a person guilty of crime firstly, before police investigations commenced; secondly, before the Attorney-General’s instruction to prosecute, and thirdly, before the court’s conviction (subject to appeal process) had been delivered!
Is this how a conscientious and responsible Inspector-General of Police in a country which really respects and upholds the rule of law and a just administration of justice should behave himself?
For such grave transgressions, the Home Minister should have called up the Inspector-General to put him on a correction course.
But how is Zahid to try to discipline Khalid when Zahid had himself been guilty of gross indiscipline and offence, even in breach of the Official Secrets Act, of writing the infamous letter to Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) vouching for the integrity of an alleged Malaysian gambling kingpin Paul Phua standing trial in Las Vegas, Nevada in direct contradiction to the police’s earlier communication with FBI?
The Home Minister and the IGP seemed to be trapped in a “Catch 22” situation where neither one can impose authority or correct the other, as each is aware of the other’s vulnerability!
The has resulted in the most ludicrous ministerial reply when the DAP MP for Segambut, Lim Lip Eng was told by the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Shahidan Kassim that information relating to Paul Phua is a “huge secret” classified under the Official Secrets Act and that the government has no plans to reveal it.
In the first place, how does Shahidan know that any information relating to the international gambling kingpin Paul Phua is a “huge secret” under the OSA?
If so, why is Zahid allowed to violate the “huge secret” in his infamous letter to the FBI, without authority, sanction or knowledge from the Police, the Foreign Ministry, the Cabinet and the Prime Minister?
Furthermore what are the criteria for classifying a secret as a “huge secret” under the OSA?
Is the information on Paul Phua more of a “huge secret” than all the other information under the OSA, including respectable characters like members of Cabinet, Parliament and the civil service?
Silence by Shahidan or even the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak on this issue of the “huge secret” under the OSA can only undermine public confidence in the credibility and integrity of the Federal Government.
The Najib administration has been make a fool of itself with the hydra-headed replies in Parliament.
For instance, when the Foreign Minister, Datuk Anifa Aman in a written reply to DAP MP for Batu Kawan, Kasthuri Patto defended the appointment of Datuk Shafee Abdullah as Malaysia’s representative at the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission of Human Rights (AICHR), he said Shafee has an “institutional memory” on human rights.
Is Shafee’s “institutional memory” on the suppression and repression of human rights or on the promotion and protection of human rights?
It is indeed sad that Shafee, who had not distinguished himself as a human rights champion in Malaysia, is touted for his “institutional memory” to justify his qualification to represent Malaysia on AICHR!
If all the human rights NGOs in Malaysia disagree that Shafee has the “institutional memory” to protect and promote human rights, will the Malaysian Government replace Shafee on AICHR?
But the answer which must take the cake for being most hilarious is the answer by the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Nancy Shukri to DAP MP for Bakri Er Teck Hwa that Shafee is being paid only RM1,000 for his services as the prosecutor by fiat in the Anwar Ibrahim Sodomy II case at the Court of Appeal and Federal Court stages.
The RM1,000-answer has raised eye-brows throughout the country and not just the legal and judicial community as there are those who believe that going by Shafee’s rates, his services as prosecutor by fiat at the Court of Appeal and Federal Court would have been in the million-ringgit bracket.
The hydra-headed character of the Najib premiership is also illustrated by the many scandals in the country – with the Cabinet Ministers clearly not on the same page on the scandal of Zahid’s infamous letter to FBI vouching for the character of the international gambling kingpin Paul Phua.
This is also the case of the biggest financial scandal in the nation’s history, the RM42 billion 1MDB scandal.
In fact, the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister are clearly at loggerheads over the 1MDB scandal, although Muhyiddin Yassin is subsequently trying to paper over the cracks after his repudiation of Najib’s PMO Communications Unit statement after the Cabinet meeting last Wednesday.
How long will Najib’s hydra-headed government last?