“Sultan of Klang” Zakaria
Deros’ 37 charges dropped – another grave blow to public confidence in
independence and integrity of institutions of state less than a week to 50th
Merdeka anniversary celebrations
by Lim Kit Siang
As if there were not enough
setbacks in the past two months to shatter public confidence in the
independence, integrity and professionalism of institutions of state
causing more and more Malaysians to ask the real meaning of the 50th
Merdeka anniversary celebrations, another grave blow was delivered to such
public confidence yesterday.
I am referring to the extraordinary dropping of the 37 charges against the
so-called “Sultan of Klang” Datuk Zakaria Md Deros and five of his
business partners pertaining to contravening the Companies Act 1965 – less
than a week before the 50th Merdeka anniversary celebrations.
It would appear that the so-called “Sultan of Klang” enjoys immunities and
privileges to the extent that he is a law unto himself and is not subject
to the ordinary laws of the land binding of all Malaysians and even
members of the true royalty.
Zakaria would have very exultant reasons to celebrate the 50th Merdeka
anniversary on Friday, but he has left more and more Malaysians wonder
what has happened to the country after half-a-century of independent
nationhood that there is a lengthening catalogue of things very wrong with
good governance, justice and nation-building in Malaysia.
Were the authorities serious in charging Zakaria with 37 offences under
the Companies Act 1965 in the first instance, and if so, how could these
charges be so summarily and flippantly withdrawn?
If the original 37 charges against Zakaria were just a sandiwara never
meant to be taken or to be pursued seriously, then the reputation of the
impartiality, independence, professionalism and integrity of the state
institutions responsible for upholding law and order have been seriously
tarnished, and suitable punitive action should be taken against the
If the original 37 charges against Zakaria had been preferred with a full
sense of seriousness, then why were they dropped so summarily and
frivolously? Was there interference with the process of law and the
administration of justice, and if so, Parliament and the Malaysian people
are entitled to a full explanation.
The Attorney-General Tan Sri Gani Patail told the Star that he would ask
the Companies Commission of Malaysia (CCM) for a detailed report on why
the charges were dropped.
However, the New Straits Times reported that the CCM senior prosecutor
Azmil Haron told the Klang magistrate Fadzilatul Isma Ahmad Refngah that
the deputy public prosecutor had instructed him to drop the charges.
Apart from Gani Patil as the Attorney-General, is there someone else who
has even greater powers in deciding questions on whether to continue
prosecution or to drop charges? If so, isn’t this most unconstitutional
and a grave travesty of justice?
These conflicting reports are not conducive to the maintenance of public
confidence in the professionalism, independence, impartiality and
integrity of the justice l system to uphold law and order without fear of
The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi should present a
ministerial statement in Parliament on Monday to give satisfactory
accountability as to why the 37 charges against Zakaria had been dropped
so summarily and frivolously and assure Malaysians that the 50th Merdeka
anniversary will not be accompanied by the erosion of fundamental
liberties and constitutional guarantees agreed by the forefathers of the
major communities in the social contract on the attainment of independence
Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic
Planning Commission Chairman