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Letter to PM to lodge
“strongest protest possible” at the most unsatisfactory reply to a
parliamentary question in Malaysian parliamentary history which totally
evaded the query posed viz status report on implementation of the 125
recommendations of the Royal Police Commission and in particular the IPCMC
(Parliament, Tuesday): I have today faxed a letter to the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi lodging the “strongest protest possible” at the most unsatisfactory reply to a parliamentary question in Malaysian parliamentary history which totally evaded the specific query posed.
My protest letter referred to Abdullah’s written reply to my parliamentary question yesterday asking “why public confidence in government ability to ensure low-crime Malaysia has reached a new low despite earlier favourable public responses to Royal Police Commission Report and to report on implementation of the commission's 125 recommendations, in particular on IPCMC”.
In the three-paragraph written answer, Abdullah, who is also the Minister for Internal Security, said the Royal Malaysia Police (RMP) had implemented the Five Year Police Strategic Plan (2007-2011) to address the problem of rising crime and public concerns about crime.
Among the programmes of the RMP Strategic Plan were the setting up of a Crime Prevention Department that involved all police stations apart from having an Internet website to be more customer-centric.
To ensure the people's continued confidence in the police to fight crime, other programmes have also been implemented including improving the beat and patrol functions with the cooperation of other agencies like local authorities, installation of closed-circuit television camera (CCTV) systems in high risk areas and having the Rakan Cop at all state police contingents.
Abdullah also said that although the crime rate had risen in terms of statistics, the solving rate for serious crimes had also improved from 58.88 per cent in 2005 to 60.11 per cent last year.
I told the Prime Minister that “it is most shocking and totally unprecedented” that the written answer completely ignored the second part of the question asking for a status report on the implementation of the 125 recommendations of the Royal Police Commission and in particular the key proposal for the establishment of the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC).
This is the first time in my 33 years as Member of Parliament where there has been a clear evasion of the parliamentary question asked – in this case on the 125 recommendations of the Royal Police Commission and in particular the IPCMC proposal.
In my letter, I said I appreciated that although the written answer was given in Abdullah’s name, it had not been vetted by him. I also said that I believed that the dishonest reply in evading the specific query on the IPCMC and the Royal Police Commission recommendations had also not been seen by the Deputy Internal Security Minister, Datuk Johari Baharum as I do not believe that with his parliamentary and political experience and background, Johari would have countenanced such ministerial evasion and parliamentary irresponsibility.
Clearly, the parliamentary reply was drafted by a civil servant who did not know how to respond to the question for a status report on the Royal Police Commission’s 125 recommendations and in particular on the IPCMC proposal, as they have become political minefields, and the officer must have thought it better part of valour to avoid answering it altogether.
This represents a most shocking plunge in the standard and quality of governance particularly with regard to Ministerial responsibility to Parliament, setting a most awful example for all other Cabinet Ministers as the written answer is given in the name of the Prime Minister.
This is a setback for Malaysia’s development as a vibrant and meaningful democracy with a First-World Parliament.
In fact, it raises the disturbing question whether we are having an anarchy instead of a disciplined, dedicated, high-performance quality government and Cabinet.
Is the administration of Abdullah now on auto-pilot?
Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic
Planning Commission Chairman
Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman