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Urgent fax to Bernard that Integrity Select Committee meeting on Monday be held as originally scheduled to hear Zulkipli and Ramli Manan on corruption in ACA or to reconsider whether to hear the duo
(Parliament, Friday) : I have this morning sent an urgent fax to the Chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Integrity (PSCI), Tan Sri Bernard Dompok, who is also Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, proposing that the Select Committee meeting on Monday should be held as scheduled to hear the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) director-general Datuk Zulkipli Mat Noor and former top ACA officer and “whistleblower” Mohamad Ramli Manan or to reconsider whether to hear the duo and the Select Committee’s role in latest developments raising fundamental questions about national integrity, in particular in ACA and Police
I also placed on record my shock and protest at Bernard’s announcement yesterday arbitrarily cancelling the PSCI meeting on Monday to hear Zulkipli and Ramli on serious allegations of corruption in the ACA.
I stressed that as the March 12 meeting to hear Zulkipli and Ramli was the formal decision of the PSCI meeting on 27th Feb. 2007, the second day of its meeting to deal with issues concerning the scourge of the false identity card rackets in Sabah, any cancellation of the March 12 meeting could only be made by the PSCI itself and not unilaterally and arbitrarily by any one person.
Bernard said in his statement yesterday that the decision to cancel the Select Committee meeting on Monday was the decision of the majority of the Integrity Select Committee and New Straits Times today even reported that the decision was taken at a meeting of the Select Committee meeting yesterday.
There was no meeting of the Integrity Select Committee yesterday. I have checked with the MPs who attended the PSCI meeting of Feb. 27 and found that there is no clear majority in favour of the cancellation of the March 12 meeting.
Bernad phoned me on the evening of Wednesday, 7th March 2007, to discuss whether the March 12 meeting should be cancelled. At that time, I was hospitalized at the Penang Lam Wah Ee Hospital and had just undergone an eye operation.
I made my views very clear however that the PSCI meeting of March 12 to hear both Zulkifli and Ramli should proceed as scheduled especially as both of them have publicly stated their preparedness to appear to speak the whole truth with both claiming that they have nothing to hide.
Police investigations against Zulkifli and the filing of lawsuits by Ramli against his former boss and several government agencies cannot be excuses or justification for the arbitrary and unparliamentary cancellation of the Monday meeting, as the PSCI is not intended to be a court of law but has special responsibility to address the problem of integrity in ACA, in particular in the latest developments with ACA suffering its worst national and international crisis of confidence in its integrity and incorruptibility.
The Parliamentary Select Committee on Integrity is not an arm of the Executive and its whole credibility, legitimacy and integrity will be at stake if it is seen as buckling down to any ulterior and improper pressures to arbitrarily cancel its meeting on Monday to hear Zulkipli and Ramli on ACA corruption.
The very purpose of having a Parliamentary Select Committee on Integrity will also become an issue if it is unable to address promptly with the biggest crisis of integrity not only in the past three years but in the 50-year history of the nation – viz the latest developments raising fundamental questions about national integrity, in particular in ACA and Police.
As the notice to cancel the PSCI meeting on Monday is improper, unparliamentary, arbitrary and defective, the PSCI should meet on Monday as scheduled, especially as Zulkipli and Ramli have committed publicly to attend.
Alternatively, the PSCI should meet on March 12 to decide whether to hear Zulkipli and Ramli and the Select Committee’s role in latest developments raising fundamental questions about national integrity, in particular in ACA and the Police.
Questions have been raised as to the real cause for the abrupt and arbitrary cancellation of Monday’s meeting.
Could it be that despite public claims of preparedness to appear before the PSCI by Zulkipli and Ramli, this is not really the case? If so, who could it be, Zulkipli or Ramli who is unwilling to appear before the Select Committee?
Ramli would not have the influence to force the cancellation of the Monday meeting even if he is unwilling to appear, but Zulkipli would have the leverage to cause the cancellation of the Select Committee meeting. Both Zulkipli and Ramli should publicly declare whether they still stand by their earlier public statements about their preparedness to appear before the Select Committee on Integrity to tell all as they have nothing to hide.
Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic
Planning Commission Chairman