Now that the two immediate former Home Ministers, Hishammuddin and Syed Hamid have denied sending any unilateral letter to FBI, it is up to the three previous Home Ministers, Radzi, Azmi and Tun Abdullah to clear themselves

Now that Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar have joined Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, as the two immediate former Home Ministers (March 2008 – May 2013), to deny that he had sent any letter unilaterally to the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) when holding the Home Ministry’s post, it is up to the three previous Home Ministers serving from 1999 to 2008, i.e. Datuk Seri Mohd Radzi Sheikh Ahmad, Datuk Azmi Khalid and Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to step forward and clear themselves.

The trio should speak up as elder statesmen to clear the air and not behave like fugitives from justice seeking refuge from the truth as if they had done a great disservice to the nation.

The Home Minister, Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had made a most astonishing claim when trying to exonerate himself from any wrong in his infamous letter to the FBI vouching for the character of the alleged gambling kingpin Paul Phua, standing trial in Las Vegas, Nevada for illegal gambling, that previous Home Ministers before him had also written such “clarification” letters.

This is why all previous Home Ministers for the past 15 years should speak up and put the record straight, not just in the national interests, but to remove any stain on their record as Home Minister.

Radzi, Azmi and Tun Abdullah would not be doing themselves any service by keeping mum on their record as Home Minister whether they had written unilaterally any “clarification letter” to the FBI not only contradicting the Police force but without the knowledge of the police, the foreign ministry or even the Cabinet.

In other words, whether Radzi, Azmi and Tun Abdullah had, like Zahid, been a “rogue” Home Minister, acting unilaterally writing to the FBI, without the knowledge of the police, the Foreign Ministry or the Cabinet.

Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, had said that Zahid had written the letter to the FBI without the knowledge or authority of the Cabinet.

Is the Cabinet on Wednesday going to revisit the tissue of lies Zahid had been telling about his infamous letter to the FBI, consider what action should be taken against Zahid as vital principles of accountability, rectitude and proper conduct of Ministers as well as national interests are involved – even proposing to the Prime Minister that Zahid should be suspended as Home Minister?

Zahid had been his own worst enemy.

He had been a political heavyweight, one of the leading contenders for the premiership post-Najib but overnight he so damaged himself that he became a political lightweight – losing credibility not only as a senior UMNO political leader but also as a professional Minister of a leading and important portfolio.

He did even more damage to his political and Ministerial credibility by taking the entire Cabinet and the literate Malaysian population as fools when he brazenly insisted that his unilateral, unauthorized, infamous letter to the FBI did not vouch for the character and integrity of an alleged gambling kingpin.

Lim Kit Siang DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Gelang Patah