Malaysia intent on becoming laughing stock of the world – from “hotdog” furore to Speaker of global kleptocracy trying to ensure integrity of justice system in United States when we cannot ensure integrity of Malaysian judiciary

Malaysia seems intent to be constantly in international headlines as the laughing stock of the world – the latest being the “hotdog” furore and the Speaker of a global kleptocracy trying to ensure integrity of justice system in the United States!

I fully agree with former Cabinet Minister Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz who lamented that Malaysia’s reputation as a moderate Muslim nation is being negated with unfavourable developments which paint the country as nation governed in some spheres by people with horses blinkers – like the furore involving Auntie Anne’s “pretzel dog”, with people in power who had gone “doggone loco” trying to change the name of popular Western snack.

Then we have the Speaker of Parliament of a country which is the latest entry of the obnoxious club of “global kleptocracies” trying to ensure the integrity of the justice system in the United States, when we cannot ensure the integrity of the Malaysian judiciary in the first place.

Yesterday, Dewan Rakyat speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia says it is sub judice to discuss the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) suit on 1MDB assets, because the Hansard could then be cited by the DOJ in the US hearing.

He said: “Even if no one from Malaysia is called to testify in the trial in America, they can quote what is being said in the Malaysian Parliament in order to influence the trial in the America.

“This is why I did not allow the debate, because every argument made here can be used in the American trial, even if it is in a foreign land.

“What the minister said here can be quoted in the American trial. In my opinion, this can influence the trial.”

I do not want to go into a full discussion on the demerits of the Speaker’s ruling on Monday barring parliamentary questions on the DOJ’s civil forfeiture suit in California, but I hope that the Speaker will announce that DAP MP for Puchong, Gobind Singh Deo’s substantive motion to review his ruling under Standing Order 43 will be fully debated in Parliament on Monday.

But it is worth noting that the United States had often been accused of trying to be the world’s policeman.

Now, we have the Speaker of Parliament of Malaysia, the latest entry to the obnoxious club of “global kleptocracies”, trying to ensure the integrity of the justice system of the world’s policeman.

I do not know which case is more guilty of impertinence, hubris and megalomania – to try to be the policeman of the world or to try to uphold the integrity of the justice system of the “policeman of the world” when we are ourselves struggling with the integrity, independence and professionalism of the Malaysian judiciary!

The first concern of the Parliament of Malaysia is not to indulge in any Don Quixotic endeavour to try to protect the integrity of the justice system of the United States when we seem to be helpless and impotent to guarantee the integrity, independence and professionalism of the Malaysian judiciary, but to perform the patriotic duty to protect the good name and reputation of Malaysia from the infamy of being regarded world-wide as a global kleptocracy as a result of the July 20 lawsuit initiated by the US Department of Justice (DOJ) to forfeit over US$1 billion of 1MDB-linked assets in the United States, United Kingdom and Switzerland from over US$3 billion international embezzlement, misappropriation and money-laundering of 1MDB funds and the recent actions by the Swiss and Singapore financial regulatory authorities to either close down banks or institute criminal proceedings in connection with 1MDB money-laundering crimes.

History will not look kindly at the 13th Parliament if it continues to pretend that the 1MDB financial scandal and infamy of Malaysia as “global kleptocracy” are not burning issues at all.

All patriotic Malaysians who love the country deeply and passionately must feel ashamed and outraged that since the May meeting of Parliament some five months ago, Malaysia had acquired the international infamy being a “global kleptocracy”.

The 13th Parliament must be mindful that it must bear part responsibility if Malaysia’s Transparency International Corruption Perception Index (TI CPI) 2016 plunges not only because of Malaysia’s world-wide infamy as the newest global kleptocracy but Parliament’s shameful role in pretending that these problems do not exist and does nothing to cleanse and purge Malaysia of the infamy of the epithet of a “global kleptocracy”.

This is the reason why I had boycotted both sessions of Minister’s Question Time (MQT) this week as protest against the parliamentary charade pretending that Malaysia’s infamy for being a “global kleptocracy” does not exist.

Lim Kit Siang DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Gelang Patah