Former de facto law minister Zaid Ibrahim is “somewhat disappointed” with his former boss Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
He says in his latest blog post that Abdullah, who “started the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission with great enthusiasm” is content to watch its destruction and humiliation, including the maltreatment of senior officers he had handpicked, without saying a word.
“To expect the Royals ‘to step in’ on this matter might be asking too much but surely former prime ministers should not adopt such an attitude. If we care enough about this country then we must all stand up.”
He says it was hard for him to see the number one and number two of the MACC — Abu Kassim Mohamed and Mohd Shukri Abdull respectively — being “bundled out of the organisation” they helped start.
“I remember fondly my days with both of them, discussing ways to make the MACC an organisation Malaysians could be proud of.”
He says with the encouragement of Abdullah, he and the duo deliberated on the laws and the model Malaysia should follow.
Abu Kassim, he says, was impressed that the Hong Kong Independent Commission Against Corruption had many “oversight” committees.
He says: “I remember cautioning both of them at a meeting in my house that committees would not be much of a deterrent if we allowed political interference.
“At that time we did not expect Pak Lah to ‘retire’ quite so quickly and so we felt ‘safe’ that there would not be any interference from the political side.”
Wishing them well, Zaid, who was made minister by Abdullah, hopes they would remain active in the fight against corruption.
He urged Abu Kassim and Shukri to talk to Malaysians on a regular basis about how integrity is “central to our future as a people and as a nation”.
“They do not have to join political parties but they must not remain silent. They have a profile and they were chosen by Pak Lah to help the country fight corruption. They must continue that mission.”
He also says he was depressed after a long day in court last Friday hearing submissions by the Attorney-General’s Chambers arguing that the power of the Attorney-General to charge or not charge someone was not “justiciable”.
“In plain language, the Attorney-General can do whatever he wants, and the court has no power to grant relief to anyone who seeks help in wanting to know why the AG made a particular decision.
“The AG is a man who does not have to account for his actions, and if the applicant (me) is not happy with the decision of the AG, then he must seek his relief somewhere else. That’s the crux of the submissions which will most probably be accepted by our court.”
Saying he understands the message, Zaid adds it means he will have to get help from the people.
“It means that only a political solution will clean up this country of corruption and abuse of power. Only a political solution will rid this country of eunuchs who obey orders without conscience.
“I have to start the campaign process soon and I wish to assure my readers that this is exactly what I will do.”