Posted: 27 Oct 2011 04:50 AM PDT
As expected, former premier Mahathir Mohamad has backed recent comments criticizing humans rights from a former top cop who had helped him successfully prosecute and incarcerate Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim on manifestly fabricated sodomy charges,
Abdul Rahim Mohd Noor, the former Inspector General of Police who admitted beating up Anwar in the police lockup and giving him a black eye during his detention in 1998, had a day ago criticized the growing call for human rights in Malaysia as akin to communism. His remarks were seen as being disparaging of the reform and new politics movement preached by Anwar’s Pakatan Rakyat opposition coalition.
On Monday, Mahathir defended the stand taken by Rahim, saying Malaysia should support human rights only as much as it can and not pay heed to critics who asked for excessive rights.
"In general, we have to support human rights but only as far as we're able to. If we want to give excessive rights like in the West, to the point where men can marry men and women can marry women, that's not necessary," Mahathir told a press conference.
No longer revered, seen as the root cause for most of Malaysia’s evils
Mahathir, who ruled with a fist of iron for 22 years until 2003, also offered the excuse that Malaysia was a developing country and faced "certain restrictions" that barred it from becoming more liberal in its approach.
He also reverted to his favorite bogeyman, the Unite States, insisting it was worse than Malaysian in terms of its human rights record. "We detain people under the Internal Security Act but they detain people without laws and even torture them," he said.
But the time when Malaysians indulged him as the feisty grand old man of local politics is over. Mahathir is now regarded as a bad brand name, leaving a bitter after-taste despite efforts to shore up his legacy with an auto-bigraphy that was slammed as a blatant bid to rewrite history.
“It is an absurd argument,” N Surendran, PKR vice president told Malaysia Chronicle. “How can it be ‘excessive’ to demand freedom of speech, freedom of peaceful assembly, freedom of association or freedom from arbitrary detention? These are among the basic freedoms that were stolen from the Rakyat by Mahathir and his various predecessors and successors. Histry will judge Dr harshly.”
“It is time for Mahathir to repent and tender an open apology for all his racial slurs, the endemic corruption and gutter politicking going on in this country,” Taiping MP Nga Kor Ming told Malaysia Chronicle.
Corruption the biggest legacy
Indeed, do what he may, Mahathir is bound to be remembered most for the rampant corruption that entrenched itself in Malaysia during his era. He and his business cronies have been accused of amassing billions in all sectors of industry, especially gaining from oil contracts from national petroleum firm Petronas.
Preventing criminal prosecution and the unraveling of the huge and intricate web of deceit is believed to be uppermost in Mahathir’s mind as he continues to insist on imposing his political will on the country. But calls are already growing for the nationalization of assets found to be gained from corruption once the Pakatan wins the federal government.
Posted: 26 Oct 2011 07:41 PM PDT
Pakar perlembagaan Prof Dr Abdul Aziz Bari menegaskan, tindakan melibatkan kabinet dengan Laporan Ketua Audit Negara (LKAN) merupakan kesalahan dan bertentangan dengan semangat perlembagaan.
Katanya, Perkara 107 Perlembagaan Persekutuan menyebut LKAN perlu disediakan oleh ketua audit negara dan diserahkan kepada Yang di-Pertuan Agong sebelum dibawa ke Dewan Rakyat.
“Perkara ini salah dan saya percaya boleh dibawa ke mahkamah. Dalam perlembagaan, di mana ada kabinet disebut (terlibat)?
“Lagi pun, kabinet sebahagian daripada player,” kata pensyarah kanan Universiti Islam Antarabangsa (UIA) itu.
“Secara logiknya juga, kalau bentang pada kabinet, buat apa perlu ada (jawatan) ketua audit negara.”
Ketua Audit Negara Tan Sri Ambrin Buang pada 21 Oktober lalu menjelaskan, sejak 1982, LKAN dimaklumkan kepada kabinet sebelum dibentangkan supaya kerajaan dapat mengetahui isu yang dibangkitkan dan bersedia memberi penjelasan apabila diperlukan.
Beberapa anggota parlimen Pakatan Rakyat baru-baru ini mempersoalkan ketiadaan laporan itu semasa pembentangan Belanjawan 2012, antaranya anggota parlimen Bukit Bendera Liew Chin Tong yang mahu perdana menteri menjelaskan kelewatan itu.
Liew yang juga anggota jawatankuasa eksekutif pusat DAP berkata, beliau tidak mempersoalkan amalan itu tetapi menjadi tanggungjawab kabinet memutuskan bila ia patut dibentangkan.
Ketika dihubungi Malaysiakini semalam, Aziz berkata, walaupun perlembagaan tidak menyatakan tempoh tertentu untuk LKAN dibentangkan di parlimen, tetapi demi menjaga integritinya, Jabatan Audit Negara patut melakukannya segera.
“Jadi, ketua audit negara mesti jelaskan kenapa lambat,” katanya sambil menegaskan kedudukan tinggi ketua audit negara yang dilantik Yang di-Pertuan Agong dengan persetujuan Majlis Raja-Raja itu.
Aziz menjelaskan, proses untuk laporan itu sampai ke Dewan Rakyat tidak memerlukan masa yang lama kerana baginda tidak perlu menyemak apa-apa kerana ia melibatkan perbelanjaan kerajaan.
Setakat ini, tambahnya, kelewatan itu masih “amat misteri”.
Ditanya tentang gesaan Liew kepada perdana menteri, Aziz berkata kenyataan itu mungkin dibuat dalam konteks yang lain.
“Kalau perdana menteri (kena) perjelas, saya kira tidak betul,” katanya lagi.
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