Tan Sri Robert Phang
On Friday Dec 31, 2010, we will say goodbye to 2010 and usher in 2011. Fortune tellers, astrologers and Feng Shui practitioners will review the events of past years in self glorification of the accuracy of their predictions. They will attempt to provide new prophecies and guidance to forecast events and good fortunes for the coming year. But, they do it for commercial gains.
As a social activist, I would like to address the fundamentals that are of importance to us as a progressive nation. Malaysia is a country of faiths. It is stated that Islam is the official Religion of the Federation but at the same time, freedom to practice other faiths and religions is guaranteed. How we prosper as a nation cannot be based on fortune telling and guessing games but on hard facts, sound policies and universal principles to be gathered from our faiths and religions.
Whether we are Muslims, Christians, Hindus, and Buddhists or of any other faiths, the plurality of faiths of this country must be preserved. I call on IKIM and Perkasa not to cause confusion by fanning the differences between us, but to build on the commonality that binds us. It’s a folly to claim whose religion or whose god is the right one. All religions teach good things and we all believe in ONE TRUE GOD.
Thus, all talk that cause differences, tensions and schisms must stop. If May 13, 1969, is to be remembered, it should be commemorated as a day of mourning when this multi-cultural and multi-religious beloved country of ours was almost ruined. Thus, it must be our national resolution that May 13th must not recur or Malaysia will become a failed nation. It is our commonality that binds us as a nation since Independence and that will shape our future destiny as 1Malaysian!
With regard to the New Key Result Areas (NKRAs) for reduction of crimes, I congratulate Home Minister Dato’ Seri Hishamuddin Tun Hussein Onn, who has worked hard and developed innovative ways to assist the PDRM in the fight against crime. I also congratulate Dato’ Seri Hishammudin for understanding the importance of public perception and thus ended the former IGP’s tenure. Compared to his predecessor, Tan Sri Ismail Omar is a breath of fresh air. Like a clean white sheet, it is now in his hands to re-shape PDRM into the principal respected law enforcement agency that it once was. We, Malaysians, must support Tan Sri Ismail Omar, the current IGP, to aspire for a crime free society.
As a Panel Advisor of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), I applaud the achievements of the MACC’s Chief Commissioner, Dato‘ Seri Abu Kassim, in bringing to book some big names this year. In the PKFZ case, Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik has been charged. However, the report by the forensic auditors mentioned several other big names, including those still serving in government and are also big names in their political party. These big names have quickly used the MACC’s clearance as a political mileage. This has invited public skepticism, especially when it is perceived that a thorough investigation has not been conducted and the clearance was just a political whitewash. That was what the public perceived in the case of former Selangor MB Dato‘ Seri Dr Khir Toyo until he was charged recently. I remind these big names not to be so gleeful, bordering on arrogance.
The public also view with grave suspicion the allegations over the personal conduct of Attorney-General (A-G) Tan Sri Gani Patail who is seen as consorting with Tan Sri Tajudin Ramli’s proxy, Shahidan Shafiee. This is of great disservice to the government in the fight against corruption. I have raised this before and the A-G‘s continued silence is defeaning. PAS vice president Salahuddin Ayob has now raised the same issue. This is not just a political issue but it also concerns the integrity of the highest law officer of the country. His actions and conduct can erode the credibility of the government.
There is also public scepticism over the conduct of the A-G, in the exercise of his prosecutorial powers. His reluctance to act in certain cases, while very vociferous in others, have given rise to allegations of selective prosecution bordering on persecution. YB Salahudin Ayob also raised this seeming double standards involving the case of lawyer En Rosli Dahlan. En Rosli is widelyknown to be the lawyer handling the MAS case and has alleged that he had been victimised by rogue elements in the government. It is frightening to the citizens at large that the whole machinery of the A-G’s office and the MACC can be used against one man. The government must dispel this perception of persecution against an innocent citizen.