Justice may be delayed, but it can never be denied

Such is the fate of the whistleblower. So, who dares come forward to reveal the truth while at the same time revealing their identity? And that is why the MACC officer chose to send a ‘surat layang’ or ‘flying letter’ about the goings-on in the MACC and the corrupt acts of the head of the Selangor MACC.


Raja Petra Kamarudin

More than 13 years ago, a judge wrote a ‘surat layang’ or ‘flying letter’ very similar to the anonymous letter from an unknown MACC officer that surfaced a couple of days ago. This judge’s name is Justice Dato’ Syed Ahmad Idid Bin Syed Abdullah.

(You can read more about the man here but unfortunately it is in Bahasa Malaysia: http://ms.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syed_Ahmad_Idid)

Anyway, the bottom line is, this brave man exposed the corruption and abuse power in the Judiciary but decided to do so anonymously by way of ‘surat layang’ or ‘flying letter’. However, instead of investigating the corrupt judges mentioned in that ‘surat layang’, they investigated the writer of the letter.

They searched high and low for this judge (it could only have been a judge who wrote that letter since so much ‘intimate’ details that only a judge would know were in that letter). Dato’ Ramli Yusuff (now himself in trouble) was put in charge of the case and eventually he managed to trace the letter to Justice Syed Idid. Justice Syed Idid had in fact camouflaged his writing by using ‘bazaar’ language but the police still managed to trace the letter to his desk. They confiscated his computer and proved that the letter had been written on his machine.

On 1 July 1996, Justice Syed Idid was forced to resign. Nothing happened to those judges he accused. More than a decade later, the ‘Lingam Tapes’ surfaced to support what Justice Syed Idid had written in that letter. But, still, no action was taken against those corrupt judges, until today.

Can you see the dilemma that government officers or whistleblowers face? If you point a finger at those who walk in the corridors of power or serve those who walk in the corridors of power it is you who will get into trouble, not those people you accuse.

Malaysia Today has thus far published 12 Statutory Declarations, six by police officers and another six by civilians. The civilians are all Chinese. The six police officers have since all been hauled in by Tatatertib (the Police Disciplinary Board) and would probably be ‘retired’ from the force for the crime of ‘misconduct’. Some may even be charged and sent to jail for various imaginary ‘crimes’. And some of those six Chinese civilians have had to leave the country because there are bullets with their names on them.

That is the fate of the 12 whistleblowers that have fingered the IGP as the ‘Don’ behind the Chinese Mafia that controls the pan-Malaysian drugs, prostitution, gambling and loan shark syndicate.

In my case last year, I too signed a Statutory Declaration. And I signed it in the Kuala Lumpur High Court. I also got my lawyer to write officially to the prosecutors in the Altantuya murder trial with a copy of this SD attached to that letter. This was no ‘surat layang’ or ‘flying letter’. This was a legal document signed in the High Court and officially handed over to the government through my lawyer.

Even before they could establish whether what I had declared in that SD is false or not, the very next day the IGP and AG announced that I had signed a false SD and that action would be taken against me. Bukit Aman then hauled me in so that ‘my statement could be recorded’. In short, it was an interrogation session.

I challenged the police to charge me for the crime of signing a false declaration, as what the IGP and AG had publicly announced. They would then have to prove I had committed such a crime by rebutting my SD with the truth. I never denied signing the SD. My name and signature are on the SD. I even got my lawyer to officially send them a copy. So the issue of whether I did or did not sign the SD does not arise. It is whether what I signed is a lie or not.

But how do they prove what I had signed is false unless they rebut what I signed with the truth? This means the court would have to ‘revisit’ the Altantuya murder trial. In short, we would get a second bite of the cherry, which is what we actually wanted.

Realising I had laid a trap and that they had unwittingly walked into it, they dropped the ‘false declaration’ charge and instead charged me for ‘criminal defamation’. In a criminal defamation charge it does not matter whether what I signed is true or false. The truth of the matter is not material to the charge. They only need to prove that I did sign the SD and that is enough to send me to jail. And I never denied I had signed the SD. So that means I am going to jail for certain.

But they can’t charge me for criminal defamation. This is because Rosmah Mansor does not work for the government. She was, at that time, just the wife of the Deputy Prime Minister and this is not a government post. In fact, even the Prime Minister’s wife is not a government post like the First Lady of the United States.

So the charge is defective because the crime of criminal defamation does not apply to Rosmah Mansor. It does not even apply to the husband and wife Lt. Kol. team who the law would classify as ‘on a frolic of their own’. But I was still charged for three counts of criminal defamation anyway and I was made to face those three charges in court in spite of the charges being defective plus mala fide to boot.

Two weeks later, P.I. Bala also signed a Statutory Declaration and we all know what happened to him. They kidnapped his family and forced him to go to the police station. The next day he signed a second SD to retract everything he said the day before and thereafter he disappeared.

Such is the fate of the whistleblower. So, who dares come forward to reveal the truth while at the same time revealing their identity? And that is why the MACC officer chose to send a ‘surat layang’ or ‘flying letter’ about the goings-on in the MACC and the corrupt acts of the head of the Selangor MACC.

Nevertheless, in the Justice Syed Idid case, it took more than ten years for the truth to finally surface in the form of the Lingam Tapes. More than ten years later Justice Syed Idid was proven correct although his career had to suffer when he was forced to resign in 1996. It may also take many years for the truth of what I signed in my SD plus what the MACC officer said in his ‘flying letter’ to be proven true as well. However, finally, the truth does surface and no one can escape the truth.

Today, the people behind the death of Teoh Beng Hock may walk free. But one day the truth will surface, whenever that may be, just like in the Justice Syed Idid affair.

Justice may be delayed, but it can never be denied.