The arrogance of power: the death knell of Barisan Nasional


Chairman – Social Care Foundation

Supporting the Prime Minister’s reminder to BN and all Malaysians

On Tuesday 30th November, I gave a Press Conference  touching on the public perception of the MACC and A-G Chambers especially about selective prosecution. I mentioned the failure, at that time, to take action in Dato’Seri Khir Toyo’s case and in the Malaysian Airlines case which involved losses of RM 8 billion. I also expressed concern about public outcry over the conduct of A-G Gani Patail consorting with En Shahidan Shafie in a manner that give rise to grave suspicion. There has been public exposure that En Shahidan is the proxy of former Malaysia Airlines Chairman, Tan Sri Tajudin Ramli.

My statement was received badly by the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Y.B. Dato‘ Seri Mohd Nazri Aziz who blasted me for raising the concerns of the lay public. The Senior Minister had used very harsh words on me and called me “a man in the street”.

My response on Thursday 2nd December reminded YB Dato Seri Nazri to be circumspect and not to be arrogant. 

As God would have willed it, on Sunday 5th December, Prime Minister Dato‘ Seri Najib Tun Razak cautioned the 13 BN party components about the four “political diseases” – delusion, amnesia, inertia and arrogance – which he said could crush the ruling coalition.

The PM’s reminder that Ministers and BN leaders must not be ARROGANT is very timely. Government leaders who feel they are not accountable to the ordinary man in the street would make the citizenry have not only disdain for the government but that would also sow the seeds of hatred towards the BN Government. In the end the BN Government will be alienated from the people and that can only spell disaster at the ballot box.

On Monday 6th December, former Selangor Menter Besar, Dato Seri Khir Toyo, was charged by the MACC for an offence under s. 165 of the Penal Code. The public saw that none less than the AG Tan Sri Gani Patail himself turned up in court. This public display of firmness in taking action without  fear or favour is certainly commendable.

On Thursday 9/12/2010, the Prime Minister assured the public that the prosecution of Dato Seri Khir Toyo is not just a public gimmick (sandiwara). As Chairman of Social Care Foundation and Panel Adviser to the MACC, I fully support the Prime Minister’s assurance. I urge the public not to doubt the government’s seriousness in combatting corruption. I urge the opposition not to play pollitics in such matters. The public must have faith that the MACC is doing its best in eradicating corruption against the big fish and the small fry. The public must therefore support the MACC’s efforts instead of running them down. I commend the MACC Chief Commissioner, Dato‘ Seri Abu Kassim Mohamed, who has shown resolve and consistency in this regard.  

Unfortunately, public perception is also important. I am therefore compelled to  voice out the public skepticisim why Khir Toyo was charged under the Penal Code and not under the MACC Act, since the investigation was made by the MACC and not the Police. The public has not forgotten that the MACC Act was passed specifically to facilitate easier investigation and prosecution for corruption offences. Foremost in the public’s mind is why was Khir Toyo not charged for corruption.

The public must not be left with a lingering mind especially since the MACC and the AG Chambers had invoked the more draconian corruption provisions in the  predecessor act to the MACC Act when charging Dato‘ Ramli Yusuff and Lawyer Rosli Dahlan. Dato‘ Ramli has since been acquitted. It is now shown that En Rosli was just a laywer needed as a witness. Strange enough, it is an open secret tht MACC’s recomendation to withdraw the charge against Rosli Dahlan, yet the A-G has not responded. The public is asking – Why is that the case? There is widespread public suspicion that Rosli is being persecuted for his role in the Malaysia Airlines case.

This is fuelled by the reluctance of AG Gani Patail to institute prosecution for the RM8 billion losses suffered by Malaysia Airlines during the time of Tan Sri Tajudin Ramli. The public is concerned with allegations surrounding A-G Tan Sri Gani Patail’s personal conduct in consorting with the proxy of Tan Sri Tajudin Ramli during a recent Haj pilgrimage. The photographs and documents that have been in the public domain seem very convincing. The AG’s silence has further fuelled this suspicion. The AG cannot continuously stonewall the public. The consequences can be adverse on the Government.   

The root cause of all this suspicion is the credibility of the A-G Chambers, in particular of the personal integrity of AG Gani Patail himself. As a public officer, the AG’s conduct, both public and personal, must be beyond reproach. That is the root problem. For so long as there is suspicion about the personal conduct of AG Gani Patail as described above and it is not addressed, all sincere efforts by the Government and the MACC will be futile. It will be regarded as mere public relations exercise or slogans.  It will be unfortunate if the AG himself becomes a stumbling block to the Government’s and the MACC’s efforts to portray a Bersih. Cekap, Amanah Government. It is like the saying “Ketam cuba mengajar anaknya berjalan lurus”.

Therefore, AG Gani Patail must heed the PM’s call not to suffer delusion, amnesia, inertia and arrogance. In that regard, I invite the AG to respond to all my earlier calls that he respond and answer these allegations. The public needs to be satisfied in order for the Government to regain the public trust that it is serious in the eradication of corruption and in achieving Justice for All. 



Tan Sri Datuk Robert Phang Miow Sin

Justice of Peace