Home Media statements 2012 Media Statements The Rafizi arrest: Blowing off the messenger

The Rafizi arrest: Blowing off the messenger

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Aliran condemns the arrest of Parti Keadilan Rakyat strategic director Mohd Rafizi Ramli under section 97(1) of the Banks and Financial Institutions Act (Bafia), which carries a maximum jail sentence of three years and a fine of up to RM3m.

Rafizi Ramli – Photograph: Keadilan Daily

Very much known for his recent expose of the award of the Ampang LRT extension project to water-meter and tank-maker George Kent, Rafizi’s arrest today was associated with his disclosure of three financial accounts related to the controversial National Feedlot Corporation (NFC) and its chairperson Mohd Salleh Ismail.

Rafizi was charged for having allegedly breached the secrecy provisions of the banking law “by producing, divulging, revealing, publishing or otherwise disclosing, of any information or document whatsoever relating to the affairs or account of a banking customer”.

For all intents and purposes, the arrest is tantamount to criminalising a conscientious whistleblower whose primary objective is to reveal information for the benefit of the general public and taxpayers.

Worse, this arrest can also be interpreted as a warning to future whistleblowers who intend to unravel financial scandals involving individuals close to the powers-that-be. This is certainly a foolish way to convince the Malaysian public that the Najib administration is serious about waging war against corruption.

The arrest and charge mounted against Rafizi in the wake of the George Kent controversy only lends credence to the suspicion that the PKR strategic director’s latest move has made the ruling Umno-BN so jittery that it responded with a knee-jerk reaction.

We call upon the federal government to stop criminalising conscientious citizens such as Rafizi — and instead to seriously go after the crooked.

READ MORE:  Rafizi’s claim that government data must not be subjected to data protection law is baseless

Aliran Executive Committee
1 August 2012.

The views expressed in Aliran's media statements and the NGO statements we have endorsed reflect Aliran's official stand. Views and opinions expressed in other pieces published here do not necessarily reflect Aliran's official position.

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1 lembu
1 lembu
12 Aug 2012 7.26pm

rafizi– u are a malaysian hero lah– the cows are coming for u– so run fast

8 Aug 2012 9.26pm

GRK is clearly not dealing with a full deck of cards judging by his lack of coherent discussion and reason. What hes says is tantamount to bringing a toothpick to a gunfight when the Umnoputras clearly do not operate anywhere near fair, just and legal which time and again they so clearly distort, misuse and abuse the laws depending on who’s in the dock. What BN is doing is merely shooting the messenger and not the perpetrators. This clearly shows that they are shivering in their pants as it is apparent that the NFC and Ampang LRT contract are merely the tip of the iceberg in the lost list of blatant corruption scandals. These are the most of heinous, nefarious and sinister of human beings (BN) who have no fear in god and will resort to anything … much less using the judicial system to do their evil bidding which is to put fear into those who intend to expose their corruption. We shall not cow down is the message that we must show BN and yet GRK insists we must follow the rules when BN… Read more »

Gopal Raj Kuma
3 Aug 2012 12.14pm

APOLOGIES THE UNCORRECTED VERSION OF WHAT WAS WRITTEN WAS INADVERTENTLY SENT TO YOU. THE FOLLOWING IS THE CORRECTED VERSION FOR PUBLICATION. REGARDS GRK This is a case of form over substance. Sensationalism and the worst kind of sensationalism of the Ambiga Sreenivasan kind. There is more than just Aliran, Ambiga, the Malaysian Bar, the DAP and other highly vocal groups that wish to see a more efficient government at any time. It is in fact both a duty and right of citizens everywhere to take an active part where possible in government and in its activities. And to do so they must act lawfully. Neither Ambiga nor this man nor Aliran are acting in a responsible and lawful manner that Aliran should now champion their mischief. There are many forums and methods by which this duty and right can be exercised by individuals. Only in extreme circumstances should it be the streets. Protests and “whistle blowing” should never consist of propaganda based on untested allegations which are untested or statements by people with a political agenda or an axe to grind in furtherance of their own… Read more »

4 Aug 2012 6.10am
Reply to  Gopal Raj Kuma

Hi GRK, what are you on about? You’re talking legalities about people who act above legalities. Comparing Ambiga and Rafizi with despots confirms you are off your rocker. No need to debate the rest of your arguments. You need an appointment with a specialist.

4 Aug 2012 10.35am
Reply to  Gopal Raj Kuma

Dear Gopal, which side of the planet are you from? Do you really know what Fascists mean?

You talk of the sanctity of laws in Malaysia, but do you realise that very often the BN government makes an ass of these laws (and these include the undemocratic laws)?

I’d suggest that you take Politics 101 for starters.

2 Aug 2012 11.05am

The whole nation is riled out and angry over this whistle-blower Rafizi Halim’s arrest, handcuffed, while ex-Women Family Minister Shahrizat sits pretty smiling!

najib manaukau
2 Aug 2012 8.48am

The morons from Umno just do not want their scandals and especially their corruption being exposed. Therefore they are just using Rafizi as examples to prevent their scandals and wrong doings being exposed. Consequently what the morns do cannot be exposed and have to face the consequences of the law. This particular law is an ass … and depicts what the morons are and to stop these abuses of the law is first to kick the morons out of Putrajaya in the coming GE and then have them indicted, including … the shenanigan Mahathir. He thinks as a non politician now he can get away from the (wrongdoings) he committed during the tenure of his premiership. But the any ruling party has the right to charge him retrospectively !

2 Aug 2012 7.51am

Looks like BN took the bait. Now they’ve got Rafizi where HE wants them.

Alan Newman. NZ
Alan Newman. NZ
1 Aug 2012 9.55pm

We see too clearly from a neutral & democratic New Zealand. For these low lives & criminals, God’ s nemesis will prevail. Look at Gaddafi , then Assad, when Syrians wanted fair & free elections, Assad said there were foreign terrorists wanting to topple the Gov’t… now he kills them. Gaddafi and Assad weren’t even democratically elected! Just like your PM – handed down from Daddy! Even watching from afar, we have reached the brink now: … The people’s power, the people’s day will come.

1 Aug 2012 7.42pm

By arresting Rafizi one day after the announcement that George Kent had been awarded the Ampang LRT extension project, Najib would have done himself a far bigger favor if he had wisely opted to appear on national TV and confess all his (wrongdoings), begging the nation’s forgiveness, and then announcing his resignation as (PM).

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