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Illusion of honesty

The alleged charge sheet

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When there are hidden hands and powers that be who want to cover the truth, then we need independent authorities to ensure credibility in the process, says K Haridas.

The perception that there are many stupid Malaysians who are victims of news spread by the online media is held mainly by the people in power.

There may be some truth to this because we arrive at conclusions arising from what is printed in the media. Another side to this is the reality that many have lost faith in the mainline media, which to a large extant carry very little critical news and are perceived by many to be mere propaganda sheets.

The mainline print media have been reduced to mainly highlighting news, and if they should focus on any issue that challenges the authorities in power then the licensing regime comes down on them. Just consider what happened to The Edge in recent weeks. In the end, this proved to be an embarrassment for the finger-pointing home minister.

Putting together what we read from different media, the stupid citizen arrives at a plausible conclusion. Let us take the instance of the alleged charge sheet, which was first highlighted by Sarawak Report. Soon after, the attorney general was replaced, a new attorney general was appointed and the whole regime relating to the independent task force went quiet.

Four from the task force were promoted to the executive, and conflicting news arose as to whether the task force could continue. Even the other members of the task force were in limbo. This caused delay, provided a good cover-up, and the authorities bought time for those hands behind the scenes that seemed to be orchestrating the entire drama. Meanwhile, we are to remain stupid and buy all that is being said.

I have done so but my concerns have been awakened by the disclosure and the statutory declaration made by the brother of the late Kevin Morais. He corroborates the existence of the charge sheet through the statutory declaration. Now stupid Malaysians like me are asking questions again and the denial by the new attorney general does not clarify anything.

Unless the retired attorney general and the staff who was immediately removed and later allowed to stay in Malaysia speak out, how are we to get at the truth? Yes, there is fear and what has happened to the late Kevin Morais will not be taken lightly.

For too long, much has been covered up on issues relating to the late Altantunya and the submarine deals that we have never got to the bottom of these contentious issues. These remain as scars on the credibility of the nation.

Meanwhile, we can continue to allow the powers that be to think we are stupid and have no sense of what is going on. They are right to some extent, but we are also not that stupid to appreciate the reality that accused parties will necessarily take action to protect their interests.

This is true for the petty thief right up to those at the top levels of power. Cover up is a fact and once one lie is told then, so many more have to be cooked up to justify the position taken.

So, the cronies, like the Pied Piper, play to the music with their denials and assertions as though there never was any ‘charge sheet’. Sarawak Report’s claim has now been corroborated by an independent third party. Right or wrong, this is now in the public domain, clearly photographed highlighting the parties with the ‘Ibu Pejabat Aduan No:IPJ/RPT No 252/2015.

The word ‘melalui’ being repeated in the charge sheet was cancelled and the initials by the side of the cancellation seem to be of the late Kevin Morais. This is what has been attested to by his brother in his statutory declaration. This could be corroborated by the attorney general’s office.

So what do stupid Malaysians think about these developments? We are lucky that the government cannot control our minds, but we are perplexed by the latest developments. This further increases the trust deficit to even greater negative levels.

As they say, there is no smoke without fire, and thus we need to get to the bottom of this challenge. The present attorney general, who came in abruptly, may be given the benefit of the doubt as he may not know about the existence of such a document. The best he can do is to have an open and transparent investigation into this instead of just asserting a bare denial. He is creating a trust deficit about himself.

The former attorney general and staff from the attorney general’s chambers would be the best ones to clear up this haze.

Only in an open, transparent and accountable manner can truth be recognised. But when there are hidden hands and powers that be who want to cover the truth, then we need independent authorities to ensure credibility in the process.

Otherwise, there is only an illusion of Truth that supports one side who have the means to put across their views. This illusion undercuts trust and faith in the leadership. Why fear revealing the truth and being honest?

Why cover up when they can be transparent and candid? Is this not in keeping with ‘transformation’? The devious manner things are being played out gives the impression that many are fearful, others have little option but to protect their rice bowls while the cronies act from the perspective that they could gain from this impasse and benefit in other ways by singing to the tune of the ‘Pied Piper’.

The culture of taking responsibility and resigning is not part of the political culture in Malaysia. Our leaders will hang on till the end, justifying their positions. Even RM2.6bn can be rationalised away as gifts and donations and not shake the conscience of individuals who are leaders.

The amazing fact is that our leaders think that they are brilliant and can get away as has happened in the past. Their oath of office, the allegiance to the Constitution and their dignity both as individuals and as officers holding positions of respect is thus compromised.

The citizen is disquieted for a while and then gets conditioned to the scale of the misappropriation. That is why those who cover up seem to have faith in the stupidity of the population, and this continues to give them courage to do it again and again as has been the case in several government-linked companies.

Yet there are stupid Malaysians like me who believe that eventually the truth will be revealed. The scale of the botch up, the international ramifications, the trust deficit will all eat into the vitals of the nation creating internal crises and divisions that will play out, forcing the search for truth to carry on until it is revealed.

If we do not do pursue this, then what nature of Malaysians are we? At the end of the day, the creation of an illusion will be seen as a cover up, and many who now say otherwise will hang their heads in shame.

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.

AGENDA RAKYAT - Lima perkara utama
  1. Tegakkan maruah serta kualiti kehidupan rakyat
  2. Galakkan pembangunan saksama, lestari serta tangani krisis alam sekitar
  3. Raikan kerencaman dan keterangkuman
  4. Selamatkan demokrasi dan angkatkan keluhuran undang-undang
  5. Lawan rasuah dan kronisme
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K Haridas, an Aliran executive committee member, is the current honorary secretary of the Business Ethics Institute of Malaysia, chairperson of the Association For The Promotion Of Higher Education In Malaysia and chairperson of the Malaysian chapter of Initiatives of Change International.
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