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Nazri – why double-standards and hypocrisy in opposing  ACA DG being invited to appear before PSCI while not objecting to earlier appearance of Customs DG before the committee?


Media Conference (2)      
by Lim Kit Siang  


(Petaling Jaya, Saturday) : The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz told Berita Harian today that Tan Sri Bernard Dompok had resigned as Chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Integrity (PSCI) because the latter was frustrated that Nazri had objected to the PSCI calling the then Director-General of Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) Datuk Seri Zulkipli Mat Noor to appear before the Select Committee. Dompok is also Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department. 

Berita Harian’s report “Dompok kecewa JPN enggan temui PSCI” said: 

Nazri yang menyifatkan kenyataan bekas pengerusi PSCI terhadapnya semalam sebagai pandangan peribadi berkata, Dompok sepatutnya memahami arahan Kabinet bahawa jawatankusasa seperti itu bukan berperanan sebagai badan penyiasat, sebaliknya hanya mengumpul maklumat daripada orang ramai mengenai sesuatu isu atau masalah. 

“Keputusan Kabinet jelas…jawatankuasa itu hanya buat perbicaraan awam iaitu mengumpulkan maklumat, bukannya menyiasat kes yang ditimbulkan. 

“Apa yang perlu mereka buat adalah iklankan dalam akhbar bila dan tempat mereka mahu buat perbicaraan awam untuk membolehkan orang ramai datang memberikan pandangan terhadap masalah atau isu. 

“Jika dia (Dompok) tidak dengar cakap Kit Siang, tak jadi masalah, tetapi dia nak jadi badan penyiasat, kita tak setuju,” katanya. 

Nazri owes PSCI, Parliament and Malaysians answers to three questions: 

Firstly, why is he interfering with the autonomy of Parliament and the PSCI to conduct its own affairs, as if he is a Super-Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, more powerful than the Select Committees, their members and Chairmen; 

Secondly, from Nazri’s statement, it is clear that the Cabinet has arrogated to itself powers to direct Parliamentary Select Committees how it should function – which makes a mockery of Parliamentary independence and accountability of Cabinet to Parliament; 

Thirdly, why his double-standards and hypocrisy in opposing the ACA Director-General being invited to appear before PSCI while not objecting to the earlier appearance of Customs Director-General before the committee? 

In July last year, the Customs Director-General Datuk Abdul Rahman Abdul Hamid appeared before the PSCI to explain alleged questionable practices involving in the auctioning of confiscated luxury cars which had been raised in Parliament by the Barisan Nasional MP for Jasin, Mohd Said Yusof. 

Can Nazri explain why he did not object to the Customs DG appearing before the PSCI but took such a truculent stand to prevent the then ACA DG, Zulkipli in having to appear before the PSCI on serious allegations of corruption in the ACA which had been made by whistleblower and former ACA Sabah Director Mohamad Ramli Manan. 

At the first instance, both Zulkipli and Ramli had publicly stated their preparedness to appear before the PSCI  to tell the whole truth with both claiming that they had nothing to hide. 

Why then did Nazri coerced BN members on the PSCI to backtrack on their earlier decision to hold hearings for Zulkipli and Ramli resulting in the farce of the on-off-on-off PSCI hearing for Zulkipli and Mohamad Ramli – which seriously damaged the credibility and integrity of the PSCI? 

Was it because Zulkipli could not back out of the PSCI hearing after publicly stating that he was prepared to attend as he had nothing to hide, and he needed Nazri’s help to extricate him from having to attend the PSCI hearing?  If so, what had Zulkipli to hide? And what had Nazri to hide, in order for him to help the then ACA Director-General to hide from the PSCI? 

The President of Transparency International, Malaysia, Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam has called on Dompok to reconsider his resignation and urged the government to take “tough disciplinary action” against the National Registration Department for defiance of the PSCI in refusing to attend Tuesday’s hearing pertaining to the issue of false identity cards in Sabah. 

There are two problems here: Firstly, the NRD’s refusal to attend PSCI hearing on integrity and good governance on the issue of identity cards in Sabah in particular with reference to the grave problem of extraordinary increase of foreigners in Sabah through false documentation appears to have the support of Nazri and other Cabinet Ministers. 

Secondly, even if Dompok is prepared to reconsider his resignation as Chairman of PSCI, it is not clear that the Cabinet would agree to his continuing to serve in this capacity.   

It would appear in the test of strength between Nazri and Dompok, the former is having an upper hand. 

Undoubtedly, Dompok’s resignation as PSCI Chairman has precipitated a grave crisis in already-plummeting confidence, both national and international, in the political will of Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to “walk the talk” to fight corruption and promote integrity. 

This is a very ominous way for Malaysia to celebrate our 50th Merdeka anniversary. 

Before the start of the March meeting of Parliament, the Prime Minister had urged Barisan Nasional Backbenchers Club (BNBBC) members to perform "something extraordinary" to bring back the glory days of parliamentarians in line with the country's 50th anniversary celebrations this year. 

Is this “something extraordinary” the subversion of Parliamentary Select Committee on Integrity to the whims and fancies of the Minister for Parliamentary Affairs or the dishonouring of women MPs, Malaysian women, Parliament and the nation with crude, derogatory, sexist and gender-offensive statements in the House? 

I call on Abdullah to give his personal attention to Dompok’s resignation as PSCI Chairman as well as the need to ensure that the  PSCI have clear powers to function effectively without interference from any Minister or sabotage from any department or agency  to carry out its terms of reference to help implement the National Integrity Plan.                        


* Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman

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