I recall that former Prime Minister Mahathir’s memory conveniently failed him when he took the stand at the royal commission into the fixing of appointments to the judiciary. But come the fateful day on which he’s finally brought before the heavenly court, forgetfulness will prove no defence. And surely of all the charges he finds himself facing, the most serious will be his defilement of Malaysia’s legal system.
Mahathir’s sacking of the Lord Chief Justice back in the 1980s was the first and crucial step in the Barisan Nasional’s coercion and corruption of the ultimate guardian of the people against their government’s abuse of power, the law. So that today, thanks to Mahathir and his successors, Malaysia doesn’t have justice but perversions of justice, as in the case of Anwar Ibrahim and others like the Altantuya Shaariibuu murder.
And we have organisations like the Royal Malaysian Police and Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission, supposedly the ‘long arm of the law’, blithely behaving like the wrong arm of the law. In fact the wrong arm of the wrong law, or rather many wrong laws, like the Internal Security Act, the Printing, Presses and Publications Act and numerous other unconstitutional acts of aggression and suppression against the very citizens whose rights the government is supposed to protect.
From the prime minister, home minister and attorney-general on down, the forces of outlaw and disorder that Mahathir unleashed are now clearly totally out of control. Committing, condoning and deliberately failing to properly investigate or prosecute countless deaths in police ‘shoot-outs’ and custody, and in the case of the MACC, selectively targeting ‘small fry’ or the occasional token big fish, to divert attention from the plunders of its massively corrupt political masters and their cronies.
As for any chance of protection from or redress against the police and MACC, the situation’s becoming more contemptible than ever, if possible.
Take the latest development in the inquest into the death of Teoh Beng Hock at MACC headquarters over a year ago. The whole case stinks to high heaven, and has from the beginning. The deceased was only a witness, not a suspect, but was reportedly questioned til the early hours of the morning and then left to wander about the building unsupervised. What a joke. As is the fact that the services of so many pathologists have been sought to determine whether his fatal fall was suicide as the MACC claims, or MACC-inflicted as most of us suspect.
But the latest development is even dodgier than what’s gone before. The MACC, it seems, has discovered what may or may not be a suicide note in the unfortunate Teo Beng Hock’s bag.
The story goes that, while no note was reportedly found in Teo’s bag immediately following his death on July 17 last year, investigating officer ASP Ahmad Nazri Zainal revealed two months later, on October 7, that he had found a note after all.
Let me interrupt the tale at this point to say that I find the plot too complex and implausible for words, and thus should hand over its narration to those masters of fiction, the editors and staff of Bernama:
“Ahmad Nazri recently owned up that he did find the note when he searched the bag on July 17 last year but did not realise the significance of it as other documents were found and that they were written in both Chinese and Roman characters.”
“The statement said the AG’s chambers was equally startled by the discovery of the note and had instructed an investigation to be carried out.”
“It said the note was immediately translated and there was sufficient cause to send it to be analysed by a document examiner at the Chemistry Department on Oct 9 and subsequently on Oct 20 last year.”
“It said the document examiner prepared his report and they were considered by Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail himself where the attorney-general was not convinced of the authenticity of the note due to insufficient samples to verify the handwriting, in particular the Chinese characters.
In addition, it said, the note was said to have been discovered some two over months after Teoh’s death and that this would raise suspicion over its authenticity and discovery.”
“Having considered these factors, Abdul Gani was of the view that the note should not be tendered until and unless the investigation officer could provide a satisfactory explanation.”
“It said the AG’s Chambers was earlier briefed by the investigation officer that he conducted a thorough search after being advised by a psychiatrist that, ordinarily, a note would be left in a suicide case.”
“As a result of this, the attorney-general decided to put the note in and directed the investigation officer to explain this in court to avoid any repercussion in future and let the coroner decide on its weight after considering the explanation by the investigation officer and the document examiner’s report.”
“The statement said the AG’s Chambers felt that there was no suppression or withholding of evidence and that the decision for not tendering the note earlier was made based on the document examiner’s report as well as the discovery of the note which gave rise to suspicion.”
“The Attorney-General’s Chambers will tender the document as evidence only when and until it is satisfied that any shroud of suspicion surrounding it is lifted.”
Is that perfectly and clear and credible to you? Not a shred, let alone shroud, of suspicion in your mind? This, then, is the pitiful state into which the administration of justice in Malaysia has sunk.
Any attorney-general prepared to lend his name to such a load of rubbish should be sacked. But on the contrary, Abdul Gani Patail was promoted to this office despite, or rather in gratitude for, his role as chief prosecutor in the original mistrials of Anwar Ibrahim.
And thus deserves nothing but contempt, like so many of the judges he appoints, the courts he oversees, and of course that most poisonous of all perverters of Malaysian justice, Tun Dato Dr Mahathir Mohamad.