Speakers' Corner: Occasional contributions from readers, which do not necessarily reflect the views of Sarawak Report but may be published at the discretion of the site.

Empty Threat

Najib, and his accomplices in the Cabinet and in UMNO, seem to think that if they threaten a Commission of Enquiry into alleged wrong doing at the Bank Negara many years ago, Dr. Mahathir will withdraw from his position as leader of the coalition of opposition parties which will, most certainly, throw UMNO out of power in GE 14.

So a look at the law is in order. The principal legislation dates back to the colonial era and has only been amended since to the extent necessary to conform to Malaysia’s status as an independent nation.

In the first place such Commissions can only be instituted by the Agong. The Agong, not the Agong on the advice of the Prime Minister, or anyone else, but in his own right and judgment. This is a necessary provision in order to ensure that any Commission is genuinely necessary and not politically motivated.

So the first question is whether the Agong would think a Commission of Enquiry is necessary. The subject matter is many years out of date. It involves at least one party, Bank Negara, whose actions are excluded from the scope of the legislation. There is no allegation, let alone proof, that any criminal activity occurred and bad judgment, if regrettable, is not a crime.

Secondly the proposed subject matter is in the distant past. How many Agongs have held office since the alleged activity took place and why did none of them consider such action necessary? So what is different now? The answer is that there is now a major criminal in the PM’s chair who wants to resort to blackmail to add to his other major crimes. The Agong should hesitate to tarnish his name and office by ordering such a Commission.

Thirdly the law provides that no one who gives evidence to a Commission can have that evidence proved against him in any subsequent civil or criminal proceedings. So all that Najib could hope for is political embarrassment. Does he really think that such would conceal his own mega crimes from the electorate?

Fourthly the law also provides that any person who refuses to appear at a Commission risks a fine of up to RM50! This shows how far from criminal action the framers of the law felt was necessary.

It is important to recognize that this law, which has its roots in British Royal Prerogative, is not a political tool but rather a means of allowing the Head of State to intervene in any matter into which he considers enquiry is necessary. The Agong, not the Crime Minister or any other crook.

If the Agong thinks it necessary to make use of any of the powers attaching only to his office he would do better to think of using his, unfettered, constitutional power to dissolve Parliament and allow the electorate to decide which prison arch thief Najib and his cronies should occupy.

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