Monday 26 September 2011

It's not the constitution, it's the AG who's at fault

COMMENT There is nothing wrong with our constitution or the laws concerning this subject matter. They have been functioning well for more than half a century, so there is no need to mend it.
We should not blame the constitution. It's the attorney-general (AG) who has abused the powers conferred upon him several times over. It's the honesty of the person holding the post that matters.

Even if we were to separate the functions of the AG and the public prosecutor (PP),there are no guarantees that either one or both of them will not abuse their powers.
There's no guarantee that the two appointees are not buddies, or even cousins or even blood brothers. Worse still if the two happened to have this 'abang-adik' type of relationship.

It was not too long ago, when the government split the Home Affairs Ministry into two entities, with two separate ministers and ministries and all the accoutrements. One can imagine how much of public funds that have gone to waste.
A couple of years later, for reasons best known to the government, they returned to the original arrangements. We don't need another costly trial and error experiment such as this. We cannot afford it.

What we badly need now is a strong willed government capable of enforcing the Rule of Law to the letter, and truly without fear or favour.
What is right is right,what is wrong is wrong, exactly what was said by a senior minister a week ago. The truth shall remain the truth, no one can change the facts!

If it is the AG himself who has committed a crime, so be it. He has to face the music like everybody else.
He may be empowered, exercise his discretion to institute, conduct or discontinue any proceedings for an offence... but the constitution never provided him with the powers to commit any crimes. We are all equal. No one is above the law.

This will serve as a deterrent to the next person to be given that privilege.

Stated below is the summary of evidence on the allegations made against the AG thus far.

An illustration

An underaged girl alleged she was raped by her boyfriend, whom she identified as 'Male X'.The man denied her allegation vehemently and claimed that he doesn't even know her, let alone have sex with her.
Eventually she gave birth to a child. DNA tests prove that the child's father is “Male X”. Can the man still deny he had sex with the girl, consensual or otherwise, when the product of the act, i.e. the child is alive for all to see.

The issue here is not whether Male X was charged or would be charged later or not at all, but whether he did commit rape. In this instance it was proven that he did.

NONEIn the case of Abdul Gani Patail (right), he was alleged to have fabricated evidence in an investigation sometime in 1998. He denied vehemently ever being involved in such a despicable act. 

However, upon investigation by the MACC, one of the independent panel members appointed to scrutinise the reports discovered that he was involved in the criminal wrongdoing as alleged.

Can Gani now deny that he never fabricated the evidence when the products of the criminal act, in the form of three expert reports, 65 pages in all, do exist for the public to see? 

In fact two of them were used in the royal commission of inquiry (RCI) that followed. Just like “Male X”, whose DNA was found on the child, Gani's “DNA” were found all over the fabricated documents, recorded by the expert who was instructed to prepare all of them.

One wonders how the other two independent panel members could have overlooked the fabricated documents, unless they were misled or the documents were concealed from them.
For the benefit of the public, the panel did not sit together to discuss the case, like normally done by a panel of judges of the Court of Appeal or Federal Court. The panel members looked at the case individually and separately.

The cabinet has to explain to the public how it could clear Gani from any wrongdoing when the evidence presented to them was crystal clear.
The AG must be made to account for the three expert reports in question. Nevertheless, he must be accorded his fundamental rights to a fair hearing. The allegations against him are very very serious.

Still, the issue here is not whether action has been taken, or would be taken at a later time, or not at all, against the AG. The issue is whether he did fabricate any evidence or otherwise. Based on the evidence that has been revealed thus far, we can conclude, without any doubt, that he did.

I have put it on record that I have warned the AG against doing it several times in October 1998, as I knew there would be “complications” later on. 

Now, the more he tries to cover up the complications, the more complicated they become. One can lie to all the people sometimes, but he cannot lie to all the people all the time.

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