The rakyat have the natural right to be fully informed of the ideas and issues raised by the council and presented to the government, says Ramon Navaratnam.
Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s announcement that the Council of Eminent Persons’ report may not be made public is most surprising, unexpected and even disturbing.
He made the statement at the Cities 4.0 and Business 4.0 International Conference and Exhibition in Kuala Lumpur just today .
We had all been waiting with bated breath for the revelations of this important report for over 100 days now – but most of us will now be badly disappointed by possibly being denied sight of it.
Most Malaysians will be upset that the new Pakatan Harapan government, which promised this report, may not now want to make it public for public appreciation and in the public interest.
We would ask, why should the report be considered so secret that its recommendations may not be revealed. What is the basis and rational for this unusual secrecy? Why has the report been deemed to be so secret, when it was prepared by learned, trusted, expert and eminent Malaysians?
The rakyat have the natural right to be fully informed of the thoughts, ideas and issues raised and presented to our own government. After all, the PH government was voted in because of, among other things, its promises of more transparency, better consultation and higher integrity – so why this change of heart and mind on the part of the newly elected government? Have we waited 61 years for genuine change only to now get frustrated and even disillusioned?
On behalf of the majority Malaysians, I would therefore appeal to the wise, experienced and inspiring new prime minister to please make the report public.
Please have faith and leave it to the people to judge the report’s merits, feasibility and acceptability in our best long-term national interests.