Missing files: An attempt to hide or destroy incriminating evidence?

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Aliran
is shocked and disturbed to learn that “all government documents
and minutes of the out-going Barisan Nasional (BN) government” in
Penang have been removed surreptitiously from the seat of the
government building, Komtar. It is understood that “all records of
projects, completed or on-going, approved by the previous government,
were missing.”



It
is obvious that all these important documents were deliberately
removed by BN Exco members from their offices following their loss in
the recent elections. This conduct is unbecoming of previously
elected officials who were in charge of various portfolios. It should
have been very apparent from the very beginning that the in-coming
government would need these documents for continuity and for
reference purposes.

These
are official documents and cannot be considered by any stretch of
imagination as private property of those holding their respective
portfolios. These documents were a record of what was done and
undertaken on behalf of the government by these officials for the
good of the people. A complete record of these documents pertaining
to their portfolios must be available and should have been made
available to the in-coming government. That would reflect good
governance and would be in keeping with ethical conduct in a
democracy.

It
is reported “that executive councillors of the previous
administration had been directed to remove these files from the
offices.” Who directed them and under what authority were they
directed to do this? Will the State Secretary, Datuk Jamaludin Hasan,
provide us with some clarification on this report?

The
episode of the missing files were not confined only to Penang. There
seems to be a pattern in the way important files went missing. This
happened in Kedah as well – whereas in Selangor, it was reported,
important documents were in fact shredded.

Is
there a plot to hide or destroy these documents because they may
contain incriminating evidence that might implicate certain top
echelon officials and cause problems for the former BN state
governments? This is entirely possible as we have witnessed so much
abuse in the way contracts were awarded and in the manner certain
development projects were launched or undertaken. There has also been
questionable conduct in the alienation of state land to certain
individuals deemed to be close to the source of power.

The
Prime Minister must direct his defeated BN officials to behave
honourably and return all these documents to the present state
government. Failing which, these newly elected state governments
should take up this matter with the courts to recover all these
documents which are the property of the respective state governments.

Aliran
Executive Committee

19
March 2008

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