Stop harassing the whistle-blowers

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Aliran calls upon the ACA to stop harassing people who come forward in the national interest to provide incriminating evidence in an attempt to expose corruption in high places. This was what R Sivarasa did when he made a report to the ACA. His action must be deemed as a citizen’s national service. It must be viewed as a patriotic duty. Sivarasa’s action must be commended.

 

But why is the ACA threatening him and his colleague, Sim Tze Tzin, with a penalty of two years jail, a fine of RM10,000 or both if they do not reveal the source of their information? Why can’t they appreciate that sometimes information is given in the strictest confidence and that has to be honoured? When once this trust is betrayed, it only means that others will not come forward to provide any information.

 

This prompts us to ask: Is that what the ACA is trying to do? Are they trying to discourage concerned citizens from acting in the national interest? Why should they do this? Are they trying to protect the image of the BN government and put a lid on corruption by going after the whistle-blowers?

 

Their conduct suggests this. It also seems to imply that they are nothing but stooges of the government. This perception does them no good neither does it put the BN government in good light.

 

Why are they so interested in the recorder of the tape rather than the content of the tape? Lingam has been caught trying to fix certain appointments in the judiciary. From the way he is seen talking, it appears that it is not a one-off incident. He must have been playing this role all the while. He can even get you a Tan Sri award just like that!

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Shouldn’t the ACA go after Lingam to confirm the contents of his conversation? Logically, that would be a very important first step. Secondly, he should be asked to confirm if he was speaking to the Chief Judge of Malaysia. Thirdly, the ACA should investigate whether all the names mentioned were promoted or appointed in the judicial hierarchy. Fourthly, the ACA should find out when the Chief Judge of Malaysia was conferred his Tan Sri-ship.

 

If we followed this path of investigation, the role of the person who recorded the conversation becomes not all that important compared to what he recorded to expose corruption.

 

In addition, we should not overlook the fact that when a Royal Commission of Inquiry is appointed, the people with this vital information have agreed to disclose the identity of their informant. Anything said or anyone appearing before such a Commission is given immunity from prosecution. Another important aspect of this Commission of Inquiry is that evidence is given in open court and that provides protection. If for some reason or other, any untoward incident were to happen to the informant, then the whole world would know why that took place. This is an important guarantee that must be insisted on. Is this too difficult to understand?

 

Aliran calls upon the BN government to disband the three-man committee and appoint a Royal Commission of Inquiry that can be expected to produce results – that is if it is really interested in finding out the truth.


P Ramakrishnan

President

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6 October 2007

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