The public are asking serious questions about what is going on in the judiciary – and it is time to act, says JD Lovrenciear.
The prime minister has said his government would look into the call for a royal commission of inquiry in the wake of the sudden and shocking expose of the judiciary’s compromised ethics.
On the same note Dr Mahathir Mohamad said with some circumspection, “However, we don’t really run down the judiciary openly” (The Star, 15 February 2019).
The question many will pose is, “Why not act more decisively, Mr Prime Minister?”
Yes, why not? What is so wrong about moving fast to expose the truth in the bests interest of national integrity? After all, Mahathir himself led us on a memorable march peppered with public cries of “Najib is a thief”.
How long more must we whisper behind veiled curtains? If we have a compromised system or institution due to corrupt individuals or those with questionable ethics, the first thing we need to do is acknowledge the problem and bring it out into the public domain. In any case, in this age of a networked society, we all know that no crime or wilful wrongdoing can remain under wraps for long – even with threats and gag orders.
Mr Prime Minister, you yourself spoke many truths in the open. Much as we were traumatised by your public criticism of corrupt leaders, we knew it was for the good of the nation and our future.
Your more measured public statement now – that we “don’t really run down the judiciary openly” – hardly supports the courageous judge who spilled the beans. In saying so, you have implied that future exposes must be done behind thick curtains and closed doors.
The truth is, we have had over six decades of opportunities and moments of truth to tackle corruption in its many forms. But we did not succeed because of a reluctance to act decisively.
You know it. We knew it all along too. So hopefully, you will not stifle this newfound maturity among the people to openly expose what is going on in the judiciary.
Like many others, I am hardly encouraged by your cautious response to the shocking revelations about the judiciary.