Posted by Oscar the Grouch on August 3, 2008
I felt nauseatingly disgusted when I read the newspaper report in The Star, 1 August 2008, entitled “PM: Anwar’s threat to seize power a bluff “.
The article quotes the PM as promising that ” … justice would be served in the sodomy case against Anwar”. Such statements are unintelligent and un-thought of, coming from a Prime Minister. It gives a negative connotation to the so-called independence of the police, prosecution and the judiciary.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but what power and jurisdiction does the Prime Minister have in him to promise justice? After all the assurances that there will be no government involvement; and pleading the public to allow the police to conduct their investigation professionally and impartially, suddenly it becomes the Prime Minister’s decision to serve out justice.
The decision to prosecute lies with the Attorney General, not with the government. Article 145 (3) of the Federal Constitution provides that:
“The Attorney General shall have the power, exercisable at his discretion, to institute, conduct or discontinue any proceedings for an offence …”.
This means, after the police wrap-up the investigation, the decision to prosecute lies with the Attorney General, not the Prime Minister. The government has no right to direct the Attorney General on his decision whether to prosecute or not. Thereafter, justice will be meted out by the judiciary, an independent branch of the state. The court will make a decision, after hearing all the evidence presented, – either to convict or acquit the accused. It is not a decision of the Prime Minister, but by an independent and impartial judge.
This means, the PM has no business in his declaration to serve justice, when it is not in his jurisdiction to do so in the first place.
The report also quotes the PM as saying, “This man (Mohd Saiful Bukhari) pleads for justice. We care about (Anwar) more than we care about this man? That is very odd. He needs justice; that is what he is crying for. We cannot ignore that.” This is utter nonsense. The PM seems to be taking sides. After advising the public not to speculate on the case and to let the police conduct its investigation independently and impartially, the Prime Minister takes the opportunity to take sides and make bias comments. This can also be clearly seen from his next comment, when asked whether he thinks Anwar is bluffing, the PM replied that, “so far, it is going towards that direction.” How does our dear PM knows whether Saiful or Anwar is bluffing is beyond me, unless he knows something that I do not.
The gist of the whole episode is this:-
1. The PM has been telling Malaysians that we should not speculate on the matter and to allow our police to do their job;
2. He has assured Malaysians that there is no government conspiracy in this whole episode;
3. Yet, he goes on the national daily to say that Saiful is a victim and deserves justice;
4. He adds that Anwar is bluffing the whole time;
5. He promised Malaysians that justice will be served even though it is not his call to do so, implying something sinister;
If this is not influencing the public, I don’t know what is.