Thursday, September 24, 2009

Lone Ranger Hasan Ali Must Stop Shooting From The Hip

I wrote this statement a couple of days ago but decided on holding it back first to see how things pan out. But well, looks like it has been overtaken by events, with even Dr Hasan's fellow PAS colleagues coming out to criticise his outburst against SELCAT. So I'll just put it up on the blog here instead.

Dr Hasan Ali must decide if he is part of the governing Pakatan Rakyat coalition or a lone-ranger who shoots from the hip

Selangor state executive councillor, Dr Hasan Ali has once again decided to stir controversy by hitting out at the Selangor Competency, Accountability and Transparency (SELCAT) committee investigations into the allocation of constituency funds by both former and current Selangor state assemblymen.

The SELCAT investigations has to date revealed extensive irregularities and wrongdoings by various parties including the former Barisan Nasional assemblymen with the complicity of many of the DOs. It was also responsible for the revelations on the Balkis scandal when the state government-linked companies officers were questioned.

He has criticised the transparent and open manner of SELCAT investigations led by the state speaker, Teng Chang Khim, especially with regards to the questioning of the state district officers (DOs). Dr Hasan Ali has further suggested that these investigations be conducted behind closed doors by former judges and other “independent” personalities.

Dr Hasan Ali must be reminded that his proposed closed door investigations runs completely contrary to the key principles upheld by SELCAT and the Pakatan Rakyat government, that is of “Accountability” and “Transparency”. If the DOs or any other civil servants have not done anything wrong or against the law, there will be nothing to be ashamed of. Dr Hasan Ali's argument for “independent” personalities also does not make sense, for the Selangor state assembly has been elected by the people to ensure a competent, accountable and transparent government, and that responsibility must never be abdicated by the assembly.

More importantly however, without going into the merits of the Dr Hasan Ali's arguments, the bigger question is, why is he once again taking unilateral actions to criticise the Pakatan Rakyat admistration without any prior consultation with either the State Executive Council (EXCO) or the state Pakatan Rakyat secretariat of which he is a member?

Dr Hasan Ali certainly has his right to his views but would it not be better if they were raised in these consultative meetings first in order for a common decision to be made for the betterment of the state? This is not the first time he has completely ignored the EXCO and the PR secretariat before making highly controversial and questionable announcements, such as seeking the removal of a fellow Exco member, the confiscation of beer and the empowerment of mosque committee members to make arrests all within the past 3 months.

What is most hypocritical is the fact that Dr Hasan Ali did not utter a single word of objection when the issue of constituency fund allocation investigations was raised in a PR secretariat meeting which was held before the commencement of the SELCAT investigations! And now he has to act like the “hero” fighting for the rights of the “maligned” DOs.

Dr Hasan Ali must start behaving like he is part of the Pakatan Rakyat coalition, especially since he insisted that he is committed to the coalition after the earlier controversies. The method of strengthening Pakatan is via consultative decision-making, and not via every EXCO member shooting from the hip as and when they feel like it. If however, Dr Hasan Ali so feels that he is for one reason or another, unable to consult and discuss with the EXCO and his coalition partners, then perhaps in the interest of Pakatan Rakyat, it is best that he gives way to another leader who can from his party.
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