Sunday, August 14, 2011

Tajuddin Bailout: Did Nazri Finish Law School?

I have asked earlier for the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz to be investigated under Section 2(1) of the Emergency (Essential Powers) Ordinance No. 22/1970 where “Any member of the Administration, Parliament or State Legislative Assembly or any public officer who commits a corrupt practice shall be liable to a term of imprisonment of 14 years or a fine of RM 20,000 or both.”

A “corrupt practice” in this case is defined as “any act done by a member... in his capacity as such member... whereby he has used his public position or office for his pecuniary or other advantage...”

When questioned on the above, Nazri retorted that I was “practising double standards”.

Nazri told The Malaysian Insider, “I want to ask him (Pua): When (PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul) Hadi Awang asked the Damansara Utama Methodist Church (DUMC) and Jais (Selangor Islamic Religious Department) to see him and explain the recent church raid, why did he not rebuke Hadi? Because what power does Hadi have in doing so? He is not the mentri besar of Selangor and neither is he the minister for religious affairs. So why the double standards, Tony?”

I’m complete shocked by the absurdity of the analogy used to accuse me of being hypocritical and practising double standards.

Firstly, PAS President Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang did not ask DUMC and JAIS to see him. Hadi asked to see them to better understand the recent controversy at DUMC.

Secondly, PAS President did not give any directive to JAIS, a government body – whether to withdraw from investigation the alleged offences or to take action against any party.

Thirdly, even if Hadi did in effect express an opinion on the issue, one way or another, it does not constitute a directive especially since Hadi is not a “member of the Administration” who is able to exercise the powers of his public office over JAIS.

On the other hand, Nazri as a Minister is clearly a “member of the Administration” who has “used his public position or office” to unduly exercise improper influence over the actions of Government Linked Companies (GLCs) by-passing the GLCs Board of Directors, possibly to obtain “pecuniary or other advantage…”

It is the exact same law used to find Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim guilty of alleged abuse of power in 1999 where he was sentenced to jail for 6 years. Anwar, while holding the post of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, was found guilty of having “committed corrupt practice” by giving alleged directives to two police officers.

If there is a relevant analogy at all, it has to be with the former Deputy Prime Minister’s case. The comparison between his actions and that of the PAS President is that between night and day, which raises the question of whether Nazri is qualified to take on the role of Minister in-charge of law.
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