Tag Archives: right thing

Like the judiciary, leaders must do the right thing

It was heartening to see the judiciary fearlessly push back the efforts of some quarters to undermine its integrity, following the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s (MACC’s) statement to start investigations on Court of Appeal Judge Datuk Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali, who had convicted and sentenced former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak in his RM42 million SRC International case when he was a High Court judge.

Speaking at the swearing-in of a new batch of High Court judges at the Palace of Justice on Wednesday, Chief Justice Tun Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat said the criticisms leveled at the judiciary had gone overboard.

While saying that judges are not “immune to public criticism and accountability”, it does not mean “that it is open to citizens including politicians to level unfounded and scurrilous attacks against the Judiciary or a particular judge to further their own end”.

She then said: “It is important to emphasise that the Judiciary is the last line of defence in a constitutional democracy and there must never be a suspicion that the Judiciary is captured.”

And she added: “In other words, there can be no interference in the judiciary if we judges do not allow that to happen,” she said to standing ovation.

At last, we have a national institution that is asserting and reinforcing the fundamental principles on which it was built — independence, integrity and the rule of law. It is a characteristic that all national institutions and politicians must emulate!

I believe it is this characteristic demonstrated by the Chief Justice to fight against the fiercest of criticisms by simply doing the right thing, which is following the rule of law, that will save Malaysia.

In the current political climate, it is the courage and will to do the right thing — rather than the expedient thing — that will help us stem the tide of corruption that threatens to sweep over us.

To get out of the political gridlock that politicians are caught in, what is required is the courageous will to do the right thing. Politicians know what is the right thing to do. If they don’t do it, it invariably is because expediency overrules. Look where that has brought us to.

The people want to see politicians doing the right thing. Even if it means severing links with those who are manipulating the political climate, or losing a much-desired position like the premiership!

Do the expedient thing and even if one wins for the moment it will backfire in the end. Do the right thing and even if one loses something, for now, the people will see it and it may come back to work in one’s favour in the future, perhaps, even in the immediate future. It takes courage to take the risk of doing the right thing; the reward is eventual resolution.

Isn’t that what we are all looking forward to? Soon?


MPs, the time is here to do the right thing

There’s a very simple way to resolve the current political mess: Do the right thing! It begins with the prime minister doing the right thing, which is to call for the sitting of the Dewan Rakyat immediately.

Instead, it has been postponed to May 18 “to allow a proper time frame for the new cabinet line-up to understand their duties in the ministries and their departments respectively”, according to a statement by the Prime Minister’s Department as reported in the media.

Why the delay when it is in the hands of the prime minister to convene the Dewan Rakyat immediately and make his appointment legitimate? If he does and wins the confidence of the majority of the MPs in the Dewan Rakyat, he can carry on with running the government legitimately. If he doesn’t he should have enough integrity to face consequences. Either way, he would restore stability and win the respect of the people.

Any credible prime minister will want to validate his or her appointment by immediately seeking a confidence vote from Parliament. That is the first order of business of an appointed prime minister. Until he does this, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin will be seen as stalling and leading an illegitimate government. He will have no standing internationally or even at home.

I’m doubtful if this Umno-PAS-led coalition has the support of the Malay voters it claims to represent. Do Malay voters really want a government they didn’t choose by vote? Again, we will only know if a vote of confidence for the prime minister is called in the Dewan Rakyat.

The current continuing political imbroglio will be recorded for all to see in Malaysian history. The protagonists will be named and the MPs who supported or opposed the current leadership will also be made known. The decisions the MPs make now will be the legacy they leave behind for posterity. History will judge. MPs need to be very careful in making the right decisions now. Posterity will view them with pride or shame by the decisions they make now.

This Umno-PAS alliance, made for whatever reasons, carries the potential to destroy the fabric of ethnic harmony we have striven for since our independence. PAS is public about its desire to establish an Islamic state. It wants a foot in the federal government to influence it and to move in and take over in the event of a power vacuum, which will be followed by an Islamic government. Non-Malay and East Malaysian MPs, if they don’t already know this, please wise up to it!

For this reason alone, all MPs — whether Malay or non-Malay but truly Malaysian — must be seen not supporting the Umno-PAS pact.

The issue right now is whether our elected officials are prepared to do the right thing, which with regard to the current political scenario is to respect, protect, uphold and restore the mandate of the people given to the Pakatan Harapan in the 14th General Elections.

We the people are waiting to see if our elected officials will stand by us. My feeling is that if they do the right thing, resolution will follow. Now is not the time to fight for posts, wheel and deal and switch sides — unless you are switching to the party on the side of the people. Now is the time to know what you stand for — to uphold the constitution as the supreme law of the land or sell the votes of the people for personal gain. We are watching.

I also believe — a strong gut feeling — that when our MPs do the right thing and stand by the people, help will come from an unexpected source or sources. That will result in a speedy resolution of the current political imbroglio and ensure that the rights of the people are left intact.

The best course of action now is to do the right thing.