Sunday, August 19, 2007

Ineffectiveness, Corruption......

When the public starts to question the effectiveness, efficiency and/or integrity of the Police Force, the ACA, the AG's Chamber and the Judiciary as a whole, the government has to do something immediately to allay people's doubt and fear. These are some of the highest institutions in the country aside from Cabinet, Parliament and the Yang Dipertuan Agong.

What can be done when these powerful instutions themselves become suspected of corruption and inefficiency? Who could investigate and who would mete out the punishment for any misconduct or malefeascence? Even Cabinet members and Parliamentarians can come under their surveilance and prosecution according to the Laws and the Constitution! The question is: Can one hand be relied upon to sanction and punish the other for any wrongdoings?

Yes, there can be Cabinet Committees, Party Disciplinary Committees, Royal Commissions etc. created ad hoc to look into any serious violations of rules and regulations, not amounting to criminal offence. But corruptions and "deliberate inefficiency" may not be just cases involving person or persons but whole organization, institution of even government. In the United States where democracy is supposed to work at its best ( majority decisions need not always be right from the ethical pov!), even a President can be impeached for any wrongdoing after due investigation by a Special Senate Committee. That Committee, therefore, is the highest Judicial Authority in the country. It stands above the Party Disciplinary Committee and can deal with any suspicion of wrongdoing at even the highest level of government.

Can't we start thinking of constituting such Committees when an entire executive arm of government, an institution or even the Judiciary is suspected of some wrongdoing and needs to be investigated . The Commmittee should be called Special Parliamentary Committee comprising senior and prominent Representatives of the People (Wakil Rakyat) and Members of the Senate, since the latter are not elected as in the US. This will overcome the "window dressing or "lepas batuk di tangga" investigation that people suspect will take place when the Police is set to investigate on the Police, the Judiciary on the Judiciary etc. etc. This will be far more approprite than establishing an OMBUDSMAN as has been suggested before in the press, to ensure that justies be carried out 'without fear or favour'.

This is just an idea, brought up by the fact that the very institutions supposed to maintain law, order and justice in this country have been questioned by the public. ( Ref. Tun Hanif's article: The Fence that Eats the Rice and various Press reports). I'm sure many people are very disturbed by what's happening in the Police Department, the ACA and the AG's chamber, three of the most respectable institutions in the country.

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