Saturday, April 10, 2010

Why is Zulkifli off the hook

It is bewildering that Zulkifili Noordin, the MP for Kulim Bandar Baru, who made stunning allegations and serious accusations in Parliament on 24 March 2010 has not been hauled up to give police statements. Instead he is accompanying the Prime Minister to Washington .

This development has raised eyebrows in many circles. In fact, people are wondering if this was a reward for the explosive revelation that was calculated to cast the Pakatan Rakyat in a very poor light.

There is justification for this belief. The MP for Bayan Baru, Datuk Zahrain Mohamed Hashim, who lambasted Parti Keadilan Rakyat and Anwar in Parliament on 17 March 2010, soon afterwards accompanied Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz, to Washington . This wasseen as rewarding Zahrain for his “hit man” job.

Incidentally, Zahrain is also accompanying Najib to Washington, making it the second trip within a month for him to Washington . Why so soon, is anybody’s guess but having been there earlier he could possibly be a tourist guide for Zulkifli!

Unsurprisingly, both of them received a fantastic coverage in the print media, radio and television. They were given maximum coverage to denigrade PKR and the Pakatan Rakyat-led Penang state government.

Compare this to substantive debates in Parliament which very often become footnotes simply because they were not sensational enough to hurt the Opposition.

The point I’m trying to make is this: Why, in the national interest, wasn’t there a protest from those who were implicated in the allegations? The Prime Minister and the Minister in his Department were both unruffled by the revelations that deserved to be investigated. What was revealed was shocking enough and disturbing.

Zulkifli claimed that he was asked to come out with a statutory declaration (SD) linking Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak and his wife with the Altantuya Shaaribuu murder trial.

According to him, “I was once asked to involve the prime minister and his wife in the murder case. Among others, I was asked to get an SD (saying) Najib and his wife were involved in the case. … And the reward offered was capable of shaking our faith.”

I don’t seem to remember reading about the Prime Minister acting with horror over this insane disclosure. No Umno leader, as I recall, had called for a thorough investigation of this allegation. No one had suggested the setting up of a Royal Commission of Inquiry to get to the bottom of this scandalous revelation.

If anybody wanted to frame the Prime Minister of the country with fraudulent allegation, it must be a matter of serious concern that warranted immediate action. But why wasn’t this so in this case? Shouldn’t we have attempted to identify the person who offered the reward to implicate the Prime Minister and his wife?

Shouldn’t statements be taken from those involved in this plot to smear the name of the Prime Minister and his wife?

This was not the only disclosure by Zulkifli. He had also revealed that he was requested to link the son of Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Sri Nazri Aziz, with those who had pleaded guilty in a murder case in Sri Hartamas in 2004.

And again there was no discernable reaction of disbelief and horror from the implicated party. The vocal Nazri did not demand that Zulkifli must disclose the names of this faceless “third party” behind this fabrication of evidence.

This apart, what is flabbergasting is the fact that Zulkifli as an officer of the court did not deem it fit to lodge a police report immediately after he was asked to come out with a statutory declaration implicating the Prime Minister and his wife and requested to link the son of Nazri to a murder that he was not guilty of. This was apparently and without doubt an intention to commit a criminal act and it should have been reported.

By remaining quiet all this while, he has given the impression that he was acquiescent to this criminal intention.
It can be construed that he had aided and abetted this proposed crime. That being the case, can he then be charged as an accessory to this crime for not reporting the matter to the police?

We hope that our legal luminaries, the police and those implicated in this case will provide the answers that the nation awaits anxiously.

*Written by P. Ramakrishnan, who is president of Aliran.

* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication. The Malaysian Insider does not endorse the view unless specified. Courtesy of Malaysian Insider.


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