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Jambun: Mahathir’s party is all about rule of law

 | July 20, 2016

Human rights advocate says it is clear that if and when Mahathir’s party comes to power, it will enforce the laws as required by rule of law, the foundation of the Federal Constitution.

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KOTA KINABALU: A human rights advocate has cautioned against not seeing the forest for the trees.

He was referring to reports that former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad will set up a new political party and establish a common cause with other like-minded people to form a new Opposition coalition.

“Although much has been made of Mahathir wanting to oust Najib Razak, it would be tantamount to trivialising the new party if it’s argued that it’s all about Najib,” said Daniel John Jambun in an interview.

“Najib is not the sum total of Mahathir’s new party.”

He conceded that Mahathir himself had been of no help in this matter as he keeps harping on why Najib has to go.

“The former prime minister’s focus is not on the urban vote banks but on the rural Malays in Malaysia.

“That’s why he keeps his message simple.”

Jambun said the alternative argument would be that Najib presided over 1MDB, piling up debts totaling some RM50 billion within a few years, the RM2.6 billion political donation and the SRC International controversy, among others.

The human rights advocate, who heads the UK-based Borneo’s Plight in Malaysia Foundation (Bopim), said that the bottom line was that Najib was just an analogy, illustrating what Mahathir had been preaching all this time.

“The former prime minister is concerned that the rule of law (i.e. laws rule) was not being upheld in Malaysia.

“The Federal Constitution is based on the rule of law. If it’s not upheld, that means there’s no enforcement, indeed even a breakdown of law and order.”

Rule by law (i.e. men rule) – resort to Sedition Act, Prevention of Crime Act (Poca), Sosma and National Security Council Act – must not be mistaken as rule of law, argued the Bopim chief.

“Rule by law is all about selective prosecution and selective persecution, bordering on shades of a police state.”

If the rule of law was being upheld in Malaysia, continued Jambun, Mahathir would not keep complaining that wrongdoings are being covered up and swept under the carpet.

“So, it’s clear that if and when Mahathir’s party comes to power, it will enforce the laws as required by rule of law, the foundation of the Federal Constitution.”

The former prime minister, continued the human rights advocate, also had several points in his favour when he questioned the legitimacy of a government under Najib.

Firstly, said Jambun, the prime minister himself claimed that the RM2.6 billion donation was to help the ruling Umno/Barisan Nasional (BN) win the 13th General Election.

Secondly, although Najib secured a majority of the seats in Parliament, he only managed to get 47 per cent of the popular votes cast.

In a parting shot, Jambun advised Mahathir to bear in mind that legitimacy was not just confined to Malaya but must include Sabah and Sarawak as well.

“The Federal Constitution must be read together with the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) and related constitutional documents for what constitutional experts would describe as the Malaysian Constitution, albeit an uncodified one.”

Also, he stressed, Mahathir presided over an accelerated influx of illegal immigrants into Sabah — when he was prime minister — and a “significant” number of them ended up on the electoral rolls in violation of the Federal Constitution.

“Mahathir has yet to redeem himself in Sabah. The Royal Commission of Inquiry’s Report on Sabah refers.”


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