The courageous and conscionable acts of the MACC led by Latheefa Koya have been the highlight of events during the last few days.
The expose of the audio clips has been so dissected and discussed in the public domain that Malaysians should, by now, be what the Australians describe as euchred.
The discussions vis a vis the event and its consequences had emanated from a number of quarters -lawyers, pseudo-lawyers, bloggers with vested interests, politicians or politically connected persons fearful that such a precedent may well lead to exposure of their own transgressions, and persons who have genuine interest in the wellbeing of our nation.
We have even had the irony of learned men of the law who, on the one hand, castigated and threatened Latheefa for her actions and, in the very next breath, expressed the usefulness of the impugned conversations as material for defence in an on-going trial.
Given that the legal issues have been discussed ad nauseum, this letter would stay clear of the dust generated in the legal arena.
Here, I would try and place the reasonable Malaysian in Latheefa’s shoes. Having received concrete evidence of the conversations, one would have to make the choice between paralysing oneself with the possible legal challenges or take the risk of presenting that information to the nation at large as they are matters of national concern with issues that go to the root of our government and the wellbeing of our nation.
Confronted with the choice between strict legalism and the life of our nation, the choice was so obvious.
If, indeed, Latheefa had chosen the path of legalism, that could have been described as a form of perverse legalism. Personally, I would have described it in stronger terms as “deceptive legalism” which we have experienced in the recent past.
It was heartening that Latheefa had chosen the continued wellbeing of our nation over the trapdoors of legalism.
Latheefa was placed in her current position to try and bring some order to the politico-socio-economic inequities that were threatening to drive our country aground. She acted in consonance with her oath of office. It must be noted that she was not setting the tone for just this day and time but a tone that should last through the ages.
We have had enough of corrupt politicians and their abettors, including some pliant media organisations using their channels to perpetrate repeated deceptions on plain and ordinary Malaysians.
With unflinching resolve and undimmed perspective, Latheefa displayed the spirit of Malaysia Baru that Malaysians hoped for when Pakatan Harapan was voted into office.
The leaders of PH have to take the cue from her. They have to go beyond mere expressions of ideals and clearly demonstrate their preparedness to realise those ideals with positive and decisive action.
While it is generally believed that PH has great desire to act according to its promises and principles, it is unlikely that we would let that belief obscure our sense of decency and what is right, and while it is generally admitted that the challenges thrust upon PH have gone beyond what was reasonably expected, the patience of the ordinary Malaysian is also not infinite.
Latheefa has set the bar.
On behalf of the silent majority of non-policially partisan Malaysians, I say, “Go Latheefa, go, go on with your gallant spirit”.
Watson Peters, a practising advocate & solicitor for more than three decades, is an FMT reader.
The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of FMT.