MPs, leaked recordings and invasions of privacy

Arau MP Shahidan Kassim has urged the police to probe those behind the recording and publishing of an audio clip purportedly of Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin enticing Umno leaders to join PPBM with promises of positions in the Cabinet and GLCs.

Would it not have been more logical if Shahidan had asked the prime minister to lodge a police report about this first? Then Shahidan could have asked the police why there was no action on their part, no? Was Shahidan putting the cart before the horse?

Shahidan also asked if people are allowed to publish such recordings.

“If it is allowed, then it’s a problem for the country. The personal rights of people must be defended,” he was quoted as saying.

If you talk about breaching the right to privacy of those present, why didn’t Shahidan say something when Latheefa Koya, the then-MACC chief commissioner, played the now unforgettable recordings between former prime minister Najib Razak and his wife Rosmah Mansor?

He could have accorded our former prime minister and his wife the same respect and regard then, because the action could have been seen as a breach of their right to privacy. But I don’t recall him coming to Najib’s defence.

Lately, there has been a slew of leaked audio recordings. When PKR president Anwar Ibrahim was alleged to have accused his former deputy Mohamed Azmin Ali of being Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s “barua”, the likes of Shahidan should have jumped up and said that it was an invasion of privacy.

There have been many instances of privacy being breached but where were the voices of dissent?

Shahidan is a lawmaker. We have 222 lawmakers in the Dewan Rakyat. Why not do something about it? Must it involve a prime minister before you wake up to the situation? This is where we are failing. Does something have to happen first before remedial action is taken?

The electorate have a right to demand something more from the politicians they put in office. There is no need for innuendos and insults to sound intelligent. Just do the job you were elected to do and provide the people with meaningful and rational arguments in debating bills brought before you.

Otherwise, just say nothing. That’s much better than saying something that means nothing.

 

Clement Stanley is an FMT reader.

The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of FMT.