From Walter Sandosam
The newly appointed economic affairs minister is underestimating the intelligence of the public at large in his recent statements. This is most disappointing as his persona has been built on exposing scandals and irregularities not in line with good governance practices.
His recent statement is essentially back tracking on his arrogance during the emotion-charged days of election campaigning. His verbalisations as captured in recordings, inter-alia: “tomorrow is voting day and if Pakatan wins, Azam Baki we will look for you”.
Presumably that was a consequence of the office of Invoke Solutions being “raided” by MACC. The chief commissioner, Azam Baki, has played this down by stating that a few MACC officers just “visited” Invoke’s premises. These two interpretations are self-serving. The truth is not discernible to the layman.
Now that Rafizi is in power in the government, he sings a different melody. Roughly interpreted, the back track is that “I was talking of independence of institutions in general”.
How senile is this rationalisation against the ferocity exhibited on the campaign trail? He even alludes to “good political soundbite” and the oft repeated “misconstrued”. Really? The truth should prevail.
Has the ascension to power neutralised the venom associated with Rafizi’s sting? Is Azam “off the hook” or does he have to watch his back?
MACC in particular has five oversight bodies emplaced since 2011 to address this very concern. Unfortunately, this process appears to have been compromised and tainted by contradictions at the advisory board level following issues raised by former member Edmund Terence Gomez.
Logically, what should follow is an investigation into the timing of the “visit”. Was there any political undertone to this? One can fervently pray that it was a mere coincidence. Only time will tell!
One must put things in perspective that Azam was the subject of an issue regarding shares purchased under his account, not to mention the inability of a parliamentary select committee to obtain further clarification from Azam as a senior civil servant. Hence the scepticism!
One wonders where Cuepacs (which is now protecting civil service officers from perceived interference) was when the PSC was attempting to do its work.
Some politicians are filled with such arrogance that they spew nonsensical gibberish. Should Rafizi re-examine his posturing, perceived by some as bullying, and apologise?
On a related note, it is most humiliating for a DAP leader to put his tail between his legs and apologise publicly to an East Malaysian leader for stating that the state would go bankrupt if the finances were managed the way that it was being done.
Apparently, this apology was done just to form a unity government and return to power! How convenient.
It appears that releasing arrogant and misinformed statements are done for political mileage without any sense of duty and care to society at large. It confuses and belittles the efforts of others.
The 2018 government has undermined the credibility and independence of the MACC by its controversial actions.
There is a duty to the public for the circumstances surrounding Invoke and the MACC to be revealed for clarity. Replace the chief commissioner if need be to safeguard the image of the MACC as an independent institution free from political interference.
Rafizi has a duty to himself and the nation not to be regarded as a toothless tiger who has been emasculated when appointed to the corridors of power.
Walter Sandosam was in the initial cohort appointed to MACC’s independent oversight committees in 2011.
The views expressed are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect those of FMT.