Sunday, September 30, 2007

Howsy Is A PKR Forum Virgin No More: The "From Nurin to Chief Justice - A Collapse of Law and Order?" Forum Report

This blogger first attended a forum by the Opposition on August the 20th.

Continuing my quest to attend at least one public forum organized by the Opposition (why not the BN, you may ask – well, haven’t you had enough of ‘forums’ by them day in day out in the mainstream media?), as promised, Howsy spared some time on a Saturday afternoon to attend the PKR forum titled “From Nurin to CJ: A Breakdown of Law and Order.” Held at the Corus Hotel (ironically, it was the place where there was an alleged sex scandal involving Tun Hamid Omar, one of the current member in the ‘video authenticity’ investigation panel – according to Sivarasa Rasiah), the forum started at 2.30 p.m. sharp and ended slightly after 5 p.m and boasted almost 96% occupancy and a multi-ethnic panel and audience. Met Melvin, and other seasoned bloggers like Hafiz, Eli Wong, James Wong Wing Onn and Tian Chua were also there.



Covered by wtv8 (PAS TV; not to be confused with ArmNoh's 8tv), online news and bloggers (like yours truly), the panelists had a general consensus that an efficient judiciary influences very much on the public perception and that suspicious conducts of the judges tarnish the public confidence of the judiciary. Moderated by Sivarasa Rasiah, the forum started off by the screening of the CJ-gate video, which received laughing responses from the floor - especially when VK Lingam repeatedly said the infamous ‘Ah, ah, ah, correct, correct, correct’.

Recording by wtv8.

'I dunno whether to laugh or cry seeing this video'

The panelists.

Lim Chee Wee (who left Polytikus swooning all over his good looks), the Bar Council Secretary, started off by outlining the 7 milestones of the judiciary crisis in Malaysia since the 1988-sacking of Tun Salleh Abbas. Other events include the poison pen letter containing 112 allegations against judges, the VK Linggam-Eusoff Chin NZ trip photo revelation, defamation suits against MGG Pillai by Vincent Tan and phone call directives to strike out election petitions like in Likas (are there 7 already here?). Lim also accounted the Justice March last Wednesday, from the blocking of buses to the rain right after the submission of the 2 memoranda to the PM’s private secretary at Putrajaya.

Lim Chee Wee, Bar Council Secretary.

Next, was Tunku Abdul Aziz’s turn where he describes the current judiciary crisis as ‘the best judicial officials that money can buy’ and the ‘selling of justice to the highest bidder’. The judiciary has gone to the dogs that judges nowadays betray the oath of office and destroy the democracy, as evidenced by the promotion of judges who produced no written judgements. The source of all evil, according to him, is non-other than M, where ‘the end justifies the means’. If no action is taken, one day, Malaysia will end up with ‘state capture’ like the former USSR, he said.

Tunku Abdul Aziz, Transparency International.

The next speaker, Datuk Param, revealed several undocumented revelations which I won’t reveal here (ask the rest of the audience). Judicial independence is the right of the rakyat and distinguishes democracy from dictatorship. He also reminded us on Mr. Sleepy Head’s unfulfilled election manifesto on promoting accountability and transparency and combating corruption. Last but not least, he gave an example in Guatemala, where the people once took law into their own hands by stoning the magistrate to death - due to the erosion of public confidence for the judiciary, even though the judgment was correct. Of course, we do not wish this to happen in Malaysia one day.

Param Cumaraswamy, ex-UN Special Rapporteur.

Our former DPM, Anwar Ibrahim then proceeded by first quoting Shakespeare (which I haven’t got the slightest idea of what it was). I agree with him when he said that we should no longer be na├»ve to leave the decision to be taken on the CJ-gate video by the current executive, as they are not independent, as evidenced by the dead-as-dodo IPCMC – even though a Royal Commission was set up then. Of note, this is the first time that I’ve listened to him speak in public. So, will you give him the benefit of the doubt to be the ‘next Prime Minister of Malaysia’, as exclaimed by several members of the floor, who seemed so passionately supporting him? Although many would claim that he is not a saint as he was previously part of the corrupted carry-over Cabinet that we have now, and that he could have done more during his tenureship, but to the words of his loggerhead-cum-sacker, the corruption now has turned into ‘from under the table to over the table’; no matter what the Corruption Perception Index tells us recently. More of Anwar’s stand on the CJ-gate video from Kuda Ranggi and Malaysiakini.

DSAI.

Members of the floor voiced their concerns passionately about the current rot in the System – from the judiciary to the press freedom and the education system. Many agreed that the rakyat should be more proactive to make the change themselves, and not just leave it to the Bar Council, amongst others. The highlight from the floor was from Wee Choo Keong, who wondered where the CJ-gate video came from, why it needed Anwar to reveal it and why not by other Opposition parties, and what took it so long to be surfaced since its 2002 recording. You could sense from his intonation that he wants justice and vindication for wrongly dismissed as the MP for Bukit Bintang.

Wee Choo Keong speaking passionately.

Presentation of token of appreciation to panelists.

So, will there be a revolution to the System? It is YOU – who could determine it, supposedly this coming November. ;-)

More from Hafiz.

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