Is the PAC the judge or an executioner, asks RPK
It appears like now the debate has shifted from 1MDB to the PAC. It is no longer about whether there are wrongdoings in 1MDB but whether the PAC is capable of getting to the truth. And this is bad because at the end of the day whatever conclusion the PAC comes out with it will be tainted by the fact that a pre-judgement has been made and the defendant, in this case 1MDB, is not being allowed a fair inquiry, writes Raja Petra Kamarudin in an opinion piece.
Dr M defends Tony Pua, says all PAC members biased.
That was what The Malaysian Insider said, and the news portal quoted Muhammad Shafee Abdullah as saying, “I’ve noticed Pua, as a PAC member, has issued a lot of statements which can affect investigations into the company.”
“As such, I propose that he withdraw himself from PAC to return the public’s confidence that the inquiry can be conducted fairly and transparently.”
“PAC members including Pua should be like judges in this case, and not by making accusations and making public statements. It is better they be witnesses if they want to issue such statements.”
Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, however, defended PAC member Tony Pua’s right to speak out against 1MDB.
Dr Mahathir said those who criticised the DAP lawmaker for being biased should realise the bi-partisan panel mostly comprised biased Umno MPs.
“They said Tony Pua is biased, that he is one-sided. But the others are biased, too. They are on Umno’s side. So they are all considered biased.”
So, according to Dr Mahathir, it is not only Tony Pua who is biased, but also the entire PAC as well. And that was what Malaysia Today wrote a couple of weeks ago — that the PAC is actually biased and is not going to be able to give us what we want.
Shafee says Tony Pua is biased. Dr Mahathir says the entire PAC is biased. Is it not better, then, that the entire PAC members be changed or, as Dr Mahathir suggested, better just close down the PAC altogether?
If a judge were to make any comments outside court regarding a civil case he or she is presiding over, the plaintiff as well as the defendant can apply for the judge to be removed or for the judge to recuse from the case.
In a criminal case, the defendant as well as the prosecution can also do the same, especially if the judge makes a statement against or in favour of the person on trial.
This is based on the concept that “Not only must justice be done; it must also be seen to be done,” as Lord Chief Justice Hewart said in 1923.
A judge must be seen as impartial and fair, and able to dispense justice. A judge who makes a statement either for or against a case even before the trial or hearing is over and before all the evidence is in will definitely be seen as biased and not qualified to continue to preside over the case.
The same high standards must apply in an inquiry. And that is what the PAC is doing, conducting an inquiry, in this case regarding the affairs of 1MDB.
Tony Pua, however, one of the ‘judges’ in the PAC, has been making numerous statements and what he says implies that he is convinced that there is wrongdoing in 1MDB. And so have some others as well, both publicly and privately to their friends and close circle.
Tony Pua has not only demonstrated that he is biased against 1MDB but he has proven he is not professional and does not know how to separate his duty as a member of the PAC and his role as a member of the opposition that only wishes to see the downfall of the ruling party.
How can Tony Pua now come to an independent and fair decision regarding 1MDB when he has already announced that 1MDB is guilty of all allegations? What Tony Pua will now try to do is to prove that his allegations are true rather than accord 1MDB justice by seeking the truth.
Tony Pua must do the honourable thing and withdraw from the 1MDB inquiry because in court what he is doing would be called contempt of court and can get him sent to jail. And all those others who have already prejudged the case must also do the same.
It appears like now the debate has shifted from 1MDB to the PAC. It is no longer about whether there are wrongdoings in 1MDB but whether the PAC is capable of getting to the truth. And this is bad because at the end of the day whatever conclusion the PAC comes out with it will be tainted by the fact that a pre-judgement has been made and the defendant, in this case 1MDB, is not being allowed a fair inquiry.