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Saturday, February 5, 2011

Withdraw sedition charge against Shuhaimi – first step to demonstrate Najib can learn from the lesson of Egyptian crisis


Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has assured Malaysians that his administration will always put the interests of the people first, saying that the events of Egypt are a lesson for all.

He said in a democratic system “we must give priority to the people” who are empowered through globalization and ICT (information and communication technology).

Najib should show that his administration is capable of learning from the lesson of the Egyptian crisis by winding down and ending political repression in the country, starting with the withdrawal of the sedition charge against Selangor PKR Assemblyman for Sri Muda Shuhaimi Shafie, who is slated to be charged in the Shah Alam Sessions Court on Monday.

One important lesson for Najib from the Egyptian crisis is the top priority he must give to restore public confidence in the efficiency, independence, impartiality and professionalism of the key national institutions in the country, in particular Parliament, the judiciary, the public service in particular the Attorney-General’s Chambers, Police, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, the Election Commission etc.

For too long, the administration of justice whether judiciary or the the Attorney-General’s Chambers have suffered under a cloud that they are not independent or professional but have to do the political bidding of the powers-that-be, and the sedition charge against Shuhaimi is the latest reminder that the Attorney-General’s office has continued to serve the political interests of masters in Putrajaya rather than the larger and longer-term interests of Malaysians at large.

The Attorney-General had proven to be very quick on-the-draw to respond to police reports of sedition lodged against Pakatan Rakyat leaders – like the case of DAP National Chairman and MP for Bukit Glugor Karpal Singh who had been acquitted last June on the charge of allegedly uttering seditious words against the Sultan of Perak but still facing an appeal to the Court of Appeal by the AG’s Chambers – while ignoring heaps of police reports of sedition against Barisan Nasional personalities.

If the Najib administration is to learn from the lesson of the Egyptian crisis, there are many things it would have to do – but let it start with the tiny step of withdrawing the sedition charge against Shuhaimi on Monday to demonstrate that the Najib administration has the political will to walk the talk of learning the lesson from the Egyptian crisis!

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