Monday, October 02, 2023

Live Broadcast/Hansard for all Parliamentary Select Committee (Zahid's DNAA) - A media statement

Media Statement – 1/10/2023

All Parliamentary Select Committee hearings must be broadcasted live to restore confidence of the people – Amend Parliamentary Standing Orders to ensure Transparency and end culture of ‘Secrecy”

The Special Select Committee on Human Rights, Elections and Institutional Reform (JKPK) that will be looking into, amongst others, Zahid’s prosecution’s discontinuance and DNAA issue must be open to the public, and its proceedings be broadcasted life to ensure transparency. This is the stance or MADPET (Malaysians Against Death Penalty and Torture).

Members of Parliament and Parliamentary Committees must not fear this transparency, and it is important for the public to hear what transpires, especially what is said by the persons summoned to testify.

The public want to know and monitor their MPs that are involved, and how their peoples’ representatives conduct themselves in such committee proceedings and decision making. They want to hear it all, not simply the final conclusions.

Independent MPs, no more party-controlled MPs

It is hoped that all MPs behave independently, more so the government MPs, who hopefully will not ‘loyally’echo the position of their party leaders. It is sad that many perceive that Malaysian MPs do not act independently and simply follow orders of the party.

In that sense, PKR-PH MP Hassan Karim stands out as being a MP who will speak out, even against his party President and Prime Minister. Anwar Ibrahim indicated that MPs should do so.

‘He[PM Anwar Ibrahim] said this in an interview aired on CNN, where journalist Christiane Amanpour questioned the criticism hurled by PKR MP Hassan Abdul Karim, who claimed that Anwar had ditched his decades-long fight against corruption. “Look at it positively, a member of my own party criticising me, it’s a very democratic process.‘(Malaysiakini, 23/9/2023)

But the question is how many MPs are brave enough to act independently, and stand up for what is right and just even if it goes against their party leader or Prime Minister?

Sadly, the party WHIP system is still there, and it generally decides how party MPs are supposed to vote, and maybe even say during Parliamentary Debates? Will the same thing happen in Parliamentary Select Committees – this makes it more important for the proceedings to be TRANSPARENT, and even broadcasted live, something than will ensure true parliamentary democracy and protect the reputation of MPs involved.

Zahid’s Discontinuance of Criminal Trial ‘Scandal’

Public outburst followed the prosecution’s decision to discontinue the criminal trial of Zahid Hamidi’s case during defence stage, after the prosecution had already successfully proved all the elements of all 47 charges to the satisfaction of the High Court Judge, who then called the accused to enter his defence, The Judge then rightly ordered a Discharge Not Amounting an Acquittal (DNAA). This means that at some future date, the prosecution can still re-charge Zahid Hamidi and the case will continue from where it ended. The prosecution may also decide to never charge Zahid Hamidi with the same 47 charges. This is just.

The Zahid Hamidi’s prosecution discontinuance of the criminal case that ended with a DNAA issue is now before Parliament, and has been referred to the SPECIAL Select Committee on Human Rights, Elections and Institutional Reform (JKPK), who confirmed that the proceed despite the fact that the matter was already discussed in Parliament.

The government must consider laws allowing the public to go for judicial review of the Attorney General/Public Prosecutor’s decision to charge or not charge, and also to discontinue proceedings as happened in Zahid Hamidi’s case. This is needed to ensure no abuse of power by the Public Prosecutor.

Select Committee on Human Rights, Elections and Institutional Reform (JKPK) continues

He [the Parliamentary Select Committee Chairman William Leong said the proceedings would go on despite Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim having explained in Dewan Rakyat the decision to grant Ahmad Zahid Hamidi a discharge not amounting to an acquittal (DNAA).(Malaysian Insight, 24/9/2023).

It has been reported that the Committee will be calling the current and immediate past Attorney General/Public Prosecutor. Noting that the Public Prosecutor does not actively participate as public prosecutor in most criminal trials, whereby this is done by Deputy Public Prosecutors. As such, the Select Committee must also call Raja Rozela Raja Toran, the lead deputy public prosecutor (DPP), who mysteriously stopped in August, and other DPPS in the prosecution team in Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s corruption trial who successfully managed to prove a prima facie case to the satisfaction of the trial judge, who then called Zahid to enter his defence.

The Zahid’s case issue before the Select Committee is a matter of great public interest with implication of possible government ‘interference’ or Public Prosecutor wrongdoing, and as such speed is of essence. It has been about 20 days since the matter has been referred to the Select Committee, and the Committee is yet to meet, start proceedings or even set dates.

All Parliamentary Committee Meeting Must Be Open to the Public – Amend Standing Orders

On 12/9/2023, the Select Committee Chairman William Leong said that hearing of the select committee hearing will not be telecast live for public viewing because under the current Parliamentary Standing Orders, live telecast of hearings is not allowed. (MySinChew, 12/9/2023).

Anwar Ibrahim claims that the unity government party Members of Parliament make up nearly two-third majority in Parliament, and this means that the government can easily amend the Parliamentary Standing Orders to allow live telecast of hearing to ensure a more transparent Parliament and its various committees.

In the media report, William Leong talked about only live telecast is prohibited, that means the minutes of the Select Committee, like the Hansard for Parliamentary Sessions, can be prepared and published on the Parliament website.

A mere report alone is insufficient as it will not comprehensively raise all the points, questions and answers made, or even the votes cast. We will only get the majority report – not the minority report. A report also will be HEARSAY and an interpretation of what transpired by the drafters of the report. What transpires in Select Committees are not ‘official secrets’, and since the Committee is made up of MPs, elected by the people, there really is no justification for it being secret. Courts are open to the public, so why should Parliamentary Committees proceedings be kept secret.

Charles Hector

For and on behalf of MADPET

 See earlier relevant posts:-

If DPP Raja Rozela Raja Toran continues to prosecute, Zahid Hamidi will likely be convicted and sentenced? Come back and prosecute to the end..

29 Bribery Charges - mid-trial discontinuance and acquittal - Time to Abolish ACQUITAL safe for after trial/close of prosecution case?

Separation of Judicial & Legal Services Resolution (25/3/2000)

Use of draconian Sedition Act against movers of Bar Motion after Resolution adopted is wrong?

Malaysian Bar calls on Mohamed Apandi Ali to immediately resign as Attorney General, for the good of Malaysia.. -


 Special select committee to summon former, current AG

Special Select Committee on Human Rights, Elections and Institutional Reform chairman William Leong says the current attorney general and his predecessor will still be summoned to explain the granting of a discharge not amounting to an acquittal to Ahmad Zahid Hamidi despite the prime minister having done so already in Dewan Rakyat. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, September 24, 2023.

SPECIAL Select Committee on Human Rights, Elections and Institutional Reform (JKPK) chairman William Leong said the current attorney general and his predecessor will still be summoned to its proceedings next month. 

He said the proceedings would go on despite Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim having explained in Dewan Rakyat the decision to grant Ahmad Zahid Hamidi a discharge not amounting to an acquittal (DNAA).

Leong added that the committee’s main purpose was to study the proposal to separate the duties of the public prosecutor and the attorney general. 

“The problem of public perception is that there is interference in the public prosecutor’s duties, starting from the attorney general performing his duties as a legal adviser to the government and also as a public prosecutor,” he told Malay-language daily Berita Harian. 

He was asked whether current and former Attorneys General Ahmad Terrirudin Mohd Salleh and Idrus Harun would still be invited to explain the decision to discharge Zahid from 47 charges related to the Akalbudi Foundation, even after Anwar explained it in Dewan Rakyat last Tuesday.

The prime minister had said there was a precedent regarding the DNAA order.

Anwar also welcomed anyone to come forward and provide evidence regarding his alleged interference in the case.

Last week, Leong said JKPK would call up Ahmad Terrirudin and Idrus to explain the issue.

Previously, he informed Berita Harian that the committee was studying a proposal to separate the role of the public prosecutor from the attorney general’s office, in addition to examining issues related to the DNAA decision. – September 24, 2023, Malaysian Insight


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