Hamzah Zainuddin would have been forced to resign as home minister if Malaysia was a normal functioning democracy, said Lim Kit Siang.
The DAP veteran and Iskandar Puteri lawmaker said any decent and self-respecting politician in European democracies would have resigned, following the damning allegations made against Hamzah by former inspector-general of police Abdul Hamid Bador.
Hamid had accused Hamzah of blatantly interfering in the police force and had even alleged that the home minister had attempted to appoint “his boy” as head of the Special Branch after the police intelligence unit snubbed the minister’s request to conduct political operations for his own political reasons.
Hamzah has yet to answer the allegations. The Malaysian Insight has contacted his office and is waiting for a response.
Lim, in a statement today said if this would have happened in other Asian democracies like Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, India, Indonesia and Singapore, where there is a greater sense of political decency and propriety, Hamzah would have been long gone.
“But not in Malaysia, and not (with) Hamzah,” Lim said.
Lim gave examples of foreign and local politicians who were forced to step down following individual scandals.
“Hamzah would have been forced to resign as happened to John Profumo in the United Kingdom in 1963 as secretary of state for war in the Christine Keeler scandal or Abdul Rahman Talib as education minister in Malaysia in December 1964 when he lost the defamation suit to the People’s Progressive Party leader, DR Seenivasagam,” he said.
“But Malaysia is not a normal functioning democracy and does not even try to be one.
Earlier this year, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong proclaimed a state of emergency, taking effect from January 11 to August 1, citing the Covid-19 pandemic as a threat to the country’s security, economy, and public order.
This was followed by the introduction of the Emergency (Essential Powers) Ordinance 2021, which grants excessively broad powers to the authorities, while shielding their actions from any meaningful parliamentary or judicial oversight.
“This is why there is the brazen effrontery in Hamzah who admitted that the voice in a viral audio clip dismissing the selection of a new police chief was his, yet claiming that there was nothing wrong or no offence was committed,” he said.
Lim was referring to the audio clip where Hamzah is heard discussing appointments and transfers of senior police officers with a “very important person”.
“What Hamzah had done in the audio clip had crossed the red line in a functioning democracy,” Lim said.
He said it’s a clear-cut case of a minister who tried to subvert and suborn the independence and professionalism of the police and prevent it from becoming a competent, professional world-class police force.
Lim also questioned Hamzah’s absence at Monday’s handing-over ceremony from Hamid to new IGP Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani.
“Is the exposé the reason why Hamzah was absent, despite his larger-than-life face plastered on the backdrop of the stage?” the DAP veteran asked. – TMI