And so in the end, the proposal by Lim Kit Siang for the government to set up the Royal Commission was shot down by Najib Tun Razak.
The call by Opposition leaders Lim Kit Siang and Dr Syed Husin Ali for a royal commission to investigate the allegations of corruption against Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in Barry Wain’s book Malaysian Maverick: Mahathir Mohamad in Turbulent Times is typical of the knee-jerk reaction that Malaysian politicians are well-known for. Instead of trying to understand the substance of the issue and seeing it for what it really is, they take the easy way out by echoing each other in a politically – motivated stand.
To invoke a royal commission to substantiate the findings of a book written by the journalist- turned- researcher at a Singapore think- tank is to instigate the whole nation into giving credence to one writer’s perception and interpretation of Malaysian political history. The assumption here is that the researcher’s credibilty is so highly respected and his allegations so expertly substantiated that they warrant a royal commission of inquiry to serve the national interest.
Writing a sensational book alone does not make one a credible researcher or writer. Defaming the leaders of both the government and the Opposition may be politically expedient in the highly-charged mood of local politics in the run-up to the next general elections. There may be groups with vested interests who churn out these character assasination slurs to influence those who are gullible and believe in rumours and loose talk. However, a larger section of the Malaysian electorate are rational and expect the validity and truth of these charges and counter charges to be proven with evidence or in a court of law.
The onus is thus on Barry Wain to provide reports and documentation of Dr Mahathir’s alleged corruption and misappropriation of public funds to the tune of RM 100 billion as appendices in his book if he wants to be hailed as a credible researcher. Otherwise, he will remain as a sensationalist political analyst who is tempting fate by exposing himself to a string of libel charges not only by Dr Mahathir but the other individuals implicated in his book.
Please continue reading HERE.