Najib’s silence on Zahid signals trouble – Jay Jay Denis

OCT 12 — “If we get evidence, we shoot them first,” Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi was quoted as saying. Reporters were then threatened that if any of what he said was reported, their news portals might be shut down. This is a Member of Parliament put in charge of one of the most key ministries in the country.

What will happen after this? I think you know. There is no need for elaboration.

The Home Affairs Minister has “crossed the line” many a time but has he been held accountable? I don’t recall him being investigated for his statements at all.

To say that “we shoot them first” is preposterous. And that coming from a minister!

Many countries try to observe the rule of law, putting it above everything else so that it acts (via the judicial system), as a check and balance for any society. Ahmad Zahid has undermined the rule of law.

He has undermined the judiciary too. Allowing the police to bypass the courts and act as disciplinarians to society shows that we might be at a crossroad here, where the legal system is not given the chance to do its duty.

Even for Ahmad Zahid’s self-proclaimed law, the now infamous Prevention of Crime Act, the minister said that “even if there is not enough evidence, we can detain them for two years”. He wants free rein to act according to his whim and fancy.

Now more fuel has been added to this ever-growing fire, when he proudly claimed that it was not standard procedure for warning shots to be fired. The Standard Operating Procedure observed by our police force is vague as not many are aware of it. However, there certainly has to be a set of procedures, or rules of engagement, which they are bound to follow, and not be gung-ho when apprehending criminals.

As agents of the law, that is their duty: apprehend criminals and not take them out. I thought we all believed in the notion that one is “innocent until proven guilty”.

The cherry on Ahmad Zahid’s cake is when he nonchalantly challenged to be sued for sedition. His utterances are irrefutably seditious in nature, by even segregating races as a means of getting support for the party elections, which is blowing a lot of steam but losing substance.

All of these do not bode well for his Premier. Prime Minister Najib has not been seen to refute or be dissimilar to Ahmad Zahid’s newfound brashness. Some may opine that silence does not signal agreement but the majority of the public think otherwise, that he indeed has given the “green light” for his Home Minister to carry on doing what he has.

Not a word has been uttered in regard to his 1 Malaysia rhetoric.

The Prime Minister speaks of transformation, and maybe it is. Powers that be are allowed to act on their accord and not be subjected to ministerial responsibility. We have gone up a notch or two after GE13, with the race card at the forefront of Umno’s agenda.

Silence is golden, as the adage goes, but ignorance can be detrimental. The Prime Minister is trying hard to regain the confidence of the people.

He can start immediately, right here, right now. Get tough on the Home Minister, and he should rightfully be dismissed. This has to be a benchmark that more of this sort of unacceptable behaviour will not go unopposed.

Najib should act now, but I know he will not. Or maybe the only way that change can come is from the ordinary people. They might be able to do something extraordinary. The clock is ticking. Hope Najib clicks into gear.

* Jay Jay Denis is a law student.

** This is the personal opinion of the writer and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malay Mail Online.