You’re barking up the wrong tree, Kuli!

Posted on December 12, 2012

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Tengku Razaleigh has called on the government to set up a “Truth and Reconciliation Commission to help address the issue of good governance by discovering the truth about the prevailing state of corruption, the extent of its practice and how to eliminate it as a way of life”, reports Malaysiakini.

“Upon coming into force, the commission could, for instance, declare a grace period of, say, six or 12 months or such other reasonable period to allow abusers to come clean and make amends for their misdeeds. During this moratorium no action would be taken against them. However, if it is subsequently determined that a declarant had not been truthful, then he would be pursued and the full extent of the law would be applied against him”, Kuli is reported to have said.

Good idea, but Kuli’s knocking on the wrong door in suggesting that the present government set this up.

I have been mooting this idea for some time too, except that my suggestion, made to some of the Pakatan leaders, was that they announce now that if they come to power post the 13th GE, there would be a total amnesty for the rank and file in the civil service and the police force for any past corrupt practices, provided the sums involved have not been huge, in which case some sort of restitution will be called for, and provided that they join the new government to usher in an era of full transparency and accountability and raise the standards of professionalism in their ranks.

This, hopefully, should put paid to the scare-mongering being perpetrated by UMNO now amongst the civil service that if a new regime takes over Putrajaya, there will be a witch-hunt and it will not just be UMNO leaders who will be heading to Sungai Buloh prison.

As for the big guns both in the public, private and corporate sector, the senior civil service and police officers, who have been privy to corrupt self-enrichment at the expense of the rakyat, I will go along with Kuli’s suggestion.

A moratorium and a guarantee of amnesty subject to there being full and frank disclosure followed by restitution.

This commission, a post 13th GE creation by the new non-BN government, to aid in the rehabilitation of the nation by restoring as much of the wealth of the nation back into her coffers, in my view, should not be made up of anyone from the political parties or the civil service.

Let this be a civil society commission.

Why?

I am going to be blunt.

There will be those in the opposition presently who, we hope, will, post the 13th GE, be part of the new government.

Some from amongst them were part of the BN administration previously and were themselves involved in corrupt practices. Names need not be mentioned here or in comments to this post.

The object of this post is not to shame anyone.

They, too, must avail themselves of the amnesty and make restitution.

For this reason, it is important that the commission as now proposed by Kuli be totally independent of the new government so that, firstly, no allegation of cover up could be leveled at the new government in respect of past misdeeds by their own rank, and secondly, so that the task of recovering the wealth of the nation, or as much of it as may be possible, is not only done, but manifestly seen to be done.