Zaid attacked the Cabinet for its short-sightedness in handling Teoh Beng Hock’s death.


KUALA LUMPUR, July 24 — Datuk Zaid Ibrahim attacked the Cabinet for its short-sightedness in handling the death of a DAP political aide, describing it as pushing much-needed reforms all the way back to square one.

The former minister tasked with law reforms told The Malaysian Insider the decision to split the investigations between a magistrate's court and a royal commission of inquiry seemed like another “ploy for cover-ups.”

“Why split?” he asked.

“The magistrate will determine the cause of death? Which is a fall from a high place. Then the royal commission is for determining procedures adopted by MACC? Don't they have a manual? Then who determines the culprits? The police,” Zaid huffed in a text message.

“So we're back to square one. Sickening. The rakyat will not get the truth from this government,” he added, disgusted by the turn of events.

He noted that a royal commission would be unlikely to solve the deep-seated problems affecting the public's trust in government institutions, pointing to the failure of the Attorney-General to follow up with concrete action after the highly-publicised royal commission of inquiry's hefty report on Datuk V.K. Lingam disclosed incriminating evidence of hanky-panky between the prominent lawyer and several influential VIPs, including judges, politicians and business tycoons.

“Did you get anything from the royal commission on Lingam video? None. What's the difference now? There will be cover-ups and more cover-ups,” he said despairingly.

Zaid, who is away in London, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak must answer to the public on the government's lack of determination to see justice done on the wrong-doers, all the way through to the end.

A celebrated lawyer himself, Zaid had been handpicked by fifth prime minister Tun Abdullah AhmadBadawi to head the reform packages before quitting Umno and his ministerial post in protest last year.

Though he has since joined up with the Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's opposition PKR, he defended his former boss, fondly known as Pak Lah, who finally lifted the secrecy surrounding the royal commission's report.

“It was because of Pak Lah, despite strong objections, that the report of the commission was released.

“The investigation by the A-G should have followed and action taken. What happened to that? Pak Lah left after that. The present PM must answer that question,” he said.

MI
24/07/09

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