Media Statement (2) by Lim Kit Siang in Petaling Jaya on Saturday, 10th May 2008:
Table the 4-volume 186-page Lingam Video Clip Royal Commission of
Inquiry Report in Parliament on Monday – regardless of whether Abdullah
had read or approved of it or not
The four-volume 186-page Lingam Video Clip Royal Commission of
Inquiry Report, which was submitted to the Yang di Pertuan Agong
yesterday, should be tabled in Parliament on Monday, in toto without any
abridgement, regardless of whether the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri
Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had read or approved of it or not.
In first-world developed countries where governments are held strictly
to international best practices of accountability, transparency,
integrity and good governance, it would be completely unthinkable for
the reports of Royal Commissions of Inquiry to be withheld from the
In fact, it is the practice of these countries for reports of Royal
Commissions of Inquiry or other public investigations to be
simultaneously released to the public when the reports or findings are
submitted to the appointing authorities, whether the ruling monarch, the
head of state or government.
Yesterday, Abdullah said he would decide whether to make the Royal
Commission report public once he has read it.
He said: “I haven’t seen it yet. If it was submitted to the Prime
Minister’s Department, it must have been while the cabinet was meeting.”
Does it really matter whether the Prime Minister had personally seen or
read it or not, or whether it had been submitted to the Prime Minister’s
Department while the cabinet was meeting?
The notion that the government, whether the Prime Minister or Cabinet,
in first-world developed countries could exercise the right of veto as
to whether such reports should be made public would be anathema and
offends every sense of accountability, transparency, integrity and good
governance and sufficient basis to create a political crisis resulting
in the resignation or downfall of such a Cabinet.
Five years ago, Abdullah promised to transform Malaysia from a
“first-world infrastructure, third-world mentality” nation to one with
“first-world infrastructure, first-world mentality” under his
Let Abdullah set the example of such “first-world infrastructure,
first-world mentality” by announcing that the report of the Lingam Video
Clip Royal Commission of Inquiry would be made public and tabled in
Parliament on Monday, regardless of whether he could finish reading it
or his personal reactions to it.
It is time the Prime Minister and the Cabinet realize that reports of
Royal Commissions of Inquiry must be made public because national
interests must prevail over individual, sectional or even government
Abdullah should not set the bad example of giving Royal Commissions of
Inquiry a bad name by setting them up yet refusing to make their
findings public, regardless of their contents and recommendations.
Abdullah should be mindful that he would destroying his credibility that
he is capable of fulfilling, though belatedly, his reformist pledges in
his second term of premiership if he refuses to make public the Lingam
Video Tape Royal Commission of Inquiry report – unless forced by the
pressure of public opinion.
Kit Siang, DAP Central Policy and Strategic
Planning Commission Chairman & MP for Ipoh Timor