Brave New World (The Star)
26 June 2008
The very next day, the same fellow retracts his original statutory declaration and replaces it with a new one that completely leaves out any mention of the DPM. Apparently, he was coerced into making the first one.
I was asked the other day who I believed. Whose story is true?
My answer was “How the blinking heck should I know?” I am not any of the people mentioned above. I am not their friend or relative, and I was not present at any of the places where all these things were supposed to have happened.
And most of us don’t know either. That is not to say that the chattering does not stop. In fact, the chattering has got very noisy indeed.
Some are so disgusted by all these claims, counter-claims, accusations and counter-accusations that they have withdrawn in a hissy huff.
Others relish the new developments, coming up with theories and conspiracies that boggle the mind.
The Prime Minister then steps in and says all this must stop. All the second-guessing and rumour mongering is akin to treachery and is bad for the nation. The truth must not be clouded by perceptions.
Ah, the truth, the sweet, sweet truth. That is the real issue here, isn’t it?
While some refuse to give all the dirty political manoeuvrings the time of day and others add grease to its wheels, neither have mentioned the all-so-obvious – the reason this kind of garbage can occur and the reason it gets discussed so much is because we don’t know whom to trust any more. We are not confident that the truth will ever be uncovered.
However, all this hullabaloo surrounding the accusations is merely symptomatic of a justice system on the verge of collapse.
If we had a police force whom we knew with almost 100% certainty would serve the law and not the executive; if we could believe that every single judge was utterly independent of any outside influence; if we could place hand on heart and say that the Public Prosecutor would prosecute without fear or favour; then we would have a sound justice system.
And if that were the case, all these issues would be sorted out via due process and in good time. And all the conspiracies would be confined to the fringes rather than be in the mainstream of debate.
This debacle must not be taken at face value. It must be treated as what it really is – a loss of trust in the institutions of justice.
So, instead of hiding in the comfort of Astro TV or wallowing in the who-did-what-to-whom, we should instead be focused on finding a cure to the real problem. We are in desperate need of a revamp of the justice system.
This is something that we the people should keep on demanding.
And the Prime Minister should also take heed that it is well and good to tell the people to listen to the truth, but after years of judicial scandal; a police force that appears governed by the executive and not by the rule of law; an Attorney-General’s Chambers that is beholden to the political demands of the nation’s leaders; and a press muzzled by repressive laws with a government that is not afraid to use them; it is not a simple matter of not wanting to listen to the truth.
It is a matter of not ever being confident just what the truth is.