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Friday, May 07, 2004


Does Pak Lah really want the Truth?

Pak Lah has had his 6 months as PM. From almost day 1 after having taken over he has been telling us to tell him the TRUTH. But to date, many of us must be wondering "Does Pak Lah really want the TRUTH". Many of us have been trying to get his attention but there has been little or no response or even if there has been any of the weakest of responses, they have come from his proxies, when the truth is told.
Soon after the 11th general election, he was told that the EC had really mucked up big time, this time around. And when told that an independent body, preferably a Royal Commission, should look into the mess; his answer was merely to deny the truth and said that there was no need for such a Royal Commission.
The problems associated with the implementation of the PLKN were brought up in the mainstream media as well as the alternative ones and almost daily there were to be found complaints regarding the shortcomings of the programme. These were crying out for his attention. The PM chosed to remain silent leaving others to deny the truth by saying that the media had blown things out of proportions. Is this the appropriate behaviour or demeanour of a man who is seeking the truth?
Recently there was a suggestion to telecast live the proceedings of our Parliamentary sittings. A person such as our PM should be keen for us to see the truth of what is happening in that august house. But did he wholeheartedly agree to this? His two proxies, the Minister in-charge of Parliament and the Information Minister were quick on the mark to give all sorts of stupid reasons why such telecasts should not take place. Reasons given included not subjecting the people to the antics and misbehaviour of the alternative MPs, the exorbitant costs involved and negative consequences of such telecasts.
A press which is not kept on a leash and is free and not beholden to the powers-that-be but free to report the truth without fear or favour is most important for the PM if he really and truly is a keen seeker of the truth. But in the past 6 months of his helmsmanship little has been done to liberate the presently gaggged local press. We would have expected the PM to have made some moves in that direction by repealling the Printing Press and Publishing Act [PPPA]. We would have expected him to move to act on some of SUHAKAM's recommendations on press freedom. Not a squeak from him so far. Instead we find this former SUHAKAM chairperson and former deputy PM calling for a "fresh look" at press freedom in this "changing times' of ours, looks like "reform" is still a feared word! The call was made by Musa Hitam when he delivered a keynote address at a forum to commemorate World Press Freedom Day organised by the Asian Institute of Development Communication. Is Musa another of the PM's many proxies? Is there any reason why the 'man who wants the truth' fears being involved directly in opening up the 'locked gates' to the way to seek the truth?
Who was it who said :: "The TRUTH is truly out there. But those seeking it may fear doing so as the TRUTH may not be what they truly seek!"


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