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“Sultan of Klang” Zakaria Deros’ 37 charges dropped – another grave blow to public confidence in independence and integrity of institutions of state less than a week to 50th Merdeka anniversary celebrations

Media Statement 
by Lim Kit Siang  

(Parliament, Saturday): As if there were not enough setbacks in the past two months to shatter public confidence in the independence, integrity and professionalism of institutions of state causing more and more Malaysians to ask the real meaning of the 50th Merdeka anniversary celebrations, another grave blow was delivered to such public confidence yesterday.

I am referring to the extraordinary dropping of the 37 charges against the so-called “Sultan of Klang” Datuk Zakaria Md Deros and five of his business partners pertaining to contravening the Companies Act 1965 – less than a week before the 50th Merdeka anniversary celebrations.

It would appear that the so-called “Sultan of Klang” enjoys immunities and privileges to the extent that he is a law unto himself and is not subject to the ordinary laws of the land binding of all Malaysians and even members of the true royalty.

Zakaria would have very exultant reasons to celebrate the 50th Merdeka anniversary on Friday, but he has left more and more Malaysians wonder what has happened to the country after half-a-century of independent nationhood that there is a lengthening catalogue of things very wrong with good governance, justice and nation-building in Malaysia.

Were the authorities serious in charging Zakaria with 37 offences under the Companies Act 1965 in the first instance, and if so, how could these charges be so summarily and flippantly withdrawn?

If the original 37 charges against Zakaria were just a sandiwara never meant to be taken or to be pursued seriously, then the reputation of the impartiality, independence, professionalism and integrity of the state institutions responsible for upholding law and order have been seriously tarnished, and suitable punitive action should be taken against the offenders.

If the original 37 charges against Zakaria had been preferred with a full sense of seriousness, then why were they dropped so summarily and frivolously? Was there interference with the process of law and the administration of justice, and if so, Parliament and the Malaysian people are entitled to a full explanation.

The Attorney-General Tan Sri Gani Patail told the Star that he would ask the Companies Commission of Malaysia (CCM) for a detailed report on why the charges were dropped.

However, the New Straits Times reported that the CCM senior prosecutor Azmil Haron told the Klang magistrate Fadzilatul Isma Ahmad Refngah that the deputy public prosecutor had instructed him to drop the charges.

Apart from Gani Patil as the Attorney-General, is there someone else who has even greater powers in deciding questions on whether to continue prosecution or to drop charges? If so, isn’t this most unconstitutional and a grave travesty of justice?

These conflicting reports are not conducive to the maintenance of public confidence in the professionalism, independence, impartiality and integrity of the justice l system to uphold law and order without fear of favour.

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi should present a ministerial statement in Parliament on Monday to give satisfactory accountability as to why the 37 charges against Zakaria had been dropped so summarily and frivolously and assure Malaysians that the 50th Merdeka anniversary will not be accompanied by the erosion of fundamental liberties and constitutional guarantees agreed by the forefathers of the major communities in the social contract on the attainment of independence half-a-century ago.


* Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman

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