THE farce is over. The most amateurish inquiry in the history of Malaysia, held with the sole purpose of scoring political points, is done.
The royal commission of inquiry into Bank Negara Malaysia's forex losses nearly 30 years ago finally wrapped up its proceedings today, having questioned 25 witnesses and studied 42 documents on the losses.
May we never see the likes of this sham again. It was chaired by someone who should be remembered with only disdain.
Mohd Sidek Hassan ended his civil service career as chief secretary to the government and went on to become Petronas chairman, but his conduct did not display any of that.
He made conclusions early on, refused to retract his remarks and questioned the witnesses in an adversarial manner, to the consternation and chagrin of all present.
Was this an inquiry or a full trial, one wonders.
Dr Mahathir Mohamad put it succinctly when he thought out loud what the RCI's purpose was: not a probe into the forex losses, but to make him look bad.
"It is about finding a way to make me look bad in the eyes of the public. That during my time, money was also stolen," he had told reporters in Putrajaya.
It was an inquiry so lacking in documentary evidence, it was shocking. It was just based on what people said, and there was no interest in recalling them when there were contradicting testimonies.
From day one, this RCI appeared to be a probe to connect the dots and nail Dr Mahathir, Daim Zainuddin or others who have become enemies of Prime Minister Najib Razak.
Hearsay and so-called evidence with crater-sized holes have been accorded inordinate importance. Conclusions were made publicly early on, and not retracted.
No wonder, then, that right-thinking Malaysians stopped following the RCI. The stench of the farce was too strong to bear. It was not so much an inquiry, but a barely disguised inquisition and prosecution to taint critics.
It did not quite work out that way, though. It just added to the shameful sham piling up in Putrajaya. – September 19, 2017.
~ The Malaysian Insight