The Invisible ‘Witness Protection Act’ October 8, 2007Posted by elizabethwong in Current Affairs, Democracy, Huh?!, Human Rights, Malaysia, Politics.
Tags: CJ-gate, Fairuz, Lingam Tape, Nazri Aziz, Parliament, Wan Azizah Wan Ismail
This news depleted one of my phones’ battery today .
We checked past ‘Order of the Day’ sheets, Hansards, Parliament Legal Division, counterchecked with LawNet etc. I’m going blind. If the office had missed this, I would be skinned alive, dyed and made into a dartboard cover.
Boh. Tak-de. E-lek.
There was an Evidence of Child Witness Bill 2007 tabled and passed by the Lower House 2 sessions ago. But no sight of a Witness Protection Bill 2007.
(see: Parliament website folder on Bills in the House 2007)
Perhaps it’s so potent that it’s only visible to whistleblowers and informants. Or maybe it’s a bill that underwent surgery that we can’t recognise this?
08 October 2007
KeADILan welcomes Witness Protection Bill:
Maintains urgent need for Royal Commission on Lingam-Fairuz Videotape
I am mystified, when I read the statement by the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz, who claimed there was a ‘Witness Protection Bill” tabled in Parliament recently.
There is no evidence of such a crucial bill being tabled in Parliament, and my office had confirmed this fact with the Legal Division of the Parliament, that no such bill had been tabled for a First Reading in the Lower House.
The only bill which was tabled, debated and passed by the Lower House two sessions ago was the Evidence of Child Witness Bill 2007.
The People’s Justice Party (KeADILan) has consistently called for a witness or whistleblowers’ protection legislation, to enable witnesses and those with information on corruption and abuses of power to give evidence without fear for their personal safety.
I recall, during the proceedings of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), that even civil servants had difficulties giving information when we were looking into the case of ECM-Libra, as PAC could not guarantee immunity in exchange for their information.
KeADILan looks forward to the day when we will be examining this ‘Witness Protection Bill’, as mentioned by Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz, if ever it is tabled in Parliament.
However we note that even if the bill were to be tabled during in the next session of Parliament, it will still take months before it comes to force.
The urgency of the matter of the independence of the Judiciary and the serious consequences relating to the contents of the ‘Lingam-Fairuz Videotape’ go beyond this bill, and we maintain the call for a serious examination in the form of the Royal Commission of Inquiry.
Datin Seri Dr. Wan Azizah Wan Ismail
President, People’s Justice Party
Member of Parliament (Permatang Pauh)