Press statement by Kua Kia Soong, SUARAM Adviser 20 July 2016

After the asinine and vexatious ‘Kajang Move’ when Pakatan forced a byelection in Kajang in 2014, we now hear the DAP is contemplating a snap election in the entire Penang state. If, as some political analysts have said, that this move is motivated by internal DAP power politics to consolidate the power of the incumbent, then it is certainly asinine and vexatious. And if this is an attempt by the DAP leadership at a so-called “referendum” on the Chief Minister’s beleaguered situation, they should think again…

ALL politicians must be free of corruption

The DAP should know that even if they win a landslide victory at this proposed snap election, it does not decide the verdict of the Chief Minister’s corruption charges. The Chief Minister’s innocence can only be decided by the Malaysian Judiciary. So why burden the electorate with this time and money wasting ploy? Is the entire election campaign going to be a detailed examination of the facts in the CM’s corruption charges? Obviously not…

The question of selective prosecution is a separate issue although it does not rule out the fact that ALL politicians and public servants – without exception – must be FREE OF CORRUPTION whether these cases involve 2.6 billion or 2.6 million or even 2.6 thousand ringgit. To presume – as is implied in the snap election move – that the Chief Minister of Penang is incorruptible is as absurd as the belief in human angels!

Try and argue selective prosecution

The Chief Minister of Penang can certainly try and claim that there is selective prosecution in his case by showing that the prosecutorial policy was motivated by a discriminatory purpose and that similarly situated individuals of a different class or political party were not prosecuted. Nevertheless, the merits of his own corruption case will still need to be examined in court. Needless to say, the Attorney General will elicit cases involving past UMNO Menteris Besar who have been charged to show that there is no selective prosecution.

We can only hope that when and if Pakatan does come into federal power, they will change the system to ensure that the Attorney General is truly independent. For the moment, short of the DAP declaring itself a revolutionary party and will have nothing to do with the bourgeois state, we are stuck with the Malaysian Judiciary – warts and all – at this point in time. In fact there are so many DAP lawyers doing very well in their legal careers I doubt very much that they are about to boycott the Malaysian Judiciary!

No, a snap election for the whole of Penang state will be wasteful, counter-productive and most importantly, will not decide the innocence or guilt of the Chief Minister in his corruption charges.