COMMENT You can call him courageous and compliment him for keeping his phrase. I would consent. Call him foolish? That I would not disagree. Let’s meet Rafizi Ramli, the PKR Pandan and vice-president MP. He could be a first-term parliamentarian, a young and vibrant politician. He has done a great job for the opposition, keeping the ruling BN on its feet.
The MP alleged that the record proved that LTAT’s capability to pay gratuity to armed forces retirees was affected by late-payments from 1MDB to the armed service pension fund’s subsidiary for an airbase redevelopment and relocation task. According to Rafizi, he was forced to show the OSA information after LTAT refused to answer his questions.
I did say to my colleague: “This fella has threatened to expose it double. He kept his word’s all right. For this, he can be investigated as possibly under Section 8(1) of the OSA, an offense which is punishable with imprisonment for up to seven years, if convicted. Whether Rafizi knew what he was doing does not really matter now exactly. He did what he did.
His battle for the military veterans would certainly win many hearts. But was it a sensible move? Did a blunder to be made by him? For me, the easy guideline is this: If you’re a lawmaker (or anyone for that matter), don’t break the law. However, if you choose to do so, make sure the results are known by you and prepared to face it.
At times like this, the question comes up whether we have to all always obey regulations. St Thomas Aquinas said that human law should be obeyed unless it contravened natural law. Something to ponder, but I don’t wish to go into the subject matter of jurisprudence and claim whether there is a moral duty to obey regulations. That’s another topic for a later date. Rafizi is not the first politician to take action and receive be the last certainly. In history, some had their political careers cut short for breaking the law yet others became top leaders, presidents, and excellent ministers – after much hurting even.
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Inspector-general of police Khalid Abu Bakar has said the police are looking at if the document falls under the OSA. He said if it’s shown to be an OSA document, then no choice would be experienced by them but to take action based on regulation. Will he face the full brunt of the statutory law?
Will Rafizi, who’s in his late 30s, face the full brunt of the law? I was also asked what would happen if the document is declassified. Can Rafizi escape prosecution? On that, I pointed to the ever-powerful words in the federal government constitution – Article 145(3) – gives the attorney-general the discretion to institute, conduct, or discontinue any proceedings for an offense. It really is fair to say that Rafizi is currently susceptible to AG’s discretionary power (some say complete), the power which exonerated Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak of wrongdoings. Rafizi I am sure you gave a deep thought before you are shown the details of the classified document.