The mainstream media and the new media (bloggers) is replete with reports on the on-going campaigning at the Permatang Pasir by-election and Rohaizat's case as a disbarred lawyer takes center stage in all of PR campaigning, which I am told attracted thousands of listeners. However, the appeal of the electorates is somewhat subdued and less enthusiastic when compared to the parliamentary by-election at Permatang Pauh in which Anwar Ibrahim stood as the opposition candidate.
As the days pass, more of Rohaizat's 'unsavoury past' is being exposed, and the latest concerns his second marriage to one Rafizah Mohd Ali who now lives in Jengka, Pahang. He was reported to have married Rafizah in 2005 while being an employee of Rohaizat. Rohaizat vehemently denies the allegation of his second marriage and claims that all is done to defame him of his reputation and to jepoardise his candidacy. .
Personally, I for one do not see anything wrong or scandalous in Rohaizat's second marriage if it was done within the confirm of the Muslim marriage laws. But I suspect that the marriage was one that had its 'trials and tribulations'; hence the brief marriage. It is only proper for PAS Youth leader Nasrudin Hassan being the person to have brought to light this issue, to furnish evidence and proof that the marriage did occur; otherwise he should cease harping on this issue.
On the disbarment of Rohaizat by the Bar Council, Tun Dr. Mahathir had remarked that “if you give someone a good reason to sabotage you, then it will be easy to be sabotaged and it will be your fault”. And in this instant, he liken that BN has sabotage itself by fielding a disbarred lawyer and has itself to be blamed.
Many that I had talked to felt that fielding Rohaizat under his present circumstance was wrong, and UMNO/BN must admit that they too have made a grievious error. And as I have said in my previous posting, it is pointless for the BN leadership to argue that it is all right for Rohaizat to contest because he has not committed a crime. Is disbarment from practicing by the Bar Council for misconduct not a serious enough offence? Has he to be charged in a civil court, found guilty and sentence is the only means to satisfy the UMNO leadership that Rohaizat is wrong? I am not a lawyer, but to me the charge of misconduct by the Bar Council is enough for me to say that Rohaizat is unfit as a candidate. This is a question of a breach of integrity and honesty that is highly desirable in all legal practitioner. I now begin to realise the reason why UMNO finds it so difficult to mete the appropriate punishment for members found guilty for money politics (corruption). And I do believe, it is because of this that UMNO members have become so embolden in not fearing the affects of corrupt practices.
Having put across my reasonings above, and if UMNO/BN wants to redeem their error and remain magnanimous, I see no other recourse but to ask that Rohaizat withdraws from contesting. The impact to this will be great as UMNO/BN will be seen to be taking an unprecedented step to act on members with an unsavoury personal record, and is willing to sacrifice its members for the sake of the party. And I am quite sure the party will regain its lost respect from many; both from within and outside the party. There is no loss of face here, because what this means is that the party is only honouring and defending its moral obligation to remain truthful, transparent and intolerant to those who breach party ethics and rules.
In the military, I am reminded that as a leader one should accept full or total responsibility of one's doing. There is no such a thing as 'accepting responsibility but not accountability and vice versa'. Honestly, I do not know the difference and my understanding is that full responsibility means that there is no 'escape clause'. And if this is what UMNO/BN wants to preach, the leadership has to take full responsibility for their own breaches, and to withdraw gracefully from contesting. Will UMNO/BN take this honourable challenge?
CRUSADE AGAINST CORRUPTION