PETALING JAYA: Reporting on wrongdoing involving public officials is a form of free speech practised by the West and Malaysians should not blindly follow western values, says PAS president Tan Sri Abdul Hadi Awang.
Without naming names, Abdul Hadi was believed to be referring to the share trading scandal involving MACC chief commissioner Tan Sri Azam Baki.
Abdul Hadi said the media freedom practised by western countries was akin to putting the people’s voice on a pedestal.
“Should all western creations be carelessly followed by the people? It could form conflicting perceptions and create a wrong narrative to confuse the already confused,” Abdul Hadi said in a Facebook post on Sunday (Jan 9).
“Therefore, the media’s role in dragging this matter (out in) public in order to punish an accused individual is very sinful,” he said.
Abdul Hadi, who spoke on Islam at length in his Facebook post, stressed that a person’s dignity must always be respected, as it is a sin to disrespect a guilty person.
“The sin is even bigger for those who are innocent,” said Abdul Hadi.
Abdul Hadi then trained his guns on the West, saying that secular societies do not understand the concept of dosa (sins) and pahala (blessings).
“Do we want to be corrupted in the world or thrown into hell when Judgment Day is here?" he wrote.
Abdul Hadi also said Islam stressed that an individual accused of a crime must not be presumed guilty until he faces the legal process.
“It is catastrophic for humans to (adopt) an approach that drags... people to do something wrong.
“In doing so, it disturbs leaders and civil servants who are genuinely carrying out tasks entrusted to them by Allah SWT,” he wrote.
On Thursday (Jan 6), Azam had told The Star that he would cooperate with the Securities Commission in the matter and the parties are expected to meet next week.
Azam also maintained that he did not commit any wrongdoing, adding that action will be taken against those who had tarnished his reputation and that of the MACC.
In explaining the issue last Wednesday (Jan 5), Azam said his brother had borrowed his trading account to buy shares in the open market and financed the purchases on his own.
It involved substantial amounts of shares bought from Gets Global Bhd and Excel Force MSC Bhd between 2015 and 2016 when Azam was the MACC director of investigations.
Azam had said he informed his superiors about the transactions back in 2015 and he did not have any interest in the acquired shares.
The shares were later transferred to his brother's account.
The same explanation was given to the MACC’s Anti-Corruption Advisory Board when he was summoned to explain the matter on Nov 24, Azam had said during a highly-anticipated press conference.