Side Views

The Honourable Man, please speak up — Zaid Ibrahim

January 03, 2013

JAN 3 — I decided to celebrate the end of 2012 by having a good rib eye steak at Jake’s steakhouse. I saw a few recognisable faces who are still practising at the Bar, and naturally the conversation turned to the “senior lawyer” who allegedly drafted the infamous second statutory declaration for the private investigator Balasubramaniam.

One of them suggested that this senior lawyer was within his rights to remain silent, and I agreed. We have a right to make a fool of ourselves in any way we want. The people of this country also have a right to form an opinion in any way they like, even in the absence of any plausible explanation to the contrary.

A second lawyer was more to the point: he said that he knew this senior lawyer personally and that he would vouch for his integrity. This senior lawyer is an honourable man, this fellow said. I told them that we all have integrity at some point or other in our lives, but we can lose it because of our own stupidity or greed. Brutus too was an honourable man, but he slew the great Caesar when ambition got the better of him.

The issue is very simple. If this senior lawyer is indeed an honourable man, then he should speak up and then be judged fairly. An honourable man is unafraid to speak the truth. Life is not always that complicated, unless you have many things to hide. Even when we make mistakes, it’s a lot easier to repent and tell the truth. This is the best time to do it, when we’re all still in a celebratory and forgiving mood. —

* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insider.