I received this e-mail from someone who read my earlier posting on Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye. The sender agreed with me that TS Lee should be given the opportunity to complete the tasks given to him.
"The various criticisms leveled against Lee Lam Thye, just because of his involvement in the independent panel to investigate the video-clip, is totally unjustified and uncalled for.
As a Bukit Bintang voter I am obliged to stand up for him who has been very unfairly criticized.
When he served as our MP in the seventies and eighties he was a model elected representative who always had the people’s welfare at heart.
Although he had decided to quit politics and the DAP in 1990 he did not join the Barisan Nasional and campaigned against his former party.
Till today he has remained independent and non-partisan. He has chosen to do things his way to enable him to contribute to the Nation.
People may have different interpretations of what a social activist is. But to me and many others since leaving politics, Lee has been outspoken and actively involved in taking up various social issues like safety, drugs and crime, frequently drawing the attention of the government about what should be done to address these issues.
Even if he had accepted a few governmental appointments in an advisory capacity, I do not see anything wrong if he believed he could attempt to do something for the betterment of the country.
It is grossly unfair to have questioned his moral standing and integrity just because he had been approached to serve as a member of the independent panel to determine the authenticity of the video-clip.
Why can’t he and other members of the Panel be given a chance to do a job and prove their independence.
Interestingly, when Lee was appointed to serve on the Human Rights Commission and the Royal Commission to enhance the Operation and the Management of the Police there was no opposition to his involvement in these two commissions.
This shows that those who took him to task on the matter of impartiality and independence are those who are opposed to the Government’s move to have a Panel instead of a Commission of Inquiry.
If that is the case then they should focus on the Government for not doing the right thing instead of making personal attacks on Lee.
Questioning Lee’s integrity just because of certain problems in the National Service Training Programme is also uncalled for.
These critics do not seem to realise that it is not him but the Director-General and his full time officers who are responsible for the management of the entire Programme.
The Council is only an advisory body and despite that Lee, I understand, goes to office almost daily to look into problems and complaints and gives suggestions to the Department to improve the Programme.
To question his involvement in the private sector where he has been appointed as an independent non-executive director (as required for corporate governance) in a few public listed companies is just ridiculous.
Nobody owes Lee a living and if he chooses to accept an independent non-executive director’s appointment what is wrong with it.
Even if he is a member of the Board of Media Prima it does not mean that he cannot be impartial in the course of his work in the Panel.
The punch-line is that Lee Lam Thye has been out of politics for almost 20 years and if he chooses to live a life in the way he deems fit, his decision must be respected.
No one should dictate how he should run and manage his own life after politics.
To Lee I say I am always his fan and will continue to do so, just like many other multi-racial Malaysians admire him and his service to the NATION.
As for my view on the judiciary I feel that the Panel is the initial step that must be taken.
Eventually the Government need to have a Royal Commission to restore public confidence in our judiciary."