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Second email to Ministers –
Give meaning to inaugural National Integrity Day with Ministers spearheading
anti-corruption drive in their respective ministries culminating in a
full-scale parliamentary debate next month
by Lim Kit Siang
This is what I said in my second email to Cabinet Ministers:
It is almost a national consensus that a Cabinet reshuffle is long overdue. If a Cabinet reshuffle is not immediately on the cards, and will have to wait until early next year, then it is even more imperative for Ministers to demonstrate that they are not well past their useful shelf-life by boldly and courageously addressing the teeming issues afflicting the people, government and country.
Yesterday, I wrote about the collective Ministerial responsibility for the disastrous plunge of University of Malaya (UM) and Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) in the THES World University Ranking 2005 on the Top 200 Universities and my three proposals for the creation of world-class universities in Malaysia.
Today, I wish to urge the Cabinet to restore public confidence in the commitment of the Ministers to the Prime Minister’s pledge for an open, accountable, transparent, incorrupltible and people-oriented government, particularly in the development of a new political culture of zero-tolerance for corruption.
The public and international impression is that the Prime Minister is very much alone and isolated in his commitment to fight corruption and establish national integrity, as Cabinet Ministers had been conspicuously silent, failing to give any meaningful, significant and public support to the campaign against corruption in the past two years.
The inaugural National Integrity Day on November 5 has come and gone leaving no public impact whatsoever in the battle against corruption. In fact, I dare say that the overwhelming majority of Malaysians, including MPs, do not know about the National Integrity Day or its purpose.
How can the National Integrity Day succeed in making integrity as a culture and way of life of the Malaysian society when Ministers are not prepared to step forward as the role models of integrity?
It is however not too late for Ministers to make amends, starting with the Cabinet meeting tomorrow by marking the inaugural National Integrity Day with a declaration of corruption as the No. 1 enemy of the country.
Every Minister should spearhead an integrity and anti-corruption drive in the respective Ministries, competing with each other with innovative ideas and proposals to fight corruption and abuses of power, with each Minister required to submit a report of the outcome of the first month of the Ministry Integrity Drive to Parliament before the end of the current budget meeting – culminating in the first full-scale parliamentary debate on corruption in the nation’s history.
Parliament is scheduled to end the 41-day budget meeting on December 8. The Cabinet tomorrow should extend the current parliamentary meeting by at least another week till December 15 to cope with the outstanding load of parliamentary business.
(Lim Kit Siang)
Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP
Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission
Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman