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Said’s refusal to substantiate  in Parliament or lodge ACA report on his allegation of graft against top Customs officials  on sale of confiscated cars are public declaration that  BN MPs have lost confidence in ACA and that Abdullah’s anti-corruption campaign has lost momentum and direction.


Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang  

, Friday) Parliamentary Secretary to Finance Ministry, Datuk Hilmi Yahya yesterday asked the Barisan Nasional Member of Parliament for Jasin, Datuk Mohd Said Yusof, to make an official report with the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) on his allegation of graft against top Customs officials on sale of confiscated cars.


In Parliament on Wednesday, Said alleged that top Customs officers were involved in questionable practices involving the sale of confiscated luxury cars and that the going rate for Mercedes Benz and BMW was RM40,000 in “special deals” for friends, contacts at palaces and government departments to please the buyers for specific reasons or curry favour to get datukships.


Said said he had proof to support his allegations but he would “not lodge a report with the Anti-Corruption Agency as everybody knows what is going on” although he is willing “to extend my co-operation if they call me”.


In his comment on Said’s allegations, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said Members of  Parliament are protected by privilege when they speak in the House, but their credibility is at stake when they make baseless allegations as  reflected in their arguments and supporting facts.

Najib should pay more attention to the adverse effect on the  credibility of the government than the credibility of the Jasin MP  in the latest allegation of ongoing and even increasing graft and  abuses of power in the present administration – 32 months after the categorical pledge by the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to make  a clean, incorruptible, accountable and transparent   the centerpiece of his premiership.


Said may have an axe to grind with the Customs Department as a result of his “close-one-eye” clash with the Customs  over the import of sawn timber, which was why I had raised Standing Orders and asked him to declare whether he had any pecuniary interest on the subject when he broached the subject  in Parliament on Wednesday.


This has now been overtaken by events. This is because Said’s refusal to substantiate  in Parliament or lodge ACA report on his allegation of graft against top Customs officials  on sale of confiscated cars are as good as a public declaration  that BN MPs have lost confidence in ACA and that Abdullah’s anti-corruption campaign has lost momentum and direction.

Instead of being in the vanguard in the global wave for integrity, as promised by Abdullah when he became Prime Minister in 2003, Malaysia is being left behind in the international arena in the battle against corruption.


In China,  a top-level military official has been sacked for corruption – Wong Shouye, 62, who was dismissed as deputy commander of the navy and expelled from the National People’s Congress. 


Earlier this month, Liu Zhihua, Beijing’s vice mayor was sacked for corruption. Liu was responsible for urban planning and awarding US$40 billion worth of projects for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.


In Anhui province, its vice governor He Minxu was taken into custody for corruption, i.e. accepting bribes from a businessman.


This has caused remarks that may be Malaysia should bid for hosting the Olympic Games, as this would have a more salutary effect in the war against corruption than just general election rhetorics.


Malaysia is even trailing behind Indonesia in the anti-corruption front with the high-profile anti-graft campaign that has sent a host of officials from a former Indonesian religious affairs minister to the governor of Aceh province to prison on corruption charges.


In Nigeria last year,  the nation’s former police chief was found guilty of corruption and sentenced to six months in prison.


In Malaysia, however, the 18 “sharks” which should have been arrested and  prosecuted are still swimming with immunity and impunity in the high seas.


At this rate of development of the anti-corruption campaign, losing momentum and direction before it has really taken off the ground, the National Integrity Plan and other integrity institutions introduced in the past two years  stand the risk of ending up as a mockery and a farce.


The Parliamentary Select Committee on Integrity is meeting in Parliament on Monday and Tuesday. It  should  invite the MP for Jasin to produce evidence to substantiate his allegation of graft among top Customs officers on disposal of confiscated luxury cars.



*  Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman

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