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Pak Lah as Justice Bao?
Speech (3) in Parliament on Royal Address Motion
1. Failure of anti-corruption campaign
Yes, there is the National Integrity Plan, the Integrity Institute of Malaysia, Parliamentary Select Committee on Integrity, and the Royal Address yesterday mentioned the campaign for the police to wear the “I am Anti-Corruption” badge – but all these do not add up to any anti-corruption drive.
The Public Complaints Bureau public opinion poll system should seek the opinion of Malaysians as to whether corruption is less or more 30 months after the Abdullah premiership.
Let me state here that many Malaysians I asked in the past few days have said that corruption has got worse since Abdullah became Prime Minister – which is supported by former Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad who said in May last year that “corruption might be getting to a point of no return” as it had become a culture in Malaysia with corruption almost at the "above the table" level and more and more people no longer trying to hide the fact.
It is also supported by the Transparency International Corruption Perception Index which saw Malaysia’s ranking falling from 37th in 2003 to 39th placing in 2004 and 2005.
In the March 2004 general election campaign, the Barisan Nasional took out full-page advertisements confessing that the government was “corrupt and rotten to the core…with no aspect of life untainted by corruption”, that “down the years, only Pak Lah dare to declare an all-out war against corruption, and that he is just and stern like Justice Bao”. The advertisement ended with the Barisan Nasional pledging to “Defend the People” by ensuring “a clean and transparent” nation for the people and future generations.
What is there to show in the past 30 months for Pak Lah to be a Justice Bao in “an all-out war against corruption”?
Those who follow the television or videos of Justice Bao will know of his team of lieutenants who helped him to fight corruption and power abuses regardless of rank or wealth – Zhan Zhao, Gongsun Ce, Wang Chao, Ma Han, Zhang Long and Zhao Hu.
Who are his Zhan Zhao, Gongsun Ce, Wang Chao, Ma Han, Zhang Long and Zhao Hu. Is Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak his Zhan Zhao, Local Government and Housing Minister Ong Ka Ting his Gongsun Ce, Works Minister S. Samy Vellu his Wang Chao, International Trade and Industry Minister Rafidah Aziz his Ma Han, Energy, Water and Communications Minister Lim Keng Yaik his Zhang Long and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Nazri Aziz his Zhao Hu?
Without his Zhan Zhao, Gongsun Ce, Wang Chao, Ma Han, Zhang Long and Zhao Hu, Justice Bao would be toothless and helpless to rein in the corrupt among the high and mighty. Similarly, without his team of anti-corruption campaigners, there is nothing Abdullah can do to make a dent on the scourge of corruption, however well-meaning he is, as he would only be a lone and helpless voice.
If more evidence is needed about the worsening corruption in Malaysia in the past 29 months, let me just advert to four items:
During the debate on the first motion of Thanks for the Royal Address in May 2004 after the last general election, I had made two proposals to give meaning to the anti-corruption campaign, but they have still to be acted upon by the government after two years.
These two proposals were:
Most important of all, the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) must be elevated into an independent body answerable only to Parliament if it is to have the credibility to spearhead the war against corruption, and not continue to be a toothless agency barred from investigating and prosecuting the corrupt among the high and mighty.
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