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Tee Kiat affair exposes two political scandals – no government seriousness in combating corruption and Barisan Nasional
double-standards of one rule for Umno and another for other BN component parties
(Penang, Saturday) : The Ong Tee Kiat affair has exposed two political scandals – (1) no government seriousness in combating corruption after getting 91% parliamentary seats in the last general election where voters were asked to give full support to Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi as a Prime Minister who will become a “modern-day Justice Bao” to wipe out corruption; and (2) Barisan Nasional (BN) double-standards of one rule for Umno and another for other BN component parties.
After all the high hopes generated in the past three years that the war against corruption will be the distinguishing character and most outstanding
hallmark of the Abdullah premiership as compared to the past 22 years of Mahathir administration, it is both tragic and pathetic to witness the
complete sidelining of the issue of corruption and “leakages” of development expenditures - whether school repair allocations of RM20,000 for
SJKC Aik Hwa, RM30,000 for SJKC Kung Yu or RM10 million allocation for 114 Chinese primary schools, 71 Tamil schools and 25 primary
schools approved last October after the tragic and totally unnecessary death of SJKC Keat Hwa (near Alor Star) teacher, Chan Boon Heng, 42,
who died of internal injuries after falling through rotting termite-infested floorboards last September or at the macro level, the RM220 billion Ninth
Malaysia Plan development allocations!
I had asked yesterday whether the MCA President, Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting was going to apologise on behalf of Tee Kiat for “a high-ranking
officer in MCA” stepping on the toes of the UMNO Youth leader, now that the Higher Education Minister, Datuk Mustapha Mohamed had
apologized for his deputy minister.
Ka Ting has said that there was no need for him as MCA President to apologise for Tee Kiat, seeking justification in the explanation given by the
Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak who advanced the argument of a “clear distinction between making statements on government affairs
and political issues”.
When asked about the BN double-standards as UMNO Youth leaders were allowed to hurl criticisms at Penang Chief Minister Tan Sri
Koh Tsu Koon alleging neglect, discrimination and marginalization of the Malays in Penang, Najib said: “One is politics; the other is the Government.”
Stressing that the Cabinet decision to reprimand Tee Kiat was made “in the presence of all Barisan Nasional component party heads”, Najib said:
“When it comes to the Government, the principle is very clear that you can’t transcend another ministry’s responsibility.”
Najib’s argument does not hold water. This is because among those leading the charge in the attacks on Tsu Koon for neglect, discrimination and
marginalization of the Malays in Penang is a full-time government employee, Datuk Ahmad ibni Hajar, who is the Penang Port Sdn. Bhd. managing
director and chief executive officer as well as Chairman of Umno Tanjung Division.
In fact it was at the official opening of the Umno Tanjung division premises by the Prime Minister early in the month that Tsu Koon was publicly
humiliated – being completely ignored by Ahmad in his speech as well as by the seven-banner public protest by Balik Pulau Umno Youth accusing
Koh of neglecting the Malays in Penang, for which there is no apology from anyone up to date.
Mustapha has said that he apologized on behalf of Tee Kiat to the Education Minister, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein because “I am his boss”.
As Ahmad is a federal government appointment, is his “boss” the Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy going to apologise to Tsu Koon
for a federal government employee “overstepping the line” and attacking the affairs of a state government?
Or may be, Kong Choy is not the “real boss” of Ahmad, and if so, is the “real boss”, whether the Prime Minister or Deputy Prime Minister going to
publicly apologise to Tsu Koon for such an attack?
Furthermore, when Umno Supreme Council member and Deputy Health Minister, Datuk Dr. Abdul Latiff Ahmad officiated at the Umno Bukit
Mertajam divisional meeting late last month, he fanned the charges about the neglect, discrimination and marginalization of the Malays in Penang under
the Chief Ministership of Tsu Koon.
Hasn’t Abdul Latiff ”overstepped the line” and is Abdullah or Najib going to apologise on his behalf to Tsu Koon?
The answers to the questions on both situations are in the negative, which only highlight the BN double standards of one rule for Umno and another
for the other BN component parties!
Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic
Planning Commission Chairman
Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman