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It is more important to the
integrity of the Abdullah premiership than to Zulkipli, Johari, ACA and
Police that two independent Royal Commissions of Inquiry be set up into
the two sets of serious corruption allegations
(Parliament, Thursday) : Question One: Who is investigating the serious corruption allegations against the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) Director-General Datuk Seri Zulkipli Mat Noor?
Question Two: Who is investigating the serious corruption allegations against Deputy Internal Security Minister, Datuk Mohd Johari Baharum of the “freedom for sale” corruption?
Question Three: Will the ACA on the one hand and the Police and Internal Security Ministry on the other scratch each other’s back and exonerate one another?
Who can give a categorical answer in the negative? In fact, will the majority of Malaysians give “Yes” instead of “No” to the question?
Unless the answer to Question Three is in the categorical negative for all or the overwhelming majority of Malaysians, then Malaysia has a very serious integrity question and why independent Royal Commissions of Inquiry must be set up to restore public confidence not only in the integrity of the Police, the Ministry of Internal Security and the Anti-Corruption Agency but the Abdullah administration itself
When Johari need not relinquish his post as Deputy Internal Security Minister and Zulkipli his post as ACA Director-General despite very serious corruption allegations against them – the message is clear, that Abdullah is not prepared to ask them to go on leave or transferred to another post to allow for fully independent and untrammeled investigations into the serious corruption allegations to be conducted.
When Abdullah said that generally 85 percent of the reports submitted pertaining to accusations of corrupt practices were unfounded, the Prime Minister seemed to have made a value judgment that he is inclined to the view that the serious corruption allegations against the ACA Director-General and about “Freedom For Sale” scandal belonged to the “baseless” 85 per cent category.
When Johari was reported and photographed in all the media yesterday in a most triumphalist mood, even more exultatory and celebratory than when he engineered the defeat of his former boss, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad in the election to be an ordinary division delegate in the Kubang Pasu Umno Division last year, the message is also very clear – that Johari had nothing to fear from the ACA investigations.
Abdullah should realize that at stake is not just the integrity of Zulkpli, Johari, the ACA and the Police, but his very integrity as Prime Minister who had pledged to make integrity and the battle against corruption the defining characteristics of his premiership and the basic difference with the previous 22-year Mahathir administration.
No Cabinet Minister would advise Abdullah to establish independent Royal Commissions of Inquiry into the serious corruption allegations which have plunged the Abdullah premiership into a grave crisis of confidence because it would set dangerous precedents which could come back later to sting the Ministers concerned.
After all, they were part and parcel of the previous administration which had been tarred and tainted by serious allegations of corruption, cronyism and nepotism, which Abdullah had pledged to break from with his administration turning over a new page.
This is possibly the last time and final opportunity for Abdullah to prove that he meant business in fighting corruption as he promised in his 2004 general election manifesto - by establishing two independent Royal Commissions of Inquiry into the two serious corruption allegations against the ACA director-general and ACA one the one hand and the Police and Deputy Internal Security Ministry on the other.
Abdullah should realize that it is more important to the integrity of his premiership than to Zulkipli, Johari, ACA or the Police that these two independent Royal Commissions of Inquiry should be set up without any more ado into the two different sets of serious corruption allegations under his administration.
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