Five things for Paul Low to do as Minister of Integrity in Najib Cabinet
I have described Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s Cabinet announced three days ago as the most unimpressive Cabinet of six Prime Ministers in the nation’s 56-year history.
I maintain this judgment despite the surprise appointment of the Transparency International-Malaysia President Datuk Pau Low as Minister in the Prime Minister’s Deparment, whose portfolio should be on Integrity and fighting corruption in Malaysia.
This is because Low has not been able to give any assurance that his appointment marks a tectonic shift in the Najib government’s commitment to make anti-corruption top priority, and not just “more-of-the-same salesmanship and gamesmanship” under the tutelage of Idris Jala’s sloganeering National Transformation Programme in the past four years – which saw Malaysia’s international standing on the anti-corruption front plunging to new lows.
To convince Malaysians that Paul Low’s appointment is not going to be another repeat of Idris Jala appointment of “more of the same” of the past four years, there are five things which Paul Low should immediately address in the first week as Minister, viz:
- Full report and assessment whether the Prime Minister, BN Ministers and candidates have complied with the TI-M Election Integrity Pledge which Najib had signed on behalf of all BN leaders and candidates in Low’s presence on Feb. 20.
- Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) on National Reconciliation after the 13GE, as announced by Najib after his mistaken and ill-advised comment about the 13GE results as a “Chinese tsunami” when it is a Malaysian and urban tsunami.
- RCI on the May 13, 1969 riots to ascertain the causes and culprits so that the spectre of May 13 will cease to be used in every general election to frighten voters from freely exercising their constitutional right to vote. The purpose is not to punish the culprits, which has become quite academic after 44 years, but for the nation to know the truth and cleanse the nation’s soul from lies and falsehoods about the May 13 riots all these decades.
- RCI on grand corruption in Malaysia, investigating in particular into the serious allegations of grand corruption against the Sarawak Chief Minister, Tan Sri Taib Mahmud and the Sabah Chief Minister, Datuk Seri Musa Aman, with regard to serious allegations freely available on the Internet.
- Re-open investigations into the death of Teoh Beng Hock and Ahmad Sarbani, both of whom died at Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) premises while under MACC custody.
This will be one of my first parliamentary questions to him when the 13th Parliament convenes next month, and he should immediately commission a full investigation so that he could give full, detained and satisfactory answer to this query when Parliament meets.
There is urgent need for “national reconciliation” after the campaign of “Money Money Money”, “Lies Lies Lies” and “Fear Fear Fear” by UMNO/BN in the 13GE as well as the post-13GE exploitation of race and religious cards by UMNO/BN leaders and propaganda organs.
The terms of reference of the RCI on national reconciliation should include a wide-ranging and in-depth investigation into the electoral frauds, abuses and irregularities committed in the 13GE.
It is these electoral malpractices which are the root causes for the cloud of doubts about the legitimacy of Najib as Prime Minister, and consequently raising questions about the legitimacy of the new Cabinet, creating conditions needing a national reconciliation.
Can Paul Low deliver on these five counts in his first week as Minister, by getting agreement by the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to implement them?
When was Paul Low first informed by Najib of his intention to appoint him as Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department to be responsible for the government’s programme on integrity and anti-corruption?
Did he raise any of these five issues to get Najib’s agreement before agreeing to the Cabinet appointment?