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Abdullah should give the green-light for the arrest and prosecution of the 18 high-profile personalities for corruption to salvage his legacy and restore public confidence in his reform pledge to make anti-corruption the centrepiece of his administration
(Kajang, Wednesday) : Who would have thought that such deep and widespread disappointment, dissatisfaction and disillusionment with Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi as Prime Minister would have set in so soon after his unprecedented landslide victory in the March 2004 general election, sweeping 91 per cent of the parliamentary seats – a feat never achieved by any other Prime Minister in the 11 general elections in the nation’s 47-year nationhood?
The high hopes and expectations which had been placed on Abdullah when he became the fifth Prime Minister to break from the 22-year dictatorial and corrupt Mahathir regime and to effect a reform agenda for the country had crashed so absolutely that there are even those who had celebrated over the end of the Mahathir regime three years ago who are now harking nostalgically to a Mahathir era where there was a sense of direction, control and authority.
I don’t think anybody really wants to return to the Mahathir era and the excesses and abuses of power committed in in those 22 years.
Time is fast running out however for Abdullah to salvage whatever legacy he wants to leave behind as the fifth Prime Minister of Malaysia – regardless of whether there is early general election in the next 10 to 18 months.
One of the critical tests of the Abdullah premiership will be his commitment to make the battle against corruption the centrepiece of his administration.
In China, the top Shanghai leader Chen Liangyu was sacked as city boss for his role in a pension fund scandal – described as the most “high profile” leader to be targeted in the crackdown against corruption in China in a decade.
The latest news from China is of another high-profile casualty in the Chinese Government’s anti-corruption drive – the vice governor of Hunan province, Zheng Maoqing, who has been sacked over graft scandals.
In Malaysia, we have pitifully little to show in the past three years in the campaign against corruption.
happened to the 18 “high-profile” personalities which was announced by the
then Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Dr. Rais Yatim in
early 2004 as in the list of those who would be arrested and prosecuted to
usher in the Abdullah clean-up campaign? It would appear that all these 18
“sharks” have escaped into the South China Sea.
Abdullah should give the green-light for the arrest and prosecution of these 18 high-profile personalities for corruption to restore public confidence in his reform pledge to make anti-corruption the centrepiece of his administration.
This will be the first step for Abdullah to salvage his legacy as Prime Minister and to leave something behind for which history and future generations would honour him.
Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic
Planning Commission Chairman