Media Statement (2) by Lim Kit Siang in Petaling Jaya on Thursday, 29th January 2009:
Should UMNO be abolished altogether as there is no political will whatsoever to eradicate corruption in the country's most corrupt institution
Just as no one expects that the proposal of the Umno disciplinary board chairman Tengku Tan Sri Ahmad Rithaudeen to abolish the Umno wings - Wanita, Youth, Puteri and Putera – to end the scourge of money politics in Umno would be taken seriously by an Umno leader, nobody believes that it is possible to eradicate corruption in the country's most corrupt institution, Umno, because of the sheer absence of such political will.
Sure enough Rithaudeen's proposal encountered immediate objection yesterday from the Umno top-guns, like Umno vice president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Umno Youth leader Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, Umno Wanita leader Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz and Puteri Umno leader Datuk Noraini Ahmad with the de facto Umno President and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak delivering the coup de grace when he said today that Umno will not abolish any of its wings as they are important in nurturing future leaders of the party.
If Rithaudeen is right – and he is right – that the many elections for the Umno Youth, Wanita, Puteri and Putera wings created opportunities for money-making, all that Najib meant about "nurturing future leaders of the party" is to give them opportunities to be adept in the art of corruption in Umno party elections.
No wonder Umno has the notoriety as the most corrupt institution in the country and Rithaudeen is totally helpless to check money politics, to the extent that he has to concoct a totally unacceptable analogy to justify the Umno disciplinary board's failure to hand over all cases of Umno money politics to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).
New Straits Times reported Rithaudeen's attempt to differentiate the powers and jurisdictions of the MACC and the Umno disciplinary board, as follows:
Rithaudeen should realize that his analogy is erroneous, fallacious and highly dangerous – just as it is wrong for him to suggest that the charge of criminal negligence in the case of a doctor who operated while drunk resulting in death could be avoided by refusing or failing to report the crime to the proper authorities.
Similarly, Rithaudeen and the members of the Umno disciplinary board could be violating the law and committing crimes themselves if they withhold from the MACC any case of Umno money politics - which MACC Chief Commissioner Datuk Seri Ahmad Said Hamdan had said categoricaly as "corruption" in Sunday Times interview (January 25, 2009) –by not reporting every crime of corruption to the authorities.
Rithaudden's sense of despair and futility in the impossible battle against corruption and money politics in Umno caused him to make the radical proposal to abolish the various Umno wings.
When will an honest and upright Umno leader make the next logical proposal – that UMNO be abolished altogether as there is no political will whatsoever to eradicate corruption in the country's most corrupt institution?
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor