Press Statement by DAP Secretary-General and MP for Bagan Lim Guan Eng in Kuala Lumpur on 21.2.2013
Yesterday, Barisan Nasional chairman Dato’ Sri Najib Tun Razak and BN component party leaders signed Transparency International Malaysia’s (TI-M) Election Integrity Pledge, a move reportedly aimed at showing the ruling coalition’s seriousness in conforming to fair play at the coming General Election.
Unfortunately, this act of signing the Integrity Pledge by the BN is nothing but an empty announcement that rings hollow without a clear commitment to ensure clean electoral rolls and to make a complete and public declaration of assets.
If Najib and BN are sincere in proving their integrity, then they must do what Pakatan Rakyat has done in making a full and complete public declaration of assets of the Penang state EXCO including the Chief Minister. Instead, BN leaders such as Kota Belud MP Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan have avoided agreeing to make a public declaration of assets on the flimsy excuse that it could endanger their safety.
If BN leaders are honest and transparent, then they should have nothing to hide. If they have nothing to hide, then why are they afraid to commit to publicly declaring their assets? If they cannot even perform this simple exercise then there is no point to sign an Integrity Pledge.
It is ironical that the Integrity Pledge is signed in the presence of Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Taib Mahmud, who has been the subject of intense scrutiny and public demands for accountability regarding his and his family’s extraordinary wealth. The irony would have been completed if it had included UMNO Wanita Chief Dato’ Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil who is involved in the RM250 million National Feedlot Centre (NFC) “cows and condos” scandal, as well as Sabah Chief Minister Dato’ Seri Musa Aman who is at the centre of the scandal involving a RM40 million donation to UMNO Sabah.
Tan Sri Taib’s failure to declare his assets publicly has only added fuel to suspicions especially following the highly publicised divorce case between his son and his daughter-in-law which revealed the assets of his son amounting to hundreds of millions of ringgit. If his son is so wealthy, then it is important for Tan Sri Taib and his family to come clean.
Unless their personal assets are declared publicly, then signing the Integrity Pledge would be an empty gesture to hoodwink voters into believing that BN leaders are clean. The truth is that by failing to declare their assets publicly, they may seem clean, and sound clean, but they are certainly not clean.
Finally, BN must practice what they preach by guaranteeing clean electoral rolls in the coming General Election. If they cannot even provide this guarantee, then Malaysians cannot expect the next General Election to be a clean, free and fair one.
Lim Guan Eng