Speech By DAP Secretary-General and MP for Bagan Lim Guan Eng During The DAP Sibu Dinner On 13.10.2012.
Will BN leaders walk the talk of fighting corruption by applying the 6 tests of making a public declaration of assets, implementing open competitive tenders, bar family members from being involved with government contracts, protect genuine whistleblowers, remove BN leaders with extravagant lifestyles and come clean on political donations?
Malaysians are shocked at the written Parliamentary reply by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz that the Attorney-General’s Chambers had not found any element of corruption in the case of the Sabah timber trader Michael Chia, who was detained in Hong Kong for trying to smuggle out RM40 million in Singapore currency allegedly meant for Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman. Nazri said that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) investigations revealed that the S$16 million(RM40 million) cash constituted political contributions to Sabah UMNO, and not Musa thereby to clearing Musa of charges of corruption and money laundering.
This is political donation of a huge sum of RM40 million not RM 40,000! How can MACC clear Musa or Sabah UMNO so lightly? MACC should be demanding that Sabagh UMNO come clean on political donations especially as to who and why is Sabah UMNO able to get RM40 million in cash donation or how much more donations is forthcoming for Sabah UMNO that goes unreported.
This brings to mind the question of the extent of extraordinary wealth of Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Taib Mahmud with allegations that his family is worth billions of ringgit. The enormity of Taib’s family wealth is corroborated by the current divorce proceedings of his son Datuk Seri Mahmud Abu Bekir Taib, in which his ex-wife has revealed that Taib’s son alone is worth at least RM1 billion, with 110 personal accounts in foreign banks all over the world.
Another case is the extravagant lifestyle of Melaka Chief Minister Tan Sri Mohd Ali Rustam, in which 130,000 guest were feted in an extravagant record-breaking celebration in Malaysia. Until today Ali Rustam has failed to explain who sponsored such a lavish wedding, which Ali Rustam claimed cost only RM600,000?
DAP proposes 6 steps to fight corruption. One, institutionalise public declaration of assets. This has been done in Penang where the Chief Minister and the entire State Exco has made a public declaration of assets that has even been certified by an international accounting firm. If Penang can do it, why can’t the Prime Minister and his Federal Cabinet or the Sarawak Chief Minister and his EXCO members do the same?
Two, BN leaders with extravagant lifestyle owning luxury homes, cars and huge personal bank accounts in foreign countries must be dropped. Three, family members must also be barred from being involved in government business to avoid another RM 250 million “cows and condos” National Feedlot scandal. Four, those genuine whistleblowers who expose corruption cases leading to charges in court must be protected instead of being persecuted.
Five, BN must come clean on political donations such as the RM40 million political donation to Sabah UMNO. Finally, open competitive tenders must be implemented. Without open competitive tenders, public projects are directly negotiated and awarded to cronies causing loss of public revenue such as the cheap sale of the Sungai Besi Air Force Base land. Can the RM386 million for 57 KR1M stores in Sabah and Sarawak or RM6.7 million per store be justified? At RM6.7 million per store, are the KR1M stores selling basic necessities like sugar, salt and rice or luxury items like jewellery and designer handbags?
In Penang, open competitive tenders were implemented immediately after the change of government in 2008 and as a result the state government has been able to achieve surplus budgets every year since, with proceeds from the savings going back to the people annually in the form of an “anti-corruption dividend”.
Unless action is taken against such unhealthy practices, Malaysia’s Transparency International’s(TI) Corruption Perception Index(CPI) will not only drop further but Malaysia may go bankrupt. Malaysia’s CPI dropped from No. 37 in 2003 to No. 60 in 2012, prompting TI Malaysia Deputy President Mohammad Ali to note that “elements of state” that facilitated “grand corruption” were still prevalent.
Even Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Chor Chee Heung admitted that corruption cost Malaysia RM26 billion every year. Worse is the Global Financial Integrity Report from Washington estimated that more RM1,077 million of illicit money flowed out illegally from Malaysia from 2000-9. How much more can Malaysians and Sarawakian lose to benefit just the few families?
LIM GUAN ENG