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The Prime Minister should appoint a full-time Internal Security Minister to fully oversee the ministry to avoid allegations of corruption such as the RM 5.5 million controversy surrounding his Deputy Internal Security Minister
by Lim Guan Eng
(Petaling Jaya, Wednesday): ACA deputy director-general Datuk Ahmad Said Hamdan said the allegations of corruption and sexual crimes against ACA Director-General Datuk Seri Zulkipli Mat Noor had affected the morale of ACA officers. Not only public perceptions of ACA's integrity and credibility has been affected but the Prime Minister's commitment towards battling corruption has also been questioned by the allegations against ACA Director-General and also the Deputy Internal Security Minister Datuk Mohd Johari.
How can the public have faith and confidence in the ACA when the ACA fails the test of "not only being clean, but seen to be clean"? Datuk Ahmad also said that Datuk Zulkipli's contract expires at the end of this month and it is clear that the government would not extend his contract following this controversy.
As the guardian of public integrity, ACA will lose its moral authority if its principal guardian in the person of its Director-General is not seen as clean and his reputation can be impugned with impunity. This will also undermine the credibility and commitment of Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to establish integrity in Malaysian public life.
Questions have been raised why the Prime Minister failed to take immediate action when the letter of complaint was made by a former ACA Director of Sabah to Abdullah in July 4, 2006. Such delays can be explained if it is made by an ordinary member of the public but not when it is made by a senior officer that is the former ACA Director of Sabah.
Further the corruption allegations of RM 5.5 million swirling around his Deputy Internal Security Minister Datuk Mohd Johari Baharom does not reflect well on his handling of his Ministry. Apart from abolishing either the Emergency Ordinance or sections that oust judicial oversight of Ministerial orders, the Prime Minister should give up the Internal Security Ministry and appoint full-time Minister to fully oversee the Ministry to avoid such allegations of corruption.
The Prime Minister has his plate full and has too much to handle when he is both the Internal Security Minister as well as the Finance Minister. For better governance, greater efficieny and delivery, the Prime Minister must start delegating some of the duties. Or are there no BN leaders that he can trust to carry out the duties of Internal Security or Finance Minister?
* Lim Guan Eng, Secretary-General of DAP