is right – there will be no credibility in the government’s anti-corruption
campaign if UMNO leaders enjoy immunity and double standards where they need
not face the due process of law for money politics and corruption in UMNO
elections but only party penalties
Media Conference Statement (2)
by Lim Kit Siang
(Ipoh, Tuesday): Former Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Musa Hitam is right when he said that UMNO members found guilty of corruption, including money politics, should be treated like any other member of society.
Musa said on Sunday: “In principle, if they are found guilty, they should be taken to court and face the due process of the law like everybody else, and not just be punished under the party’s law.”
Musa Hitam is right – there will be no credibility in the government’s anti-corruption campaign if UMNO leaders enjoy immunity and double standards where they need not face the due process of law for money politics and corruption in UMNO elections but only penalties.
The response of the Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak that the police or the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) may be asked to investigate UMNO members who have committed wrongdoings, such as being involved in money politics, is inadequate – for Najib’s comments have only reinforced public perception that the ACA is only allowed to act against government political leaders and wannabes if it has the “green light” from the powers-that-be!
In fact, Malaysians have been asking why the ACA had been so impotent in the past two months about money politics and corruption in the UMNO party elections in September when UMNO leaders have openly admitted that “money politics” was worst in UMNO history, prompting even former Prime Minister and UMNO President, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad to say that “the quality of Umno delegates had declined”.
How can there be public confidence in the administration of justice and the institutions of law and order, whether the ACA, the Attorney-General or the Judiciary, if UMNO leaders and wannabes found guilty of money politics and corruption in UMNO can enjoy immunity from the process of the law – or when an UMNO MP can be found guilty of money politics as to be suspended as a UMNO member for three years but yet can still continue as a Member of Parliament, walking in and out of the Dewan Rakyat without hindrance?
Is Parliament to be seen as less clean, honest and ethical an institution than UMNO?
What type of a Parliament and national integrity system are we talking about when DAP National Chairman and MP for Bukit Glugor, Karpal Singh can be suspended from Parliament for six months when he had committed no wrongdoing, while the UMNO MP for Titiwangsa, Datuk Astaman Abdul Aziz can continue to be a full MP to participate in parliamentary proceedings although he has been suspended for three years as UMNO member for guilty of money politics.
When Dewan Rakyat reconvenes on Monday, Astaman should not be allowed to take his seat in Parliament if it is not to become a national and international laughing stock, where an MP adjudged as guilty of money politics and corruption as to be suspended from UMNO for three years is still allowed to continue to take his seat in Parliament!
As far as the ACA is concerned, it is facing the first crisis of public credibility under the premiership of Abdullah unless it could independently institute full investigation and prosecution of UMNO leaders and wannabes for money politics without having to await for any “green-light” from the UMNO leadership.
* Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman