Suspension of leaders will enhance both UMNO and Abdullah’s image, provided it is neither  “one-off” action nor selective but consistent and applicable to all with no attempt to evade the corruption laws of the land

Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang

(Petaling Jaya, Sunday): UMNO President Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said yesterday that action  taken by the Umno Disciplinary Board against any top party leader for breach of the party's code of ethics will not jeopardise the image and credibility of the party. 

Abdullah has understated the situation, as there is no doubt that such disciplinary action against any top party leader for money politics and vote-buying can only enhance both UMNO and the Prime Minister’s image, provided that it is  neither  an “one-off” action nor selective and discriminatory but consistent and applicable to all with no attempt to evade the corruption laws of the land.

Malaysians are waiting with bated breath the next 24 hours to find out two things:

  • whether the action against Isa is an isolated and selective, “one-off”, action against one UMNO Minister or whether it marks the beginning of a serious “clean-up” campaign against money politics and vote-buying in UMNO in particular and corruption in the country in general; and

  • whether the UMNO disciplinary bureau and UMNO would uphold the rule of law and not use its internal proceedings  to evade and subvert the anti-corruption laws of the land by ensuring that UMNO leaders  found guilty of money politics and corruption would be automatically  referred to the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) for the laws of the country to take their logical course.

After 20 months of increasing popular disappointment, frustration and exasperation with Abdullah at his failure to deliver his promise to conduct a no-holds-barred campaign against the corrupt, without fear or favour and regardless of status or relationship, the Isa suspension has raised very high hopes that at long last, the Prime Minister is beginning to bridge the yawning gulf between his rhetoric and action in declaring war against corruption.

Abdullah can be assured of full support from the DAP and the general Malaysian public if his belated all-out war  against corruption has finally started.

Mainstream press have quoted  sources that at least seven top UMNO leaders  are facing charges of corruption and money politics before the Umno Disciplinary Board. Who are the other six?

The UMNO disciplinary cases will soon become parliamentary issues if clear-cut cases of corruption and money politics are not referred to the ACA for the necessary follow-up action, including arrest, prosecution and trial of the UMNO leaders implicated.



*  Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman