Why is there no public response from the Prime Minister and UMNO President, Datuk Seri Najib Razak when the UMNO Information Chief, Datuk Ahmad Maslan had publicly admitted that corruption is a grave problem in UMNO?
Ahmad Maslan made such an admission when commenting on UMNO Secretary-General Datuk Tengku Adnan Mansor’s statement in an earlier interview that UMNO faces the challenge of being perceived as corrupt, although Ahmad Maslan struck the ridiculous posture that no political party should take an “holier-than-thou” attitude on the issue of corruption.
Ahmad Maslan’s reason? That bribery happens across the board and allegations of corruption should not be made only against Umno.
He said: “Bribery does not differentiate between party, does not differentiate between gender, does not differentiate between races…
“Don’t just accuse bribery only (by) Umno’s people. This bribery transcends all…”
Ahmad Maslan, who is the deputy minister in the prime minister’s department, said the important thing is that the government is serious about tackling corruption.
As proof that the government is serious about eradicating bribery, Ahmad Maslan said fighting corruption is one of the government’s National Key Results Areas (NKRAs).
Ahmad Maslan’s remarks are most revealing, for corruption has become so prevalent in UMNO that he has stopped denying it, but is instead trying to justify it on the ground that corruption happens across the board affecting all political parties, and therefore UMNO should not be singled out for castigation.
Ahmad Maslan had in fact gone beyond admitting that corruption is prevalent in UMNO as he had as good as admitted the prevalence of corruption in the other Barisan Nasional component parties – which is fortified by the lack of any denial or repudiation of his admission by the other BN component parties in the past three days.
Ahmad Maslan can talk on behalf of UMNO and even the other BN component parties, but he has no authority or locus standi whatsoever to talk on behalf of the Pakatan Rakyat parties.
Malaysians know that if there is a whiff of corruption in the Pakatan Rakyat parties, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) would have pounced on it and leave no stone unturned to persecute and prosecute Pakatan Rakyat leaders – as happened in the scandal of the MACC’s “Car and Cows” investigation of Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim in early 2009 or the “mysterious” and unresolved death of DAP aide Teoh Beng Hock at MACC Headquarters in Shah Alam on July 16, 2009.
In contrast, the MACC would go out of its way to help “cover up” corruption or any financial malpractices involving UMNO/BN leaders, as exemplified by the MACC’s inaction whether on the scandal of Sabah timber trader Michael Chia’s RM40 million laundered/trafficked currency-turned- “political donation to Sabah UMNO”, the Bruno Manser Foundation’s revelations of extraordinary wealth of the Sarawak Chief Minister or a whole list of high-profile cases involving UMNO/BN leaders.
Ahmad Maslan’s response to Tengku Adnan is a powerful admission of prevalent corruption in UMNO as well as in the other BN component parties.
The question is what is Najib going to do about it if he is serious and sincere about fighting corruption in his GTP and NKRAs.
Would be highlight it in his UMNO Presidential Speech at the end of the month?
Would he announce “fighting corruption in UMNO” as one of his new NKRAs in the war against corruption?