The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak came to Kuching on Friday and boasted about the Transparency International (TI) Election Integrity Pledge which he signed on Wednesdy and declared that Pakatan Rakyat leaders too should sign the pledge if they are committed in fighting corruption and abuse of power.
He said: “They have been accusing Barisan Nasional of all kinds of things, yet we are willing to sign the pledge, so if they are truly committed they should also sign it.”
Najib has in fact beautifully given the reason why I, for instance, has reservations about signing TI’s Election Integrity Pledge after Najib had signed it!
There is no question about my commitment in fighting corruption and abuse of power for which I have dedicated nearly half a century of my life in Malaysian politics, but the question is whether my commitment to fighting corruption and abuse of power would become a joke and a mockery if I sign the Election Integrity Pledge after Najib had signed it!
Firstly, is Najib sincere and serious in signing the Election Integrity Pledge, which stipulates four principles for all signatories to observe when contesting in the 13th general elections, viz:
• Truth, integrity, ethical conduct and accountability, including not accepting or giving bribes or being involved in corrupt practices in any way;
• Upholding and giving priority to the interests of the rakyat as a whole;
• Good governance and transparency; and
• Compliance with all the applicable laws and regulations of Malaysia.
Although the TI Election Integrity Pledge technically applies only to the future after the signing of the pledge, it is not possible for Malaysians to completely ignore the signatories’ record on corruption, crime and abuses of power.
It is most appropriate, relevant and pertinent to ask whether Najib’s signing of the Election Integrity Pledge, especially in the presence of Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud, the bete’ noire of international anti-corruption campaigns, has enhanced or undermined and even destroyed the credibility and legitimacy of TI’s Election Integrity Pledge.
This is after taking into consideration that Malaysia, under Najib’s four-year premiership, is most corrupt when compared to anyone of the previous five Prime Ministers in the 56-year history of the nation – according to the annual TI Corruption Perception Index (CPl).
In fact, in the 15-day Chinese New Year of the Snake, Najib has violated the Election Integrity Pledge at least five times viz:
1. Yesterday in Kuala Terengganu, for the first time in his four-year premiership, Najib openly betrayed 1Malaysia principles and pandered to religious incitements, declaring that “a vote for PAS would lead to discord among the Muslims and a vote for DAP is a vote for the oppression of Muslims”.
Najib’s line of falsehood that PAS is a stooge of DAP is totally contradictory to the lies spouted by MCA President Datuk Seri Dr. Chua Soi Lek to Chinese voters that DAP is “just a political eunuch in PAS’ shadow”.
Such dishonesty, hypocrisy and unprincipled opportunism is a violation of the TI Election Integrity Pledge to uphold the principle of “Truth, integrity, ethical conduct and accountability”.
2. Najib’s racist and divisive directive on Monday to exclusively screen the May 13 film, Tanda Putera, to 3,000 Felda settlers although the Cabinet decided last November, as revealed by the Information, Communications and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Dr. Rais Yatim, that the film was “inappropriate” to be screened because of “bias” in the portrayal of the May 13 riots in 1969.
This violates the TI Election Integrity Pledge of “good governance and transparency”.
3. For 15 days since Feb. 9 campaigning every day for himself and Umno/Barisan Nasional, Najib could not spare time to visit Lahad Datu in Sabah to get first-hand information about the fears and concerns of the local people over the 15-day government stand-off with 150-strong Sulu armed group, and to explain why there was such a serious security lapse and why it is the police and Home Minister, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein and not the armed forces and the Defence Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi who is tasked with dealing with the crisis of “occupation” by the Sulu militants.
This is violation of the “People First” principle of the Election Integrity Pledge to “upholding and giving priority to the interests of the rakyat as a whole”.
4. The dishonest Bernama report three days ago plagiarising from a UMNO/BN cybertrooper website falsely claiming that the British think-tank Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) had dismissed Pakatan Rakyat as a serious challenge to Barisan Nasional in the 13th General Elections.
This violates the principle in the TI Election Integrity Pledge to uphold “Truth, integrity, ethical conduct and accountability”.
5. The lavish expenditure spending RM3.5 million to invite Korean K-Pop superstar to Penang for BN Chinese New Year Open House on Feb. 11 to perform Gangnam Style and other unaccounted vast expenses (like putting up 10,000 1Malaysia flags all over the island in a matter of a few hours in the early hours of the first day of CNY – and up to now nobody has owned up who is responsible for this project which could cost a quarter of a million ringgit) is proof of the bane of money politics in the run-up to the 13GE.
Is Najib unaware that in the TI Election Integrity Pledge, he has sworn not to be ‘involved in corrupt practices in any way” as money politics during election time is the root cause of rampant corruption, cronyism and abuses of power in the country?
(Speech at the DAP Sarawak election workshop at DAP Kuching headquarters on Sunday, 24th February 2013 at 12 noon)
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