Parliament will reconvene on 17th October for a 25-sitting budget session till Nov. 24.
The question is whether Parliament will give priority and importance at this meeting to purge and cleanse the country of the infamy of a global kleptocracy, an epithet which Malaysia acquired after the May meeting of Parliament – after the US Department of Justice (DOJ) filed lawsuits under the US Kleptocracy Assets Recovery Initiative on July 20 for the forfeiture of US$1 billion of assets in the United States, United Kingdom and Switzerland from over US$3 billion international conspiracy of embezzlement, misappropriation and money-laundering of 1MDB funds.
Even at the May meeting of Parliament, Malaysia had already acquired a seedy reputation as far as public integrity, accountability, transparency and good governance are concerned, as Malaysia had suffered the ill-repute of being placed third in the international website,foreignpolicy.com’s ranking of the world’s “worst corruption scandal in 2015”, TIME magazine’s second ranking of “global corruption” in March, the Economist’s second placing in its second index of crony capitalism in May apart from falling four places and ranked No. 54 among 168 countries in the 2015 Transparency International (TI) Corruption Perception Index (CPI) – a far cry from the National Transformation Programme (NTP) target for Malaysia to be in the top 30 countries in the TI CPI in five years’ time in 2020.
The question is whether there is a great sense of outrage and shame among our Ministers and Members of Parliament at the infamy of the epithet of a global kleptocracy for Malaysia or whether our Ministers and Members of Parliament take an indifferent, nonchalant and “tidak apa” attitude to such an epithet for Malaysia.
This is in fact a test of patriotism for a Malaysian – a person who is indifferent, unconcerned and nonchalant about the infamy of the epithet of a “global kleptocracy” for the country cannot be a Malaysian patriot.
The year 2016 is a year of shame and infamy for Malaysia, for it is during this year that Malaysia joined the ranks of “global kleptocracy” and is looked askance in the world as a nation where public integrity, accountability, transparency and good governance principles are only given lip-service respect and honour with no national commitment or system of public integrity and good governance.
If the Cabinet and Parliament are not prepared or unable to purge and cleanse the country of the infamy of global kleptocracy to defend the national dignity and honour, then ordinary Malaysians in the next general elections should step forward as patriots to vote to purge and cleanse the country of the infamy of Malaysia as a global kleptocracy.
(Speech at the Paloh DAP 50th Anniversary Dinner in Paloh on Saturday, 8th October 2016 at 10 pm)