Archive for February 16th, 2007

Anti-corruption just a PR problem?

The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz gave a very novel explanation about the anti-corruption campaign of the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi — saying that the government had done a lot to fight corruption but such information was not properly channeled to the public.

Speaking at the World Ethics and Transparency Forum on Monday, Nazri said a public relations blitz to outline the national drive against corruption and the promotion of integrity is in the offing.

He said the government did not have a good public relations unit to counter criticisms that not enough was being done to stamp out corruption and improve integrity.

If Nazri is right, then the only problem of Abdullah’s anti-corruption campaign is one of P.R rather than one of lack of political will, but Nazri would belong to a very tiny number of people who would resort to such a novel way to wish away the grave problem of corruption in the country.

How will Nazri explain Malaysia’s plunge of seven places from 37th to 44th position in the last three years during the Abdullah premiership from 2003 to 2006 in the Transparency International (TI) Corruption Perception Index (CPI) when the five-year National Integrity Plan launched by Abdullah in April 2004 had targeted improvement to at least 30th position in 2008? Can this shocking plunge in Malaysia’s TI CPI to 44th position (when Malaysia was ranked No. 23 in 1995) be attributed to poor PR? Read the rest of this entry »


Happy Chinese New Year – Stand up for reforms

This should be a meaningful and historic Chinese New Year as it coincides with the 50th Merdeka Anniversary of the nation and possibly with the 12th general election.

Let all Malaysians stand up categorically in the next general election to be held in the next eight to 14 months for national reforms to make Malaysia a world-class competitive nation with the hallmarks of excellence, meritocracy, accountability, transparency, integrity, democracy and justice for all.

These were the hopes and expectations of Malaysians in the past three years since the March 2004 general election but they have not been fulfilled. In many important areas, there were not only no new starts, the country had gone backwards.

The world will pass Malaysia by if the country cannot find the political will to change course to create world-class institutions especially Parliament, judiciary, electoral system, local governance, civil service, police, anti-corruption agency and universities; inculcate among the government and people a first-class mentality and mindset and produce towering Malaysians and not just leading personalities of one race or community.

Wishing all Chinese Malaysians as well as all Malaysians a Happy Chinese New Year.