BN Supreme Council meeting – any BN leader dare to raise hottest topic in the country?

The Barisan Nasional supreme council will meet in Kuala Lumpur tomorrow where party component leaders are expected to assess their preparations for the next general election.

All the heads of the 14 component parties were informed last week to attend the meeting but they were not given any indication of its agenda.

Will there be any Barisan Nasional leader who would dare to raise at the Barisan Nasional supreme council meeting tomorrow the hottest topic in the country –the Prime Minister’s three-year failure to deliver his top agenda to fight corruption and how to restore public confidence that the Abdullah premiership had not abandoned its anti-corruption pledge?

At his first Cabinet meeting as Prime Minister on 5th November 2003, Abdullah directed Ministers to set up a task force in their ministries to tighten procedures and reduce bureaucracy in efforts to fight corruption. Nothing has been heard of these Ministerial task forces.

At the post-Cabinet press conference, Abdullah even spoke of his hope to achieve “zero corruption” but admitted that it was going to be difficult.

Apart from the run-up to the March 2004 general election campaign, Abdullah’s focus on his priority to fight corruption had increasingly lessened with the passage of time and the terms “zero corruption” or “zero tolerance for corruption” have disappeared from his vocabulary.

Will there be any top Barisan Nasional leader who would dare to tell Abdullah that after more than 40 months since he became Prime Minister, corruption in Malaysia has got worse instead of better — and that this is from the feedback from the people and not just from Transparency International’s (TI) Corruption Perception Index (CPI) which fell seven places from 37th to 44th ranking from 2003 to 2006 or the view of the former Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad who said that corruption had “surfaced above the table”.

One of Abdullah’s first promises as Prime Minister was to make the Anti-Corruption Agency “strong” under his leadership, vowing to make the ACA work faster and harder — but the ACA is today at its lowest ebb in public esteem, credibility and integrity in its 40-year-history, with the ACA director-general himself accused of serious corruption by a former top ACA official!

Will there be any top Barisan Nasional leader who would dare to bring to the notice of the Prime Minister at the BN Supreme Council meeting that it is a total mockery of his earlier pledge of zero tolerance for corruption to continue to have the ridiculous and untenable situation where the ACA chief is investigated by the police for corruption while the police and the Internal Security Deputy Minister, Datuk Johari Baharom are investigated by the ACA for corruption!

Who would believe that justice would be done in such a “I scratch your back, you scratch my back” scenario?

In the past four decades, the ACA could at least strike fear among lowly government servants though not the well-connected, high and mighty — but today, the ACA is regarded as a object of ridicule by all and sundry when they see the ACA director-general virtually on-the-run because of serious corruption allegations made against him.

On Friday, Abdullah said that “it’s difficult to get rid of (negative) perception… you can’t do that in just a day, even a year” when referring to the inaugural Malaysian Transparency Perception Survey 2007 of Transparency International Malaysia (TI-M) that the five government agencies with perceived lowest integrity and transparency (or deemed most corrupt) among the public are the police (56 per cent), Road Transport Department (25 per cent), Customs and Excise (19 per cent), Public Works (7 per cent) and Land Office (6 per cent).

Abdullah should know that we are not talking about “a day, even a year” but over four years! After 40 months, there should be measurable improvement in public perception about integrity of the public service, but the reverse is unfortunately the case.

Abdullah himself realizes the importance of such measurable improvement of public perceptions about government integrity, which was why he announced in May 2004 the National Integrity Plan with the five-year objective to achieve for Malaysia at least a ranking of No. 30 next year in the TI CPI 2008 from No. 37 in 2003.

Instead of improving our TI CPI ranking, Malaysia’s placing had deteriorated and is now at No. 44 — and likely to plunge further with the recent corruption scandals involving the ACA director-general and Deputy Internal Security Minister and the equally scandalous manner of dealing with them — with both allowed to continue in their office when they should be asked to go on leave pending independent investigations.

If the Barisan Nasional Supreme Council meeting tomorrow dare not even touch on the greatest crisis of confidence facing ACA in 40 years and the greatest crisis of integrity facing the country in 50 years, and unable to come out with a new resolve and action plan to declare an all-out war against corruption, then the Barisan Nasional leaders will be proving how out of touch they are from the deepest hopes and aspirations of the people.

  1. #1 by Jong on Sunday, 11 March 2007 - 9:16 am

    They will kid themselves with more rhetorics, assure the people that what they hear and what they read in the internet are mere rumours, just rumours!

  2. #2 by mandela on Sunday, 11 March 2007 - 10:36 am

    To avoid facing Anwar, UMO has no choice and will have to call an early election b4 August 2008!

    All opposition parties must form an alliance (can be a loose one) to stop the most corrupted UMO and its many cronies!

    Malaysia must be saved!

  3. #3 by Tai Lo Chin on Sunday, 11 March 2007 - 10:44 am

    “Will there be any Barisan Nasional leader who would dare to raise at the Barisan Nasional supreme council meeting tomorrow the hottest topic in the country –the Prime Minister’s three-year failure to deliver his top agenda to fight corruption and how to restore public confidence that the Abdullah premiership had not abandoned its anti-corruption pledge?” – LKS

    Why would BN Leaders do that? They are more worried if he shows comitment or promise to succeed.

    The rot set in and escalated during Dr Mahathir’s watch. If you look at Malaysiakini’s interview of Mohamad Ramli Abdul Manan, he believed it was former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad who ordered him to be transferred out of Sabah and put in cold storage at the ACA headquarters in Kuala Lumpur for investigating allegations of corruption involving former land and cooperative development minister Kasitah Gaddam.

    The only way to win landslide was to be anything other than what Mahathir came to represent and that is why on the back of the plank to fight corruption, Pak Lah won electoral success of 91% parliamentary seats.

    BN chieftains do not believe there really any war waged against corruption. It is the naïve who believe in such political rhetoric. The entire political culture and system which BN feeds on, thrives and derives sustenance is patronage and corruption. If there were really a warrior committed to fight corruption, everyone around having a vested interest in it will no sooner get rid of him.

  4. #4 by liu on Sunday, 11 March 2007 - 11:11 am

    The following speech entitled “Building Up a Clean Police Force: The Hong Kong Experience” by Mr Raymond HC Wong, Commissioner of Independent Commission against Corruption, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of China at the Conference on “Policing the Police: the Challenges” Belfast, Northern Ireland on 7th November, 2003 gives us a great insight as to what can be done in Malaysia:

    Good morning, ladies and gentlemen.

    It’s a great honour to be here among such an esteemed company, and I’m pleased to have the opportunity to share with you our experience in building up a clean Police Force in Hong Kong.

    1. Corruption in the HK Police Force: Now and Then


    Today, Hong Kong takes pride in having one of the cleanest and finest police forces in the world. Significantly, that pride and respect for the Force spreads deep within the community.

    In a survey conducted by a local youth organisation among 2,000 of its peers, the Hong Kong Police Force was rated as the most trustworthy among six political and social institutions that included the Legislative Council and the media. The primary considerations were incorruptibility, personal conduct and integrity.

    Similarly, a Gallup International survey showed that among the 17 institutions identified in the poll, the Police Force was among those in which the Hong Kong people had the most trust.

    That reputation has long been internationally recognised. At Hong Kong’s jointly organised Independent Commission Against Corruption and Interpol Conference held in January this year, Interpol Secretary-General Ronald Noble said the Hong Kong Police was one of the cleanest and most professional police forces in the world, and lauded Hong Kong as the “anti-corruption capital of the world”.

    Hong Kong has come a long way in earning such international acclaim.

    The one-time syndicated corruption in the Hong Kong Police Force is history. Individual corruption is now under control. Current cases usually involve officers who succumb to temptation because of personal circumstances such as over-spending, indebtedness, and investment failures.

    Corruption complaints against police officers continue to shrink in proportion to complaints against people in other sectors. Over the years, there has been a gradual drop from 45 per cent in 1974 to about 30 per cent in 1984 and more recently down to less than 15 per cent of all complaints received by the ICAC. In the past couple of years, complaints against police officers averaged 12 per cent of all corruption complaints.


    To appreciate where we’ve come from, you need to look back to the 1960’s and early 1970’s. At that time, corruption was endemic in our community. People had to pay “tea money” for public services they needed. In the private sector, bribes were accepted as necessary lubricants of business. Corruption had become rampant and institutionalised in the Police Force, which ironically was charged with the task of combating graft. Back then, not only did corrupt police officers condone vice but in many cases were actually running it. (emphasis added)

    In one of the biggest cases involving the protection of a drug syndicate for bribes in the 1970s, 26 serving or former government officers were prosecuted for conspiracy to obstruct the course of public justice, and another 162 officers were referred to the Secretary for the Civil Service for disciplinary action. Many of those involved were serving and former police officers.

    The corruption situation was described by some police officers in those days as: “Some get on the bus, others run alongside it, yet very few stand in front of it.”

    2. Turning Point

    Public discontent with the corruption situation reached boiling point in 1973 when a senior police officer, Peter Godber, fled Hong Kong whilst being investigated for corruption. To everyone’s astonishment, Godber had amassed a fortune of well over HK$4.3 million — or more than five times his total net salary of HK$770,000 earned while serving in the Force for 22 years. Enraged, people took to the streets and demanded tough government action.

    To defuse a potential crisis, the government acted swiftly to set up an anti-graft body, independent of the Police Force and the rest of the Civil Service, to launch an all-out attack on corruption. The Independent Commission Against Corruption, or ICAC, was born.

    In formulating the structure of the organisation, our founding fathers knew that there could be no real victory in the long-term battle against corruption unless strict law enforcement was matched by strong preventive measures and community education. (emphasis added)

    Consequently, the ICAC was established with three distinct functions and departments:

    * Operations – to pursue investigations and prosecutions, proactively as well as in response to complaints;

    * Corruption Prevention – to assist government departments and public bodies in identifying and eliminating opportunities for corruption in their systems and procedures; and

    * Community Relations – to educate the public about the evils of corruption and enlist community support

    To be effective, the ICAC was endowed with wide investigative powers to dig deep into corruption cases which are by nature secretive crimes. We are given powers to detain, search premises, seize necessary documents, access secretive accounts and restrain assets of suspects.

    So in 1974, armed with strong legal muscle and pioneering zeal, the fledgling ICAC was tasked with cracking down on the syndicates, essentially “protection rackets” involving a group of mostly police officers who provided protection to illegal activities.

    An early coup was the extradition back to Hong Kong of the senior police officer whose escape had become a catalyst in the formation of the ICAC. His subsequent trial and successful conviction sent a clear signal to the public that the ICAC meant business.

    In the space of four years, all major corruption syndicates in the Police Force were crushed.

    3. From Resistance to Partnership

    Not surprisingly, there was tension in the relationship between the Police Force and the ICAC in the early years, when the graft fighters were pulling in members of the Force almost every day.

    However, with the continued determination of the Government to maintain a clean Police Force and a corruption- and crime-free society, the relationship between the ICAC the Police gradually improved over the years.

    We in the ICAC regard the Police as our ally and partner in fighting corruption. Over the years, we have established a number of communication channels to enhance mutual understanding and co-operation at different levels, on operational and corruption preventive matters.

    The ICAC Commissioner meets the Commissioner of Police regularly to discuss issues of mutual concern. There is also a Police/ICAC Operational Liaison Group where our senior officers exchange information about joint cases, discuss trends in corruption and crime, as well as review and improve communication channels. Practical difficulties encountered in operational matters are also discussed at these meetings.

    Each year, ICAC officers hold more than 30 briefing sessions for Police Regional and District Commanders to enhance understanding and smooth cooperation at the working level.


    The Police Force actively tackles the corruption issue through a corruption prevention group it established back in 1982. Chaired by a Senior Assistant Commissioner of Police, the group includes senior officers from the ICAC’s Corruption Prevention Department and meets regularly to identify corruption-prone areas for the ICAC to review.

    With the growth in mutual trust over the years, the ICAC has progressed from routine studies to more sensitive assignments. In the past 10 years, the Corruption Prevention Department has conducted over 50 reviews of Police procedures and practices, producing reports with proposals to minimise opportunities for corruption. Areas covered include crime investigation, anti-narcotics and anti-vice actions, handling of informers and covert operations, and administrative arrangements for promotion and procurement.

    Assignment reviews aside, the Police also consult the ICAC on potential pitfalls in new initiatives or procedures, and invariably accept our recommendations on corruption prevention.


    Another important role for the ICAC that is welcomed by Police management is education through regular anti-corruption talks for serving officers. In fact, such talks are now integrated in training programmes for all levels of the Force, from recruits to senior officers. In the past three years alone, we have directly addressed half the men and women in the Force.

    The training sessions cover the major provisions of anti-bribery legislation as well as potential problems caused by conflict of interest and indebtedness. Case studies of different scenarios involving police work are used to stimulate discussion among the officers on the ethical dilemmas they may face.

    Through these training sessions, police officers acquire the basic knowledge and skills to guard against the temptations of corruption. Senior officers are also trained in managing staff integrity.

    4. Police Taking Ownership

    The Hong Kong Police Force is now very much master of its own house in the battle against corruption, having adopted a policy of zero tolerance. Over the past three years, the Force has passed more than 130 corruption reports against its officers to the ICAC for follow-up action.

    In addition to the various working level groups already mentioned, there is a Force Anti-Corruption Strategy Steering Committee made up of directorate officers from all branches of the Police Force and the ICAC. This high-powered committee has developed ongoing strategies that ensure Hong Kong enjoys a clean and professional law enforcement agency.

    5. Formula for Success

    So what is the secret of our success in building up a clean Police Force in Hong Kong?

    * First, the three-pronged approach – the ICAC’s strategy of tackling corruption through prevention and community education as well as enforcement has been time-tested and internationally recognised as a model anti-graft policy. This integrated approach works extremely well in building up a clean Police Force.

    * Second, the commitment of Police management – the uncompromising determination of the leadership has been vital in ensuring the effective implementation of anti-corruption initiatives.

    * And third, the partnership approach – close cooperation between the Police and the ICAC through exchange of information and joint operations has benefited mutual goals. The Force frequently assists the ICAC in corruption investigations against their “black sheep”.

    Together we have made Hong Kong a safe and corruption-free city in which to live and do business.

    6. Hong Kong and Beyond

    In conclusion, let us look to the future and how we can benefit those communities that still live under the burden of corruption. This conference gives us all the opportunities to share experiences and learn from each other.

    As a founding member of The Interpol Group of Experts on Corruption (IGEC), established in 1999, we can help advise its 181 member countries on anti-corruption programmes. As you may be aware, the IGEC launched the “Library of Best Practice” to facilitate law enforcement agencies’ ability to combat corruption effectively during the ICAC-Interpol Conference held earlier this year It has drawn contributions from acknowledged anti-corruption experts around the globe, including Hong Kong’s ICAC.

    Instead, I look forward to holding further discussions with you so that we can build on each other’s strengths to meet the numerous challenges facing law enforcement agencies today.

    Thank you.

  5. #5 by k1980 on Sunday, 11 March 2007 - 12:15 pm

    Corruption is the greatest obstacle to economic and social development in any country. Corruption can only occur by the immoral culture of protecting the guilty and the corrupt by the establishment. This is only due to the insatiable greed and avariciousness of the country’s rulers. It is evident that corruption has undermined development by distorting the rule of law and weakening the institutional foundation on which economic growth depends. The detrimental effects of corruption are especially severe on the poor who are hardest hit by economic degradation and decline. They rely on the provision of public services, and are least capable of paying the extra costs associated with bribery, fraud, and the misappropriation of economic privileges.

    Corruption sabotages policies and programmes that aim at reducing poverty, so attacking and eliminating corruption is essential and critical to the achievement of the difficult mission of poverty reduction. It is believed that an effective anti-corruption strategy builds on five key elements: increasing political accountability, strengthening civil society participation, creating a competitive private sector, institutional restraints on power, and improving public sector management.

  6. #6 by pwcheng on Sunday, 11 March 2007 - 12:48 pm

    The culture of corruption and protection esp of one race is too entrenched. They will never make any determination to eliminate this as it had already mutated into a culture ( and to many as an accepted way of life) which they depend heavily for survival. You cannot ask them to work hard or tinkle their brains as an alternative for a clean living because they had been in crutches for so long and getting easy money and consequently lost the ability to use their limbs and brains.
    From past precedents, I will dare say that no BN leaders will bring this out or even whisper about it as many of them are in the same boat and if not they will not dare to touch the sensitive nerves of their brethren as their survival also depends very much on them.

  7. #7 by smeagroo on Sunday, 11 March 2007 - 2:30 pm

    Today’s Star screamed of having the BIGGEST COURT HOUSE in the world. We sure do have lots of BIGGEST THING in the world.

    I wonder how this will help us in reducing graft?

    Are we to be another laughing stock or has someone already laughed all the way to the bank? HOw much was this mammoth court?

  8. #8 by liu on Sunday, 11 March 2007 - 2:39 pm

    Tunku Abdul Aziz in “Comment: Lessons from Singapore and HK” in the New Sunday Times today inter alia said:

    Ever wondered why more foreign direct investment is not parking itself here? Talk to both the local and foreign business communities, and what they have to say based on their experiences would make your hair curl.

    Both Singapore and Hong Kong, which the IDR (Iskandar Development Region) aspires to rival, started as very corrupt societies and yet today are among the top 10 least corrupt countries in the world, according to the Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index.

    In short, they have shown that corruption is bad for business, especially global business, and they are making sure that the good old days will never come back to haunt them again.

    Have we the political will to confront corruption decisively or have we run out of steam?

    Indeed, why can’t we learn from Hong Kong and Singapore, Prime Minister?

  9. #9 by shortie kiasu on Sunday, 11 March 2007 - 2:56 pm

    The wind of change is brewing fervently and will blow again strongly in the coming general election.

    The waning confidence among the people in the street in the government is so obvious these days.

  10. #10 by pwcheng on Sunday, 11 March 2007 - 3:27 pm

    To put it simply, there is no concerted determination to eliminate corruption in this country. They are all well aware of this malice but are not prepared to sacrifice political interest for national interest. The government and principally UMNO should be charged for treason for they are destroying the future of the country and a threat to national security.

  11. #11 by Godfather on Sunday, 11 March 2007 - 4:41 pm

    Picture the thieves around the campfire, and passing the loot amongst themselves. “One for you, one for me, one for you, one for me…..”

  12. #12 by shortie kiasu on Sunday, 11 March 2007 - 6:27 pm

    “Will there be any top Barisan Nasional leader who would dare to tell Abdullah that after more than 40 months since he became Prime Minister, corruption in Malaysia has got worse instead of better – and that this is from the feedback from the people and not just from Transparency International’s (TI) Corruption Perception Index (CPI) which fell seven places from 37th to 44th ranking from 2003 to 2006 or the view of the former Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad who said that corruption had “surfaced above the table””.

    None of the bloggers above had commented on the theme of the write-up in blog posted by YB Lim KS above, touching on the Barisan Nasional leaders to raise the hottest topic in the country.

    The waning confidence among the people in the street in the Barisan Nasional government is so obvious these days, they hit the Barisan Nasional leaders right on their heads at the coming general election. That is the verdict for the Barisan Nasional leaders to ponder seriously.

    As siad earlier, “The wind of change is brewing fervently and will blow strongly in the coming general election”.

    As said earlier,

  13. #13 by pwcheng on Sunday, 11 March 2007 - 7:15 pm

    The Chinese is a very naive race. Of late it is obvious that UMNO are dishing out some handouts for the Chinese. This ploy is abetted by MCA and hence many Chinese will fall into the same trap only to be treated like garbage again after the election. History will repeats itself. The Chinese never learn. Sad story.

  14. #14 by Jong on Sunday, 11 March 2007 - 7:19 pm


    Can you please elaborate what you just said, what ploy are you referring to?

  15. #15 by pwcheng on Sunday, 11 March 2007 - 7:34 pm

    Have you not read in the papers that lately UMNO had promoted a Chinese to a reasonably high position in the civil service and the Education minister is extra friendly to the Dong Jiao Zong (DJZ) with regard to Chinese education.

    Today’s Sunday Star has a big write up on this under the heading ” A step in the right direction” but after the election the heading will be “A stab in the right direction”

  16. #16 by Jong on Sunday, 11 March 2007 - 7:43 pm

    LOL !!!

  17. #17 by bbtan on Sunday, 11 March 2007 - 9:27 pm

    The mcaputras get lots of spillovers from whatever is being dished out
    by plah to the umoputeras. So dont expect their leaders to upset plah.

  18. #18 by shortie kiasu on Sunday, 11 March 2007 - 9:45 pm

    Whether the Chinese population here is naive or not is immaterial, but they are indeed helpless politically, no help of MCA or Gerakan. They had signed away their rights and privileges at the time of negotiation of independence from the British by the then Chinese political leaders from the MCA.

    So now it is a monumental task of struggle to get back some semblance of decent right as citizen of their own country.

  19. #19 by greenacre on Sunday, 11 March 2007 - 10:52 pm

    What is the use of biggest or largest courthouse when the occupiers of such august houses do not know the difference between telegram message and a statutory notice. Justice must be done and must be seen to be done.

  20. #20 by zack on Sunday, 11 March 2007 - 11:10 pm

    why what is to be discussed in the BN meeting be of any concern to a non-BN party? Hmmmm…..

  21. #21 by sheriff singh on Monday, 12 March 2007 - 1:16 am

    Just as why you come here to find out what we are writing and thinking. Hmmmmm?

  22. #22 by mandela on Monday, 12 March 2007 - 1:25 am

    Yes, of course Malaysia needs a biggest court house in the world.

    Malaysia has the biggest number of monkey judges in the world!

  23. #23 by dawsheng on Monday, 12 March 2007 - 12:14 pm

    I read that certain polls reflect that 60% of Chinese will vote against BN, and I certainly hope so. But is that why Tengku Adnan made his racist remarks about civil war? So I see the warning has come from our elected racist govt, to instill fear among the non-malay voters in order to keep the status quo.

    If I am not wrong, the next BN election agenda will be playing a lot of race card. UMNO has no other trump card but NEP, and the “Bumi dipijak orang” ideology to accuse greedy chinese whos ultimate aim is to steal everything from Malay. While MCA is also Chinese, they will play along and said there are bad Chinese in Malaysia like the DAP and so on, vote MCA to secure your future they said. But what kind of future MCA? The future that keep quiet all the time when corruptions and govt bail out of GLCs making life difficult for everyone of us? When our schools being torn down one by one? When more Chinese youth are becoming drug addicts and involves in organize crime? You all go to hell, MIC and Samy Vellu said, a sentiment echoes by Tengku Adnan, vote wisely or else…

    50 years on, we are back to where we started.

  24. #24 by ethnicmalaysian on Monday, 12 March 2007 - 4:25 pm

    In reply to dawsheng, we are not back to where we started 50 years ago. We have in fact, regressed from where we started. Things (from what i gather from the older folks) were much better then – in terms of corruption, racism, bigotry, education etc etc.

  25. #25 by ihavesomethingtosay on Friday, 16 March 2007 - 2:33 am

    “BN Supreme Council meeting”

    some questions:
    1. Did our PM fall asleep this time?
    2. Was the Keris drawn again?
    3. Is another RM600 million of tax payers money to be spend again?
    4. Will we be buying some more jets and subs?
    5. Will we be buying corporate jets and corporate yachts?

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