Archive for January 29th, 2010

Call on Najib to immediately abolish the practice of support letters for contracts to demonstrate his commitment to zero tolerance for corruption

When I visited the Lab Open Day of the Government Transformation Programme (GTP) in Sunway on 18th December last year, I raised the question about the government’s seriousness and commitment to declare an all-out war against corruption and asked why nobody in government, starting from the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak had ever talked about “zero tolerance for corruption”, and this question remains as valid today as seven weeks ago.

It is no use the GTP lab on “fighting corruption” referring to “zero tolerance for corruption” when nobody in government, from the Prime Minister downwards is prepared to embrace it.

The GTP Roadmap makes grandiloquent statements and proposals about fighting corruption but the political will to implement them are sorely lacking.

It proposes the gradual reduction of the “practice of support letters, which are used to exert undue influence on civil servants to circumvent standard policies and processes in obtaining contracts”.

It said:
“Often, these interventions do not necessarily originate from politicians themselves, but from vested individuals who use the support letters as leverage to negotiate with the Government.
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Establish opposition-headed Parliamentary Select Committee on 1Malaysia Government Transformation Programme Roadmap to exercise parliamentary oversight if Najib, Tsu Koon and Idris are serious about major government reforms

I embarrassed Tan Sri Dr. Koh Tsu Koon, the KPI Minister and Chairman of Pemudah and Datuk Idris Jala, the Second KPI Minister and CEO of Pemudah when together with DAP MP for PJ Utara Tony Pua and MP for Bukit Bintang Fong Kui Lun, I visited the 1Malaysia Government Transformation Programme (GTP) Roadmap exhibition just after noon.

Apart from Idris, the GTP Roadmap exhibition staff and the media, there was hardly a soul from the public. Reporters said that the venue was as empty yesterday except for the official launching ceremony of the GTP Roadmap by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

It is almost ten months since Najib became Prime Minister, and apart from his dazzling “1Malaysia. People First. Performance Now” slogan and concept, Malaysians have not felt and could not perceive that there is any meaningful change in their daily lives.

The 261-page “1Malaysia Government Transformation Programme” would make an impressive thesis on nation-building and government transformation but the national challenge today is not who can produce the best-sounding thesis but have the political will to implement meaningful changes in all aspects of national life.

In fact, there could not be a worse time for the launching of the 1Malaysia Government Transformation Programme when for the past month, the Malaysian image of a united, harmonious and progressive nation had suffered prolonged battering in the international media because of the failure of find a quick solution to the “Allah” controversy.
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PM Najib must institute good governance before the country can achieve high income economy

by Dr Chen Man Hin, DAP life adviser


Dr. Zakaria, executive director of MIER at an economic conference on 26th January, stated that for Malaysia to become a high income country, it must liberalise the economy to attract both foreign direct investments as well as domestic investments. This is a hopeful statement, from a dedicated public servant, who wants to see his country prosper.

Unfortunately, he is going to be disappointed, not for lack of trying, but because the political and economic realities do not encourage both foreign and domestic investors to put money in this country.

Widespread corruption, racial prejudices and over regulation of the economy are unfriendly and deter investors to invest. Under an unstable cloud, the investors will not deem the climate here favourable to investors. In fact, this has led to a huge outflow of capital from the country.

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