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.

We cannot accept its rationale that “it is difficult to change this practice overnight”, which is a question of whether there is the political will to make and implement the decision as not in line with the commitment to a “zero tolerance for corruption”.

I call on Najib to immediately abolish the practice of support letters for contracts to demonstrate his commitment to a policy of “zero tolerance for corruption” and to announce that all contracts would be awarded by open tender which would obviate the need for any support letters – a major cause for corruption.

The GTP Roadmap makes grandiloquent statements about tackling the scourge of “grand corruption” by politicians and senior civil servants, but its abysmal record of prosecution and conviction of political “sharks” as compared to “ikan bilis” for corruption does not inspire any confidence.

What credibility is there about GTP Roadmap proposal to address the problem of political funding, when there is thunderous silence about the serious allegation in Barry Wain’s “Malaysian Maverick: Mahathir Mohamad in Turbulent Times” about the mysterious funding of the Umno headquarters, the Putra World Trade Centre?

Wain had alleged that the PWTC was partly financed by the taxpayers, as the government “persuaded” state-owned banks to forgive a large chunk of the loans to finance the project.

Wain quoted former Finance Minister Daim Zainuddin as saying that the banks had written off at least RM140 million in accumulated interests.

He referred to a confidential accountants’ report commissioned by Umno in 1985, which tagged PWTC at RM360 million, and stated that the sum was financed by loans of RM199.5 million from state-owned Bank Bumiputera Malaysia Bhd and RM64.9 million from Malayan Banking Bhd as they were then known.

Additionally, the accountants’ report states that as of March 1986, the Umno appointed company to construct the building, Khidmat Bersatu Sdn. Bhd, had only paid RM51,570 in interest.

If the funding of UMNO headquarters remains a mysterious, with no government having the political will to get to the truth to the serious allegation that Malaysian taxpayers had partly financed it, who will believe that the GTP Roadmap can clean up the problem of political funding to curb “grand corruption” in Malaysia?

  1. #1 by Bigjoe on Friday, 29 January 2010 - 5:48 pm

    The fact of the matter is, with the Allah issue, this country crossed a line we were NOT suppose to. In other words, the Cat is out of the Bag.

    Even if Najib succeed with GTP, its but a temporary reprieve. Sooner or later, something or someone will trigger ‘a sensitive issue’ and things will get worst, worst than what had already happened.

    The fact is there is not a big chance of GTP be an unequivocal success. There is no realistic chance of that happening unless we have a windfall somewhere.

    So all these remain, as Najib is, a delay of the inevitable cathartic change we are doomed for.

  2. #2 by Jeffrey on Friday, 29 January 2010 - 6:02 pm

    This point about “interventions do not necessarily originate from politicians themselves, but from vested individuals who use the support letters as leverage to negotiate with the Government”, these vested individuals and their civil servant supporters justify the privileges whether in form of support letters or interest waiver by state owned banks of failed projects under the auspices of the NEP.

    It is difficult to change if basic ideology of the Govt. still centers on traditional precepts of Ketuanan (race & religion)/NEP.

    The GTP sets National Key Result Areas (“NKRA”) Key Performance Indicators (“KPIs) of civil servants and Ministerial Key Performance Indicators (“MKPI”).

    However by what benchmark does one sets these KPIs or MKPIs against if Ketuanan (race & religion)/NEP prevails as fundamental cornerstone to provide the exemption/exceptions?

    Take for example the Jakim forum for some 800 civil servants some of whom lambasted the government of being “lax in defending Islam, after the High Court ruling allowing a Catholic weekly to use “Allah” in its Bahasa Malaysia section” with one even mentioning the spectre of May 13.

    If Koh Tsu Koon/Idris Jala were to assign points to the attendances of civil servants there and their speeches, what would the KPI be for these civil servants or administrators – plus or minus? Thanks to perhaps BTN’s brainwashing they don’t even agree with their employer the government on this Herald issue.

    The government, since Dr Mahathir time, rears and rides on a tiger of Islamisation that has grown very strong in bureaucracy. Can govt as keeper control the tiger, much less impose KPIs on it when the tiger is gnarling back at it and measuring it back by its own KPIs based on supremacy of race/religion (one and indivisible) and saying that the govt is short in these respects?

    The PM then faces a big headache in trying to reform when faced with this non negotiable Ketuanan principle bequeathed as a Mahathir legacy.

    He – as well as policies like GTP – is wedged between one-side powerful Malay/Islamic lobbies and interest groups and the hawks and war lords with vested interests in the system lobbying for maintenance if not greater emphasis on Ketuanan and on the other side by demands of other Malaysians for greater inclusiveness incompatible with Ketuanan.

    And even now, we have the former premier Tun Dr Mahathir still saying on the sidelines that “the Malay nationalist group Perkasa is popular within the community because Umno is being seen as incapable of protecting their rights”. In trying to balance the opposing demands Najib may satisfy neither side and alienate both.

  3. #3 by Loh on Friday, 29 January 2010 - 6:09 pm

    The trouble remains that the country is run based on syed or wong rather than right or wrong. This may be the only so called democratically elected government in the world when government policies are still based on race, classified by religion. It should have been sacked from the international community long ago.

  4. #4 by limkamput on Friday, 29 January 2010 - 6:35 pm

    GTP itself is a big bluff so please don’t debate and argue over what GTP intends to do or is capable of achieving. Please read my post on this in “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”.

  5. #5 by monsterball on Friday, 29 January 2010 - 7:20 pm

    Never never believe Najib or UMNO will support zero tolerance to corruptions.
    How can you expect these big time corrupted leaders to expose one another……all landing in jail?
    Like”I Malaysia”…this Government Transforming Program is another advertising and promotional exercise that Najib thinks will fool young Malaysians to vote for UMNO/BN.
    All BN crooks are smiling…thinking what a great idea is to get votes.
    That’s all it is to it.
    Bottom line…how many young Malaysians can be fooled by this “Transformer”.
    Yes…Barry Wain’s book and even Port Klang Free Zone RM12.4 billion corruptions..not settled….and never forget BALA 81 answers to 81 questions asked by3 lawyers with one word reply from Najib..”FRIVOLOUS”
    If you think …it is FRIVOLOUS…then by all means trust and believe Najib as the most honest down to earth.. sincere PM…that Malaysians are so fortunate to have.
    If you believe UMNO BARU is not a racist party….you need to have your brain examined.
    The founder Mahathir..playing race and religion dirty politics…right now…non stop..with Najib hero worship him like a good son.
    The recent burning of churches.wild boar heads at mosques cannot be done by Malaysians….if those Malaysians are not being programmed to do so.
    And right now…in this blog…you can see those who support Najib have changed to exposed him..for dirt politics have reached the limits.
    CORRUPTIONS cannot be wiped out by UMNO BARU…the creator …encourager..and supporter of all corruptions….using MONEY…to buy up souls and country…now accusing oppositions doing that..which is so ridiculous…but then…what do you expect crooks to say or do..if not accusing others to cover up their asses.

  6. #6 by Godfather on Friday, 29 January 2010 - 9:34 pm

    Did anyone say “Roadmap” ? Quick, all roads lead to Khazanah in Putrajaya…

  7. #7 by ringthetill on Friday, 29 January 2010 - 11:14 pm

    Sudahlah Jib. Apa itu GTP? Gua tak pahamlah.

  8. #8 by ringthetill on Friday, 29 January 2010 - 11:22 pm

    I think if the policies are correctly implemented, all good things will come naturally. Roadmap only reaches out, what we want is for FDI to find its own way in. Am I a tad too simple?

  9. #9 by DCLXVI on Friday, 29 January 2010 - 11:48 pm

    More ‘feel good’ stuff to distract the rakyat’s attention from hard-hitting stuff like the case of a murdered foreign woman where those convicted have no clear personal motive to commit the crime; the mysterious death of an opposition political aide while being in the premises of a federal government agency; the theft of military hardware from the nation’s air force that purportedly ended up in another country half the world away; etc etc etc…
    ‘Mazal tov’ for the advisors of APCO Worldwide…

  10. #10 by pwcheng on Saturday, 30 January 2010 - 12:30 am

    The talk of fighting against corruption by UMNO is already rancid. And believe me only the naïve will believe them. As the saying goes “it is easier to move mountains than to change habits”. Corruption is already in UMNO’s blood and it is already a culture or habit which is strongly embedded in them. The rhetoric and heighten activities of showcasing the GTP labs will soon fade away into the horizon to wait for another dawn with another slogan.
    The way that things are moving and from past and present experiences (as I had lived through all the 6 Prime ministers) I can safely say, nothing will change. Putting two scapegoats to be in charge of the GTP is already an indication that there are no seriousness, as one is a total dropout and the other a parachutist who knows next to nothing about politics and an easy meat for the UMNO warlords who will tear him into shreds and make mincemeat out of him. Even “strongman” like OTK can be made into a dumb barrel (have any body heard him talking about fighting corruption nowadays) what more these two stooges.
    Putting 2 and 2 together, unfortunately I have to agree that there is no political will, only staging a show to hoodwink the gullible. I can confidently say that the GTP and all its lab exhibitions are staged right from the start and failure is not a coincident but a choice for UMNO.
    The people must realize that UMNO had brought dismal failure to the country by its massive corruption and wrong policies. I hope the Malays will realize that it is no use to have special privileges when there is non to share. What difference does it make whether you are a king or a beggar if the country has no food?

  11. #11 by frankyapp on Saturday, 30 January 2010 - 2:26 am

    GTP roadmap for zero tolerance corruption,wow it’s pretty fashionable and hot but I can assure you guys ,it’s just like hot chicken shit. Like I said before and am saying again,it’s just like asking NR to catch his own shadow. Umno/Bn is totally corrupted and they are committed to defend at all costs,no matter what it takes.Who would want to lose his/her power,importance and ifluence ,not even a fool,just to please some oppositons over some idealistic programs. These guys have enjoyed A-Z goodies for the past 50 years and still survive pretty good ( seem to think) and why would we think that they would give it up. Umnoputras and cronies know,should Umno/Bn fell into good hand (PR),they would have to face the democratic process and be caught,trial and jail for the crimes they have committed.They know pretty well too that all the wealth/richness would not help them in a free and democratic society. In a nut shell,Umno/Bn is fighting for its lives.And like a drowning person,they would catch hold of any thing,even a straw hoping to survive. Can they,I think no,this time around they have no chance,not even a straw would be there to help them.

  12. #12 by monsterball on Saturday, 30 January 2010 - 6:21 am

    Sounds like 13th GE will be on.
    Fear and terror do not work.
    Race and religion…worst.
    Therefore “good news” must be applied.
    Always remember the one word ‘FRIVOLOUS” reply to 81 answers 81 questions asked by 3 lawyers and the 3 lawyers concluded Bala did answer truthfully.
    So Najib “FRIVOLOUS” was also for the 3 lawyers.
    All are liars….except Najib………FANTASTIC!!
    Now this PM plating the role of TRANSFORMER….again trying o fool young voters.
    The word FRIVOLOUS have done him in…and we need to show that in 13th GE.
    He will drag on and on till his last day…as Najib knows…once 13th GE on..he will never be an elected PM by Malaysians.
    The ghost of Mongolian model will haunt him for life. The truths will all be revealed soon.
    Timing must be right.

  13. #13 by boh-liao on Saturday, 30 January 2010 - 7:53 am

    Unemployable? No problemo
    Get support letters 2 apply 2 b a can-or-not space tourist or a pimp
    A Chinese national on holiday in Singapore fell in love with a suave, good-looking Malaysian, but the man turned out to be a pimp who forced her to service more than 6,000 clients in the republic

  14. #14 by chengho on Saturday, 30 January 2010 - 8:55 am

    What is KPI and CAT Leg in Penang ; why no open tender as promises , no PBT election ? why zarin called Leg autocratic and chauvinist leader?…

  15. #15 by Onlooker Politics on Saturday, 30 January 2010 - 9:34 am

    “why zarin called Leg autocratic and chauvinist leader?…” (chengho)

    Zahrin proves that some PKR members are still badly infected with the disease of Umno reminiscence! Very seemingly Zahrin is laying a smooth path for returning to Umno.

  16. #16 by monsterball on Saturday, 30 January 2010 - 9:35 am

    Open tenders are promised.
    Zarin is complaining LGE sits as chairman..which is right thing to do…to ensure no hanky panky.
    You get a very hard working honest CM…some one is not happy. I wonder why.

  17. #17 by Motorist on Saturday, 30 January 2010 - 11:18 am

    “zero tolerance for corruption”…. to UMNO is like:

    1. the fat lady slimming AND stop shopping forever
    2. the fat lady repenting her major sin & joining a religious NGO to do charity work
    3. pink lips stop wishing his joy stick is back inside Mongolia (or the MILF singer ZZ)
    4. pak blur actually staying awake through the meeting
    5. the infamous son in law having a conscience
    6. that mamak actually admit he is of Indian origin
    7. Anwar Ibrahim actually is guilty of sodomy

  18. #18 by yhsiew on Saturday, 30 January 2010 - 11:24 am

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

    Why are they so reluctant to abolish the practice of support letters for contracts? One can only guess that either they want to continue with the old system to “reap a fortune” or they are incapable of controlling corruption.

  19. #19 by Syeikhs85 on Saturday, 30 January 2010 - 12:56 pm

    Well, The Government Transformation Program on zero tolerance to corruption must be commended but until today we don’t seems to hear from any one in the politics to support it by extending the political will in the fight of corruption ofcourse apart from the MACC. We must remember that fighting corruption must not be shouldered solely by the MACC but there must be political will and support by all political masters, the head of departments must open their eyes and ensure there is no loop holes for any corrupt practices in their environment, the civil servants must upheld integrity, accountability and transparency in performing all their official functions, the private sectors too must play their utmost part in combating corruption in their companies and when dealing with others, the enforcement officers must do their job rightly, consistently and be seen to be doing their job in a manner they are expected to, lastly all citizen must log their hands together in fighting corruption.

    We can together make the different and change by always being accountable to ourselves and the society by having high integrity in our daily life. Do not ‘practice’ any gratification, adhere to the laws and regulations, don’t tolerate any form of corruption and lastly be a whistle blower on the matter.

    We should support the fight against corruption to transform our country into a peaceful, stable and harmonious place to live not only for us but for our future generations. Don’t create a bad environment for our future generation in their own homeland then they will not be thankful to their ancestors.

  20. #20 by storm62 on Saturday, 30 January 2010 - 3:27 pm

    support letter are license to rob a project.

    LGE did the right thing to reject “support letter” from the umno pm’s dept…..ha ha ha…..shame on zahrain…..sore loser.

  21. #21 by frankyapp on Saturday, 30 January 2010 - 3:55 pm

    Hey SyeiKhs85,your the darling of all good and honest people.We really appreciated your positive thinking. But the reality is not pretty good. The fact is,you go to the MACC,they would grill you up to dawn,then drop you down the building. You become a whistle blower and go see the IGP,he would tell you to wait up til doom day.Again you go ,see HM Kris-some one,he would tell you to go home,as he could not control it. And finally you meet PM NR and he would tell you that it’s all FRIVOLOUS.And if you insisted,he would C4U. Now where do you go from there. And if you again ,go see the HM and insisted that there’s wide spread of corruption by Umnoputras and croines,you would be landed under ISA ,for your safety in Kumunting,Taiping, hence missing all your mother’s “nasi lamak”. Would you want it ?. The only solution , for us and for the future generation in our homeland is to change the regime.It’s the most safest mean and nobody gets hurt.

  22. #22 by monsterball on Saturday, 30 January 2010 - 4:12 pm

    That’s good observations…frankyapp.
    Syeikhs85…must also want all Malaysians to help catch thieves and robbers.
    hi…Shaky ….faark MACC la…not protect them…can or cannot?

  23. #23 by Syeikhs85 on Monday, 1 February 2010 - 12:11 am

    Thanks frankyapp for the sincere appreciation and also for your good observation too.

    I am sure everyone have some bad experiences when come to dealing with the enforcement and service sectors. However, one bad experience should not be the yard stick for any conclusion. Why must one be afraid to be grilled or frustrated for not being entertained by the people in the authorities, after all we have good reason to approach them to lodge the complaint as long as it is a sincere and factual complaint.

    We must transform, go ahead to lodge reports or complaints of corrupt practices or any wrong doings as long as there is a basis. Don’t give up. The day we give up hope in fighting corruption and wrong doings then the devils will jump in joy. Let the authorities take whatever action deems appropriate against the complaint or report. Give them some time but not a long one. If there is no action lets say in 14 days then call them up to inquire and if unsatisfactory reason were given ‘blast’ them in the blog or the media or even approach Karam Singh Walia and company of TV3’s Aduan Rakyat. However, before encountering any bad experience for ourselves don’t perceive or wrong the authorities. They are only doing their job. We shall understand the tough time they have in solving crime including corrupt practices. It’s not an easy task. It’s not like what we see in the movies. Corruption especially where both the giver and receiver work hand in glove. Both benefits, one get the project or services and the other some extra perk in addition to the salary received.

    Changing the regime should only be considered as a last resort after all our demands for high integrity, accountability and transparency fails or if the reality and facts showed corruption in the administration is untolerable no more but not on perception. Mind you, corruption could be the cause for a government to fall and be fallen but it never ends there. The succeeding government which finger points the previous for corruption will be complacent to corruption and as time passes will be blamed for the same. Then the succeeded government will fall. The cycle will go on and on but without any real success in eradicating corruption. There is no guarantee the succeeding government will not involve in any corrupt practices. I am not saying the elected ones but their cronies, administrators, friends, relatives etc.

    In conclusion, I sincerely think that every one of us whether inclined to the ruling government or the opposition or even those not inclined to any political parties must ‘fight’ corruption and wrong doings by the individuals in the authorities or the administrations. Set standards of services acceptable as satisfactory. Demand for integrity, accountability and transparency. To gether we force for reformation in the product and service sectors.

    I think we must have a positive mind by not blaming or attacking the authorities for inablity to bring the corrupts or criminals to trial due to lack of evidence. However, we could name and shame the ‘culprits’ or even anyone who supports the ‘culprits’ after all our efforts failed. We shall do that without being ‘caught’ for defamation.

    Lets start doing something now so as to see good governance in the future. May be not for us to enjoy but our future generations. Don’t give way for corruption or wrong doings to rule us.

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