Yesterday, I suggested that the 100-Day Countdown to the 13th General Elections be computed from New Year’s Day and that all Malaysians take part in the daily countdown to the 13GE because of the historic significance and possibilities of this event.
On the 99-day Countdown to the 13th General Elections, I call on the 13.1 million electorate to make corruption one of the top election issues for the first time in 13 general elections in the past 53 years.
Last Saturday, Bernama carried the following report:
All BN candidates for the 13th general election have been found to be free of corruption and other crimes, BN secretary-general Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor said today.
He said the candidates for the 222 parliamentary and 505 state seats had undergone screening by the police, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and Department of Insolvency to ensure that they were “clean” and did not have any problems.
Tengku Adnan spoke to reporters after presenting school aid and People’s Volunteer Corps (Rela) uniforms at a gathering of the people here where a durian feast was also held.
He also said that the background of the candidates was subjected to scrutiny to ensure that they were the people’s choice.
“We want the candidates to be whom the people want, not whom the party or individuals in the party want. We want candidates whom the people feel they can represent them,” he said.
This Bernama report which provoked widespread public scorn and contempt has provided proof, if proof is still needed, that the UMNO/Barisan Nasional is incapable of being serious or being trusted in any campaign against corruption.
Malaysians should not forget the 2004 general elections when the Barisan Nasional took out full-page advertisements confessing that the government was “corrupt and rotten to the core …with no aspect of life untainted by corruption” and urging the Malaysian electorate to give Pak Lah the mandate to be a “modern-day Justice Bao” in an “all-out war against corruption”.
Abdullah did not become a “modern day Justice Bao”. Instead, Malaysia sank further every year in the Transparency International (TI) Corruption Perception Index (CPI), falling from No. 37 in 2003 when Tun Mahathir stepped down as Prime Minister to No. 47 when Abdullah was forced out of Seri Perdana, to the four worst TI CPI rankings ever recorded for Malaysia all under Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s premiership from 2009 – 2012 (i.e. No. 56 for 2009 and 2010, No. 60 for 2011 and No. 54 for 2012).
Can Najib credibly claim that he could succeed where Abdullah had failed – to become a “modern-day Justice Bao” to conduct an all-out war against corruption and uproot a system “corrupt and rotten to the core …with no aspect of life untainted by corruption” as far back as two general elections ago in 2004?
Tengku Adnan’s statement as reported by Bernama last Saturday is testimony that the UMNO/Barisan Nasional have turned the serious issue of corruption in Malaysia into a mockery and a farce.
How could all the 222 BN parliamentary and 505 State Assembly candidates for the 13GE be screened and cleared of any corruption or other crimes by the MACC, the police and the Department of Insolvency when it is public knowledge that the BN and its member parties haver not yet finalised their 222 parliamentary and 505 State Assembly candidates?
What Tengku Adnan probably meant is that all the 222 BN parliamentary and 505 State Assembly candidates for the 13GE would be found to be free of corruption and other crimes as the MACC and the police would be required to issue “a blank cheque” of clearance for all of them.
This is final proof why the issue of corruption should become a top election issue in the 13GE as there can be no serious war against corruption so long as Putrajaya is run by UMNO/BN – as only a change of system with a Pakatan Rakyat government in Putrajaya can begin the long, arduous but necessary clean-up of the government and country.
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