Wednesday 17 October 2012

Guan Eng teaches Najib how to fight graft - Athi Shankar

The Penang chief minister and DAP secretary-general outlines six steps for Putrajaya to follow.
GEORGE TOWN: DAP has proposed six crucial steps for Putrajaya to fight graft and rescue the country from bankruptcy.
Party secretary-general Lim Guan Eng proposed making public declaration of assets, implementing open competitive tenders, barring family members from government contracts, protecting genuine whistleblowers, removing Barisan Nasional leaders with extravagant lifestyles and coming clean on political donations.
“Will BN leaders walk their talk by applying the six steps?” asked the Penang chief minister.
He called on the federal government to first emulate his Pakatan Rakyat state government by institutionalising public declaration of assets.
Lim and his state executive councillors had already publicly declared their assets so he could not see any reason for Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak and the federal Cabinet doing so as well.
“The declaration was even certified by an international accounting firm,” pointed out the Pakatan leader in his blog posting.
Lim, the Bagan MP, also called Najib to immediately drop BN leaders with extravagant lifestyles, owning luxury homes, cars and huge personal bank accounts in foreign countries.
The third step was to bar family members of BN leaders from involving in government business to avoid another RM250 million “cow – condo” National Feedlot Centre scandal.
Lim also called on Najib’s administration to protect, not to prosecute, genuine whistleblowers, who exposed corruption cases leading to charges in court.
The fifth, he said, BN must come clean on political donations such as the RM40 million political donation to Sabah Umno.
Finally, he wanted the federal government to implement open competitive tenders like in Penang.
Without open competitive tenders, he said public projects were directly negotiated and awarded to cronies causing loss of public revenue such as the cheap sale of the Sungai Besi Air Force Base land.
Similarly, he asked whether the RM386 million for 57 KR1M stores in Sabah and Sarawak or RM6.7 million per store was justified.
At RM6.7 million per store, he wondered whether the KR1M stores were selling basic necessities like sugar, salt and rice or luxury items like jewellery and designer handbags.
Due to the implementation of an open competitive tender system in Penang since 2008, Lim claimed that his state government was able to table surplus budgets each year with proceeds from the savings going back to the people annually in the form of an “anti-corruption dividend”.
Unless action was taken against unhealthy practices, he warned that the Transparency International (TI) Corruption Perception Index (CPI) on Malaysia would not only drop further “but the country may go bankrupt.”
Probe Sabah Umno
Lim said Malaysia’s CPI dropped from 37 in 2003 to 60 in 2012, prompting TI Malaysia Chapter deputy president Mohammad Ali to note that elements of state-facilitated grand corruption were prevalent.
He noted that even Housing and Local Government Minister Chor Chee Heung had admitted that corruption cost Malaysia RM26 billion every year.
He pointed out that the Global Financial Integrity Report from Washington estimated that more than RM1,077 million of illicit money flowed out illegally from Malaysia between 2000 and 2009.
He said Malaysians were shocked with the written parliamentary reply by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nazri Abdul Aziz that the Attorney-General’s Chambers had not found any element of corruption in the case of Sabah timber trader Michael Chia, who was detained in Hong Kong for trying to smuggle out RM40 million in Singaporean currency allegedly meant for Sabah Chief Minister Musa Aman.
Nazri has said that MACC investigations revealed that the S$16 million (RM40 million) cash constituted political contributions to Sabah Umno and not Musa, thereby clearing Musa of charges of corruption and money laundering.
But Lim said it was astounding that MACC cleared Musa or Sabah Umno so easily when the political donation involved was a huge sum.
He said MACC should instead demand Sabah Umno to come clean on political donations especially on to who and why Sabah Umno was able to get RM40 million cash.
He said MACC should also probe how much more unreported political donations were forthcoming for Sabah Umno.
The Sabah incident, said Lim, recalled the extent of extraordinary wealth of Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud with allegations that his family was worth billions of ringgit.
He said the enormity of Taib’s family wealth was corroborated by the current divorce proceedings of his son Mahmud Abu Bekir Taib.
He said Mahmud’s ex-wife had revealed that Taib’s son alone was worth at least RM1 billion, with 110 personal accounts in foreign banks across the globe.
Another case, pointed out Lim was the extravagant lifestyle of Malacca Chief Minister Mohd Ali Rustam, who until today had failed to explain who sponsored his son’s lavish wedding.

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