‘Umno has different moral code?’

(Malaysian Mirror) – Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah is unhappy with the Barisan Nasional’s choice for the Permatang Pasir by-election, asking why Umno has fielded disbarred lawyer Rohaizat Othman.

"Is Umno so short of people that we have to find a lawyer disbarred for financial dishonesty to stand?" the Umno veteran asked in a posting in his blog today.

"Has financial misconduct become so common among us that we no longer see it as a factor in a candidate's suitability?"

tengku razaleigh.jpgThe veteran Gua Musang MP said party leaders who select and screen candidates must have known of this impediment but must have considered financial misconduct a trivial matter.

"I don't know Rohaizat. He may be a fine upstanding citizen. But his public record of dishonesty would have disqualified him from being a candidate for public office in any normal political party," he said.

Razaleigh noted that honesty is a minimal condition for public office.

"Whatever the other virtues of the candidate, he should not be considered if he fails this test," he said.

Different moral code

The former Umno veep said candidates fielded for election must have a clean record because the public are being asked to place their confidence in him as their leader, and a democratic government breaks down without public confidence.

"We are also saying this candidate represents us. I'm sad to have to say such obvious things.

"By fielding a disbarred lawyer, today's Umno is projecting the image that it lives by a different moral code from the rest of Malaysia.

"One set of rules for Umno, and another for everyone else. Either that, or this is the best we can do," he added.

Rohaizat’s predicament has been the subject of PAS’ lashing at Umno since nomination day on Monday.

Yesterday, the Malaysian Bar announced that Rohaizat has been struck off the advocate’s roll for ‘misconduct’.

But Umno has explained that their candidate was a ‘victim of circumstances’.