Pakatan Rakyat needs to get its act together

thomas lee

Many of these small-time appointed councillors are causing much embarassment to the Pakatan Rakyat coalition by their uncouth behaviour in public. Remember the case of one boorish councillor waving his appointment letter at enforcement officers doing their work nearly a year back?

Thomas Lee, Sinchew

Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim has said that he is embarrassed that an investigation into a municipal councillor had been leaked out.

The Pakatan Rakyat-controlled Selangor state government had, two weeks ago, initiated a quiet probe into a third-term DAP municipal councillor suspected of being involved in corruption.

Khalid’s reaction on the so-called leak is rather odd, given the fact that his administration has proposed the enactment of a freedom of information legislation just a week ago.

Instead of being willing to be open and honest with the public on such a scandalous allegation, Khalid seems to want the matter covered up. This is in direct contradiction to the Pakatan Rakyat principles of accountability and transparency.

Khalid has said that he is “actually embarrassed that whatever we had investigated was leaked out.”

He had said this in response to news report that the municipal councillor had used state executive councillor
Ronnie Liu’s official letterhead and seal to support contracts for cronies and a family member.

Why should the Pakatan Rakyat mentri besar feel that way, implying that the matter shouldn’t have been made public? Khalid should in fact report the matter to Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

The Pakatan Rakyat was voted in by the people to take over the administration of the state, with the expectation that it would be an open, transparent and accountable government.

But Khalid’s reaction to the front-page report by chief reporter Elan Perumal of The Star is surely disappointing, given the fact that all those who supported the Pakatan Rakyat expect its administration to be resolute, decisive, and transparent in matters of irregularities, especially in corrupt cases.

The Pakatan Rakyat state government and the coalition leadership cannot afford to be soft on discipline, and the taking of stern action, including sacking and taking legal action, against errant councillors must be taken, without fear or favour.

Many of these small-time appointed councillors are causing much embarassment to the Pakatan Rakyat coalition by their uncouth behaviour in public. Remember the case of one boorish councillor waving his appointment letter at enforcement officers doing their work nearly a year back?

The Pakatan Rakyat leadership must stop all such nonsense if they want to continue the political reformation momentum started since the March 2008 general election.

The impetus gained by the people movement for change and progress since then must not be frustrated by the selfish ambition of some little petty party warlords in demanding and fighting for positions and perks.

DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng’s CAT (Competency,Accountability and Transparency) guideline for the Pakatan Rakyat-controlled Penang state government should be the standard principle and practice for all the other Pakatan Rakyat-controlled states.

The CAT should not be seen as a popular publicity slogan without substance and content, but must be the clarion trumpet war cry against all forms of corruption, cronoyism and the craze for positions, power and perks among the little petty party warlords.

The CAT slogan should be vocally and visibly demonstrated in the steadfast dedication of both the coalition and the Pakatan Rakyat state governments in their socio-economic political agenda to work for a peaceful, prosperous, proactive, progressive and pro bono publico Malaysia.

The political changement de pieds started on the day after the 8th March 2008 general election, and the revolutionary dance must continue with the increasing fast tempo of dramatic and wide-reaching changes in the administrative mindset, culture and practices, starting from the exemplary leadership at the top and filtering down to the grassroots local council level.

Nothing and nobody should be allowed to stand in the way of the revolutionary velocity forward to achieve a clean, corruption-free, and competent government by the people, with the people, for the people.

Hence, Tan Sri Abdul Khalid should not hestitate to expose the rotten and putrid councillor and make him face the music if there is even the slightest sympton of corruption.

The Pakatan Rakyat needs to exorcise the corrupt political demons within its ranks and files fast, if its objective to win the War of Putrajaya is to be realized.

Anyone with any tiny moral smudge is not fit to be appointed as the Pakatan Rakyat representative in any level of the government hierarchy. There should be no compromise on moral and ethical principles. No one who is soiled with immorality and criminality should have any place in the administration of the nation and the people’s well-being.

Why, then, was the person reappointed a councillor for a third term when Ronnie Liu has admitted that he knew about the allegations even before the reappointment of councillors earlier this year?

The Pakatan Rakyat leadership is supposed to make sure that all those appointed to the local councils or other government positions are absolutely clean, above reproach, and have credibility and respect in the community.

Why then the deficiency in this current case, which is casuing a blemish on the otherwise credible administration of Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim?

According to news report, the DAP councillor in his 50s reportedly sits on several committees, in his municipality, including its tender board. He is said to be an office-bearer in the Selangor DAP.

The news report indicated that he was reappointed a councillor despite the allegation of impropriety because he had the support of the state-level party leadership.

Selangor DAP chairman Ean Yong Hian Wah, who is also a state executive councillor, has refuted the claim, saying that the party did not receive any “formal complaint” on the person.

Obviously, the party had heard about the allegation against the person, as Ronnie Liu has admitted. So, Ean Yong’s excuse that no “formal complaint” had been recieved is no justification for the party not to initiate an investigation before re-nominating the person for another term as councillor

The latest shameful and opprobrious episode should serve as the writing on the wall for the Pakatan Rakyat to get its act together, and reorganize its affairs to do battle at Putrajaya.