UMNO and Corruption

  1. Corruption is caused as well as increased because of the change in the value system and ethical qualities of men who administer. The old ideals of morality, service and honesty are regarded as an anachronism.
  2. Tolerance of people towards corruption, complete lack of intense public outcry against corruption and the absence of strong public forum to oppose corruption allow corruption to reign over people.

The stupidest mistake UMNO can make now is turning Khir Toyo’s purely legal problem into a political one. That will mean making out UMNO as a victim of some sinister plot targeting its leaders. Of course it’s targeting its leaders- the corrupt ones. We don’t have to have pity on these. If we do, then we have confused our values system.

It’s time we face the reality, that some crook UMNO leaders have become rich on their ill-gotten gains. Ordinary UMNO members are certainly interested to know the value of Khir’s House. Dr Mahathir once said, even his house which is far modest than this dentist’s already cost the value Khir used to advertise around. Dr Mahathir’s house costs the same as the price Khir bought his land.

Its time leaders like Khir Toyo share the feelings of being given the usual unsolicited talk-down advice of “there’s nothing to fear if you have done nothing wrong”.

UMNO should not be apologetic if these things happen to its leaders. PM Najib wants to do house cleaning and he does embark on it seriously, his tasks are like cleaning the Augean Stables. But he must do it, as elections loom nearer. He needs support not apologetic pleadings.

I am ready to commend PM Najib when he takes a ‘doing right’ position. And it’s here that I can explain something to the knuckleheads out there.

A political adversary asked me- why are you hitting at PM Najib at every chance you get? Weren’t you his ADUN before and served as divisional committee member for a number of years and was also his information chief in UMNO Pekan? Let me state unequivocally here: I am an UMNO man. I hadn’t abandoned the party. I support PM Najib. But I am critical of him and his policies. There are so many obsequious supporters around him that may prevent him from getting a reality check. So don’t begrudge me from being my critical self. There are enough of you out there who can balance my trenchant criticisms.

I can say these things: – no one can say PM Najib hasn’t got a good work ethics. This I personally know. He is a workaholic. He is also a personable fellow. Despite these endearing qualities, I would be remiss in my self-assumed duty if I were to hold back from giving honest criticisms. I have seen the near disastrous effects of people around him giving ear pleasing disinformation to Najib. In the 1999 GE, Najib won the Pekan seat with a majority of 241 votes. This was caused mainly by people around him giving lulling disinformation which created a false sense of invincibility. He has learnt an important lesson- that victory has to be won over and over again. And he must never trust those Malay-Greeks bringing gifts.

At the same time, there are also many good things he has done and will do.

He also has those qualities that aren’t so good. Trying to be all things to all people, is one of them. Limiting himself from taking decisive and at times surgical measures is another. Mistaking loyalty for competence is another. The list is long. So I try to point these out in my style.

Now he has allowed the law to take its course on one leading UMNO leader. He has shown his resolve too when Anwar Ibrahim met up with him. You know Anwar Ibrahim- he still thinks Najib as his deputy as last time and spoke down on Najib. I don’t have to elaborate on the subject of the conversation between Anwar and Najib. What Najib said must have jolted Anwar. That he doesn’t control the judiciary and Anwar would have to allow the due process of law to take place. We have seen how Anwar has exploited every avenues permitted by law to beat the system.

Now, he has shown his resolve once again. Khir was MB for Selangor for a number of years. He is a leader of UMNO Selangor. But he is not getting any favorable treatment in the present case. And PM Najib has said this is a normal judicial process.

How do we treat Khir’s case? First, avoid turning khir into a martyr. He is not. If he has gotten his wealth though ill-gotten means, he must suffer the punishment. As this case is expected to take up some time, his political career is dismal. If there is a taint of corruption, he will certainly not be fielded as candidate in the next election.

Khir’s case can’t be among the 18 high profile cases declared pompously by Rais Yatim a few years ago? It also can’t be one of those hidden in the many boxes announced by Senator Ezam Mohd Noor some time ago. This case postdates whatever said by the two.