The reason Malays are “corrupt”

Now tell me, how to avoid corruption when you need to blow RM6 billion? And in between elections every five years you need to spend billions for party expenses. So, every five years, all parties involved need to look for a combined total of RM8-10 billion. You can do this without corruption?


Raja Petra Kamarudin

There Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad goes again. Today, he is repeating his mantra that Malays are corrupt (READ HERE).

Actually, not only Malays are corrupt. The entire human race is corrupt, including the non-Malays in Malaysia as well. The only thing is we need to define the meaning of corruption because there are many different types and levels of corruption. And some corruption is based on need while others are based on greed.

In other words, some corruption can be avoided while some cannot. And there are times when corruption becomes necessary because it is human nature to want to survive and by not being corrupt that would mean you will not be able to survive.

When Mahathir talks about corruption he always looks at it from the “cash is king” perspective, which is what he refers to in his blog posting today. Is Mahathir saying as long as money or cash is not involved then that is okay because then that is not corruption?

Mahathir did say a month or two ago that set-off (or offset) in business is a “normal” practice and hence quite acceptable. So that means Mahathir accepts corruption but the way it is done determines whether corruption is or is not considered “acceptable corruption”.

Selangor Menteri Besar Datuk Harun Idris was jailed for money which UMNO received

This reminds me of Selangor Menteri Besar Datuk Harun Idris’s corruption case back in 1977.

Datuk Harun was convicted on three charges of corruption, in that he as Menteri Besar of Selangor (a) solicited the sum of RM250,000.00 for UMNO as an inducement to obtain the approval of the Executive Council in respect of an application for a piece of State land; (b) being a member of a public body accepted for UMNO the sum of RM25,000.00 as inducement to obtain such approval and (c) accepted for UMNO the sum of RM225,000.00 as an inducement to obtain such approval.

Now, during the trial it was pointed out that Datuk Harun was never really involved or directly involved. His UMNO people (not Datuk Harun himself) had negotiated the “political donation” for UMNO in exchange for the approval of the land the donor was seeking. The money was not paid to Datuk Harun but to UMNO. Datuk Harun, in fact, never even physically touched the money.

But then Datuk Harun knew about it when the state approved the land for the donor. Datuk Harun knew that there would be a political donation paid for the approval of the land. It did not matter that the money did not go to Datuk Harun. The crux of the matter was that Datuk Harun knew the money would be paid for the service of approving the land.

And because of that Datuk Harun went to jail.

Mahathir released Harun Idris from jail and taught the Malays that money for the party is not corruption

Then Mahathir arranged for Datuk Harun to be pardoned and released from jail. And that was because Datuk Harun did not personally benefit from the money. The beneficiary was UMNO. And if the kickback, bribe, under-the-table money, offset, set-off, duit kopi, commission, etc., is not for you personally but for UMNO, then it is not corruption and can be allowed.

In the pre-Merdeka days, no one wanted to become an UMNO leader. In fact, Tunku Abdul Rahman had to be forced to take over as the UMNO President. And you had to beg people to hold positions in UMNO.

Tunku was quite wealthy before he became the UMNO President and by the time he retired he was broke and needed charity. That was because he sold everything to finance UMNO. The UMNO leaders were basically poor, 70% of them school teachers and government servants plus journalists, writers, poets, activists, etc.

Then Mahathir changed the UMNO policy and teachers and government officers were barred from holding positions in UMNO. So, the corporate people came in and UMNO rapidly turned into a party for those with money. And these people spent money to win positions in UMNO.

Anwar Ibrahim spent RM200 million cash in Sabah alone to oust Tun Ghafar Baba as UMNO’s Deputy President in 1993

UMNO changed. These businessmen and corporate people were able to (and were willing to) spend RM2 million for a branch post, RM10 million for a division post, RM100 million for a supreme council post, RM250 million for a vice president’s post. And RM500 million for a deputy president’s post. You would need more than RM500 million to win the UMNO Presidency.

Teachers, government servants, journalists, writers, poets, activists, and so on, did not have that kind of money. Only people with money had that kind of money. And that was when UMNO became a money game.

But how do you obtain tens of millions or hundreds of millions? Well, you make deals, of course. And that was what Mahathir did to UMNO. He turned it into a party for those who have money.

If you spend RM10 million or RM50 million or RM100 million to win a position in UMNO, you need to recover that money. That would be normal. Then you need to fund your branch or division. That costs money as well. Then you need to look after your supporters. Money again. Then comes the big one, the general elections.

In 2005, Isa samad was suspended from UMNO for six years for spending millions to buy votes in the party election

So, you see, it was Mahathir who changed UMNO into a “money-talks-bullshit-walks” party. However, if it is of any consolation, UMNO is not the only party that is like this. Every party in Malaysia and every party all over the world plays money-politics. It is just the degree that differs from one party to another.

This next general election or GE15 is going to cost the Election Commission RM1.2 billion (what they said last week). UMNO will need to spend RM1.5 billion (Mahathir said) — or RM3 billion for Perikatan Nasional. Mahathir will spend RM1 billion on his party or RM3 billion for Pakatan Harapan.

In short, the total cost for GE15 for all parties involved would be about RM6 billion.

Now tell me, how to avoid corruption when you need to blow RM6 billion? And in between elections every five years you need to spend billions for party expenses. So, every five years, all parties involved need to look for a combined total of RM8-10 billion. You can do this without corruption?