Apart from the announcement that Sept. 16 will be a public holiday from next year, the first week of the budget meeting of Parliament does not show that the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has the political will to effect the far-reaching changes he promised in his “1Malaysia. People First. Performance Now” slogan.
This week has turned into a week of horrors, not least, the annual horror tales of the bottomless pit of government extravagance, waste, abuse of power and corruption in the 2008 Auditor-General’s Reports, which caused nation-wide shock and outrage for a few days, which will then be forgotten until a year later when another new round of revelations of government financial excesses and abuses are exposed.
The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has come out with a very guarded response stating that it is studying the Auditor-General’s Report 2008 to see if there are elements of corruption, misconduct and abuse of power in the management of public funds.
This is a far cry from the quite “gung-ho” response of the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) two years ago to the tabling of the Auditor-General’s 2006 Report, with the ACA Director-General Datuk Ahmad Said Hamdan proclaiming that the ACA had begun investigations into some of the alleged wrongdoings in the AG’s report long before it was tabled in Parliament – as the agency had received copies of the Auditor-General’s Reports “some time ago”.
Why is the MACC, which has taken over ACA to become more effective and successful in the war against corruption, proving to be the opposite – when it should be now full steam to investigate into the financial improprieties and irregularities as exposed by the Auditor-General’s 2008 Reports as it would have received them much earlier as is the practice?
Is this because the MACC has nothing much to show for its investigations into the shocking exposes of financial improprieties, irregularities and malpractices of past Auditor-General reports and has learnt the lesson not to raise false hopes?
Other events in the past week, both inside and outside Parliament, which do not contribute to public confidence that Najib has the political will to effect far-reaching reforms despite his “1Malaysia. People First. Performance Now” slogan are:
The RM12.5 billion Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) scandal – no political will to give full accountability and transparency when my question of the PKFZ scandal on the first day of Parliament on Oct. 19 was taken off for six weeks till Dec. 3, which has never happened before in 52 years of Parliament;
Renewal of Tan Sri Musa Hassan as IGP – the ridiculous parliamentary answer by the Deputy Home Minister, Abu Seman Yusup that Musa’s term was extended for a year because of his “excellent performance”.
Closure of V.K. Lingam case, as revealed by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz that no legal action would be taken despite the recommendation of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Lingam Tapes that action be taken.
Teoh Beng Hock’s mysterious death at MACC Hqrs in Shah Alam on July 16, 2009, and the expert testimony by Thai forensic pathologist Dr. Pornthip Rojanasunand of 80 percent probability of homicide and only 20 per cent suicide.
These events all point to one direction – that the Najib premiership has no political will to effect far-reaching reforms to restore national and international confidence in the key national institutions in the country, in particular the judiciary, the Attorney-General’s Chambers, the Police and the MACC and to declare an all-out war against corruption.