The decision taken by Selangor Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim to have all executive council members (exco) declare their personal assets, and to have it posted in the internet for public viewing, must be applauded. Hopefully, this will be the trend setter for all other PR controlled state governments to adopt, to fulfill their pledges to uphold good corporate governance, transparency, sincerity and the integrity of its exco members.
It would have been better if all PR state and parliamentary elected representatives do likewise, and this could well be a winning strategy for the PR in their effort to win over greater public confidence towards the party. The question asked is ‘will BN/UMNO elected representatives takes a similar action?’
Talks of exco members and elected representatives enriching themselves and their families by gaining easy access to business opportunities are abound. Even if they claim that they do not indulge in corrupt practices, or even swears by the holy books, it would still be difficult to change public perception that they are persons of high integrity, and are incorruptible.
Most would argue that it is BN/UMNO led government leaders that is the main cause for such public perception, since the public knows no other government since the country attained its independence, except for the BN/UMNO government.
Changing public perception is no easy mean for BN/UMNO leaders. And recent unhealthy developments within UMNO, such as the incidences of money politics has dampened any hope of UMNO leaders redeeming themselves in the eyes of the public as being clean, honest and incorruptible leaders. Many have commented that drastic and corrective measures must come from within UMNO itself, but the lingering question remains as to whether UMNO leaders has the will to correct the ‘ills’ that is so rampantly obvious today. Obviously, in this regards UMNO has failed miserably.
For Najib who is to lead BN/UMNO in the next few days and the nation, this will be his most trying period in his entire political career. Even Tun Mahathir has commented that for the BN/UMNO to survive the next general election, will depend on who Najib chooses as his cabinet members. If Najib chooses those who are known to have a blemished personality and are corrupt, then there is little hope of BN/UMNO winning the next general elections.
Tun Mahathir is no soothsayer, but his comments cannot just be ignored by Najib. And it would be better still for those who knows themselves to be corrupt, and has been severely criticised by the public, to voluntarily withdraw from politics. The public knows too well who are corrupt and who are not.
CRUSADE AGAINST CORRUPTION
Posted at 1.00 pm on March 16, 2009