Damn those who are corrupt. That has been my stand since I started blogging. But the stand in UMNO is quite different as seen from the recent decision made by the party's disciplinary committee upon those found guilty for money politics; to be exact.......corruption. The wisdom of the committee in dealing with money politics is now being questioned and challenged; not only within the party, but more so among the common people in the streets..
One would expect a punishment for the same offence to be meted consistently, but in the case of Ali Rustam and Khairy Jamaludin, it was glaringly different. Despite the explanation given by the disciplinary committee's chairman, many are confused, resulting in various perceptions that will only create more uncertainty, suspicion and mistrust among supporters of those individuals involved and party members.
Voices of discontent are being heard in the streets and around coffee shops. Many says that the punishment is bias and laced with favouritism, especially one that was meted on Khairy. One even commented that the disciplinary committee be made redundant, as the decisions clearly does not reflect the seriousness of the party in dealing with the scourge of corruption.
What is even more laughable is the statement made by Najib of Ali Rustam, that despite being found guilty of money politics and being barred from contesting in the general assembly, Ali Rustam's position as the Chief Minister and other party post in the state are not affected. One cannot understand the rational of the party being hush in one instant, and being soft like a pussy cat on the other. This raises the question that UMNO is toothless and is not at all serious in dealing with cases of corruption. Little wonder that corruption is so well entrenched in the party.
One is reminded of the former FT Minister Isa Samad, who was found guilty of money politics (somewhat similar to Ali Rustam), and was suspended from the party and lost his position as the minister as well. What is so serious in Isa Samad's case, and what is not so serious in Ali Rustam's case that the latter is given a lesser punishment? This needs to be explained by party leaders if the disciplinary committee is to remain relevant.
Now, Ali Rustam has submitted an appeal against the punishment, and it was also reported that he had met the PM, presumably to seek a redress of wrong. Will Ali Rustam be given a reprieve and be allowed to contest? What will be the reaction of his supporters if he is not given a reprieve? Will there be more protest that can distract the running of the general assembly?
These are tough questions for the PM and more so for Najib. And whatever the answers may be, this will certainly not solve the never ending scourge of corruption in UMNO.
CRUSADE AGAINST CORRUPTION
Posted at 8.50 pm March 18, 2009