Talking about Integrity - KJ John

Nukilan Khairul Faizi bin Ahmad Kamil | 10/22/2007 01:04:00 PM | 0 Pandangan »

Integrity now! - Malaysiakini
KJ John

Oct 16, 07 5:41pm
KJ John served in public service for 30 years and took optional retirement to work in his own consulting group. He hopes to see transparent and open, new governance practiced in Malaysia some day.

The premier has made integrity his battle cry against corruption. He set up the National Institute of Integrity to help the nation migrate towards a culture of integrity. Towards this direction, a National Integrity Plan of NIP was launched as a framework to nip corruption in the bud among all and sundry.

There was a lot of fanfare and the people were genuinely excited generally about the PM’s Agenda. Many were aware that bribery and corruption had become a culture and were fearful as to where the nation was heading. I believe things are and maybe moving in the right direction. But, there is only one very serious problem - the question of political will of the leader.

Ordinary people are very proud of the PM and even like him very much. However, talking to many of them over the Hari Raya period, I was told ‘We are not sure though whether he is serious about his Integrity Plan’.

Now, why are they saying this? I believe there maybe one single reason - do his actions yet match his talk? Except for the Umno vice-president incident who paid the price of corrupt practice, there appears to have been nobody else who has been publicly named and shamed. Even the chief secretary seems to have kept his word because I hear that about 30-40 government officers named by the ACA have been disciplined or punished through internal mechanisms because of the lack of evidence to charge in court. But, back to the PM.

I think all it takes is one solid case to show that his talk and walk can be matched. And I think there is a solid case facing all of us and which was in fact highlighted for all to read and see recently. This is the case of ‘Raja Zakaria and his Istana’. As an ordinary citizen I can only wonder how a railway gate-keeper could amass so much wealth. At my close friend’s open house, this palatial mansion was the talk of the day.

Another friend who is a property developer estimates that the palace cannot cost less than RM25 million. May I ask the PM to explain if there is integrity in the case here? Or, could I ask the Inland Revenue Department how much tax the great Zak paid last year? Or, could the ACA investigate how this low-cost land was sold to his wife without impunity?

Maybe, the Umno Selangor chief can explain how an elected representative could have such assets, since suddenly the police too are willing to investigate their own senior officers for the first time, in a long while. Or, are the police and public servants the only ones to be investigated? Sultan to rescue?

To me, all said and done, the PM’s integrity agenda may sound hollow unless something concrete is done to Raja Zakaria and his Istana. And if there is no political will to do so because may be the rot goes further than Zakaria, possibly into the Umno headquarters, then I appeal to the Sultan of Selangor (photo) to read the column by Syed Nazri in the New Straits Times today and consider banishing Zakaria from Selangor, so that the Tuanku can simply become the new icon of reinstating the integrity to this nation.

Then the Sultan could maybe decree that the palace be turned into a Museum for Bribery and Corruption, and ordinary people could contribute artifacts and actual stories or case-studies of what happens to those who are corrupt. I remember meeting a Filipino friend after Marcos’ collapse. He was concerned about the waste of funds for a bust of Marcos similar to that of the US presidents at Mount Rushmore.

It was built and now Marcos was no more...what do you do with the bust, he wondered? I suggested that the people simply put a large bandana over his face and make this self-made hero into a public crook! History must teach lessons as well. All crooks must be recognised for who they really are! They cannot be made into back-door heroes simply because no one has the courage to call a spade a spade.

I would therefore like to end this column with this poem someone sent me. It really captures my feelings and maybe the misinformation and disinformation many of us have heard. and which leaves us consequently disillusioned with the PM’s Integrity Agenda, especially the visible gap between the espoused theory and the theory-in-use.

This is a story about Malaysian society Where different races supposedly live in harmony In 2003, came along a Prime Minister by the name of Abdullah Ahmad Badawi Who led his party to a resounding election victory. This is a PM whose promises are many All his slogans are equally catchy As a result, many people are taken in completely By his humble and Mr Clean personality.

First among his chief promises is to combat corruption immediately That has everyone applauding loudly But until today, all the major cases are still one big mystery Lack of evidence or is he fooling us secretly? Not long after, he introduced Islam Hadhari Some complained there is only one version of Islam from the Almighty Anyway, what is it all about, no one knows exactly Except for some broad points outlined in theory.

Then, he said we need to cut our budget deficit quickly Which started the dismantling of Tun M's legacy This caused us to hear about the crooked bridge flip-flop story With all the accusations, what is fiction and what is reality?

By his own admission, his son is extremely wealthy Because he controls a listed company by the name of Scomi Was once implicated in the shipment of banned components to a Middle Eastern country But his son claimed ignorance and that's the end of the story. He also has a son-in-law by the name of Khairy Not elected but is Umno Youth's deputy Got entangled in the merged Avenue-ECM Libra entity Which happened right under the nose of the PM-led Finance Ministry.

Then, we came across a foreign newspaper reporting factually Of his adventure to see a yacht at a faraway place somewhere in Turkey This is not true, he said insistently But I don't see the newspaper issuing any apology.

Next, came the jet on the itinerary Bought or leased, he is lucky that Malaysians are not financially savvy The jet is also for the Agong's use, he said publicly I wonder whether the Agong requested for one specifically?

Later, we read of his holidays in an Australian city Staying in a mansion owned by someone named Patrick Badawi We shouldn't be so critical if he was only away temporarily Except for the fact that there was a major flood in our own territory.

Then, we get the case of Proton disposing off a subsidiary Not for a large amount but for a mere penny Many think behind the deal something's very fishy Tun M's pet project is certainly going awry.

Overall, crime rates are going up rapidly Confidence in our police is at its lowest historically But the IGP got his tenure extended easily He must be thinking everything's hunky-dory. He has also been busy launching economic regions lately Trying to attract foreign investments into the country Sadly, some are saying that the northern development is benefitting a crony While others argue the southern one will end up as LKY's colony.

You see, I can go on and on about this indefinitely Because it is easy and I do not need to create any of them individually They are all plucked from the web where the stories about him are aplenty From promoting judges unfairly to always being sleepy.

Actually, I am just an ordinary Malaysian who cares about her country And I have to state that I am not against him or his policy For I do not care who is the Perdana Menteri As long as the person is capable and trustworthy.

0 Pandangan