Tuesday, October 6, 2009

What "technical matter"? Corruption is corruption no matter what.

Wah, so quick, Najib came to the defence of Isa, that his corruption case was one of a "technical matter". Hello, friend, technical or otherwise, corruption is still corruption. Similarly, one cannot ruled Kugan's case as one of "causing grievous hurt" when the charge should be premeditated murder. It is as simple as that because it resulted in the death of Kugan, you know like no longer breathing, lifeless. Now let's see what Uncle Lim has to say about the "technical matter" of Isa.

The Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s defence of Tan Sri Mohd Isa Ismail’s corruption offence as only a “technical matter” is a mega-tonne explosion demolishing one of the six National Key Result Areas (NKRAs) he announced on his Hundred Day as Prime Minister – “fighting corruption”.

Responding to the unabated criticisms of the choice of Isa as Umno/Barisan Nasional candidate for Bagan Pinang by-election, Najib told Malaysian students in Paris that Isa was chosen based on his capability and popularity, and that Isa’s offence was only a technical matter within UMNO and did not involve the judiciary of the country.

Najib said the question is whether Isa deserved a second chance or not, pointing out that in our system, even a criminal gets a second chance and can contest the post after serving his or her punishment.

Najib’s argument and logic are full of holes and do not stand up to scrutiny. They merely expose the hollowness and hypocrisy of the Najib administration in declaring “fighting corruption” as one of the six NKRA priority areas for constant assessment of “key performance indicators”.

Nobody would begrudge Isa being given a second chance if he had been fully punished for his offence of corruption, but this is not the case.

There can be no dispute by anyone that money politics whether in Umno or any other political party is pure corruption as has been publicly admitted by the former de facto Minister Datuk Dr. Rais Yatim and the current Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Chief Commissioner, Datuk Seri Ahmad Said Hamdan.

There are two questions at issue:

• firstly why Isa had not been charged in court for the corruption offence for which he had been suspended for three years as Umno member; and

• secondly, why the Prime Minister, the Attorney-General and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission continue to close their eyes to the corruption offence committed by Isa as there is no statute of limitation for corruption prosecution and whether a policy decision had been taken to grant immunity to Isa from any corruption prosecution to allow him to contest as a candidate in the Bagan Pinang by-election.

In these circumstances, Najib had been wrongly advised in claiming that Isa had been punished for his offence and had paid for his deeds – when Isa had not even been charged in the court of law for his corruption offence.

If this is not an issue that will have an impact on UMNO's chance of retaining the seat, then why are the Chinese papers issued with orders not to report on Isa's suspension? It was learned that only Nanyang Siang Pau carried the news. Maybe 20 years ago, UMNO could easily win hands down but today, they face the stark reality of being rejected once again in another by-election, and nobody in the UMNO camp likes that sinking feeling if it does happen again. For once, instead of resorting to such unethical methods of winning votes, why can't they just humble themselves by apologising for their past misdeeds, be fair to all races and stop all those religious bigotries, and maybe, just maybe, the people will start voting for you again.

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