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09 July 2009

Dr M: There are corrupt leaders in Najib's Cabinet

The commission, which started in January this year has already received loads of reports and complaints for investigation and, among them, it is learned, are reports of corruption involving Rafidah and ex- Malacca chief minister Abdul Rahim Thamby Chik.

Shah A Dadameah, Malaysian Mirror

This comes from someone who has been hit umpteen times with accusations of cronyism, nepotism and being a dictator: “There are corrupted leaders in Umno and the current administration.”

Dr Mahathir Mohamad did not mince words when he gauged the first 100 days of the country and Umno under the leadership of Najib Abdul Razak.

He doubts that Najib is fighting corruption effectively.

“Sorry to say that. But, it doesn’t look like he is (fighting corruption),” Dr Mahathir told reporters recently at the Perdana Leadership Foundation during a meeting with the Malaysia-Singapore Vintage Car Register, a club for vintage car owners.

Despite this, however, he commended Najib for implementing the key performance index (KPI) to measure the performance of all ministers and their subordinates in the administration.

Najib took over from Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in April against a backdrop of a worsening economic scenario, unstable political climate and ruptured race relations.

abdullah-badawi-1.pngIn contrast, when Abdullah became prime minister in October 2003, public confidence in the Barisan Nasional was at an all-time high due to a secure economy and a relatively harmonious sense of belonging among the people.

Just a few months after he took over from Dr Mahathir, he gave the BN its biggest election victory in history.

Towards better days under Najib

The euphoria sadly fizzled out over the ensuing four years and Abdullah had also to feel the BN’s greatest defeat, when five state governments fell into the clutches of the opposition alliance, now known as the Pakatan Rakyat.

Dr Mahathir had said once that Abdullah was an incompetent successor and was banking on Najib to show some guts in running the country.

Indeed, when Najib took over, he carried the nation’s hope that under him Malaysia would achieve greater things than it ever accomplished before. In the BN, Umno and its allies are also looking forward to better days under their new leader.

macc.gifNajib sensed that and decided if he is to stay ahead and above his opponents, he has to fight the evils of graft and corruption. Thus, he introduced the KPI, which works as a ‘report book’ to keep his ministers and every civil servant in his administration on their toes.

He also introduced his ‘1Malaysia’ concept, which came with various social and economic reforms.

While approving the KPI, Dr Mahathir is not pleased with some of the reforms, which included the liberalisation of the 30% bumiputra requirement.

“It’s not that the new economic policy has prevented Malaysia from growing faster than other countries.

“But, the fact remains that bumiputras have not achieved the targeted quota.

“Meanwhile, non-bumiputras have exceeded theirs,” he said, adding that he has mixed feelings about Najib’s performance in helming the country during the first 100 days as prime minister.

Khairy, Mukhriz and Khir Toyo

Dr Mahathir’s skepticism of the new team in Umno and the government was clear from the moment the son of the country’s second prime minister, Abdul Razak Hussein, took over the reins of power in Umno and the government.

Najib came to Sri Perdana with a baggage of unanswered questions about his connection to political analyst Abdul Razak Baginda, who was implicated in the sensational murder case of Mongolian beauty Altantuya Shaariibuu.

While he has repeatedly denied he was ever involved, Najib’s political opponents have never stopped taunting him over the Altantuya specter.

Dr Mahathir has also no trust for Umno Youth leader Khairy Jamaluddin who, he alleged, had interfered in the affairs of the government while Abdullah was prime minister.

mukhriz mahathir 2.jpgDr Mahathir’s son, Mukhriz, had obtained the highest nominations for the movement’s top post but Khairy was elected amid speculations that it had not been a clean fight.

khairy-jamaluddin-2.jpgIronically, Khairy, who had also trailed behind former Selangor mentri besar Dr Khir Toyo in the nominations race, had earlier been found guilty of money politics and given a warning.

On the other hand, deputy president aspirant Mohamed Ali Rustam was also found guilty of the same offence but was barred from contesting. He was, however, allowed to finish his term as Malacca chief minister.

In what later appeared to be a trade-off, Mukhriz was made a deputy minister while Khairy remained just an MP.

On the Wanita side, Mahathir had said during the contest between Rafidah Aziz and her deputy, Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, that whoever won the fight would not be free of corruption.

There is also an irony here. While Shahrizat had lost in the general election, Wanita delegates gave her the votes to be their new chief. She was later made a senator and re-admitted into the Cabinet.

Rafidah, on the other hand, was a winner in the general election but evicted from her ministerial post and voted out as Wanita head.

Papar MP Rosnah Abdul Rashid Sirlin came in as the new Puteri Umno leader untainted. She was, after all, an activist in the Integrity Institute of Malaysia and her image was as clean as a whistle.

Not the first choice

Word has it that Najib was not the first choice to be the deputy when Abdullah took over as prime minister (as he was also not the first choice when Mahathir was looking for a deputy after Anwar Ibrahim was sacked in 1998).

Abdullah took a long while to ponder over the decision until, it was said, he was pressured by Mahathir to take Najib as the Number Two.

At that time, there were still some strong sentiments for Anwar and some Umno people had hoped someone with links to the former deputy prime minister would take a pivotal leadership role in the party. That person was Muhyiddin Yassin.

It turned out later that Muhyiddin was the most vocal and most outspoken about speeding up the transfer of power in Umno, following the tsunami blow to the party and its allies in the March 2008 general elections.

muhyiddin-yassin 2.jpgAbdullah had no choice but to fast-track the transition plans, which saw Muhyiddin stepping into the shoes of the deputy prime minister as Najib moved a notch higher.

While it was a sad exit for Abdullah, it was an insecure entry for Najib. Issues like the Perak leadership crisis had not helped to boost his credibility.

A 6-1 win for Pakatan?

By-election losses in Bukit Gantang (Perak) and Bukit Selambau (Kedah) as well as the BN boycott of the Penanti by-election in Penang did not improve his leadership stature. Only the Batang Ai by-election in Sarawak provided the BN a face-saving win.

The BN is set to face its opponents and voters again on July 14 in Manek Urai, Kelantan. If it loses here, the scoreboard would read 6-1 against the Barisan in seven contests since last year’s general election.

Political observers said Abdullah had been an easy-going prime minister and had unknowingly allowed others to take advantage of his good nature.

It was only towards the tail end of his brief term that he showed a bit of his fangs; particularly in the setting up of the economic corridors, the handling of judiciary issues and the formation of the anti-corruption commission.

The commission, which started in January this year has already received loads of reports and complaints for investigation and, among them, it is learned, are reports of corruption involving Rafidah and ex- Malacca chief minister Abdul Rahim Thamby Chik.

There are also reports against Abdullah and Mahathir as well as their family members and alleged cronies in the corporate sector, the civil service and the judiciary.

After 100 days in office, Najib appears to be still struggling in getting the people to understand what he intends to do for the country.

His vision of ‘1Malaysia’ is as vague as Abdullah’s ‘Islam Hadhari’ concept. And neither has the strength nor the character of mass appeal as Dr Mahathir’s ‘Malaysia Boleh’ clarion call, which was clear, direct and easily understood by all Malaysians.

On the plus side, Najib’s popularity rating has moved up in recent months, according to a street poll by think-tank group Merdeka Centre. There’s hope yet for Najib.

SHAH A DADAMEAH is News Editor of the Malaysian Mirror

sumber~ http://mt.m2day.org/

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