Paul Low, what has happened to you? At one time, you were for accountability, transparency, clean corrupt-free government, justice and human rights... but alas, now you have changed..
We did not hear what we expected from you about the allegation of corruption against Najib Tun Razak, our current Prime Minister. RM2.6 billion being 'donated' to a sitting Prime Minister by unidentified sources - raises already the presumption of corruption...
Excess money in bank accounts(or possession) of any public servant raises the presumption of corruption - where did the money come from? For what?
What do you say about the fact that the PM did not come clean with the truth immediately when the allegations were made...
Whether it came from 1MDB or some other source is irrelevant..
I expected that you, Paul Low to shine and set new guidelines to ensure a corrupt-free government with corrupt-free leaders...but alas...
Anyway, some guidelines and principles for a 'corrupt-free government with corrupt-free leaders' are as follows...The salaries and allowances now being paid the MPs, Ministers and the Prime Minister is more than sufficient... Leaders should certainly not use their position to profit themselves, their families and friends..
a) That the PM and members of the Cabinet immediately declare to the public their assets... including all their many Bank Accounts...and existing shares and interests in companies. It may be best also to require them to dispose off their shares and stocks for value when they come into office, and thereafter not acquire any assets and stocks during their tenure. We certainly do not want our Executive to make decisions benefiting companies where they have shares and stocks. We do not Ministers and their family members buying land in places where government may be talking about acquiring for some government project nearby or on the said land.
b) That as matter of principle, the Prime Minister and the Executive should not receive monies, donations, or any income other than what is due and payable to them being only their salaries and allowances as Prime Minister, or MP. This essential to ensure a clean government.
c) That as a matter of principle, no government projects or government-linked companies projects to be applied by, or awarded to any Minister or members of their families, or those of their personal political staff.
d) That all government-owned or linked companies shall be subject to srutiny by Parliament - possibly different select committees should be set up to continuously monitor such GLCs and/or their subsidiaries - with the power to receive complaints from the public, to conduct necessaries inquiries even public enquiries.
e) That the Auditor General shall audit all private government-owned and government-linked companies. Nowadays, to avoid having to be accountable directly to Parliament and the people of Malaysia, the goverment sets up private companies.
f) That all GLCs shall also make public their corporate details - shareholder and Director information, all of which are already in the public records that could be obtained at the Registrar of Companies. Also that statement of accounts should also be published.
g) That all Malaysian GLC shall always keep their moneys in bank accounts in Malaysia, within the jurisdiction of Bank Negara and also Malaysian courts. Accounts could be opened in other countries, where the said GLC has particular dealings - and so much money that is need for such dealings should be placed there.
h) The government of Malaysia, as a matter of principle should not stand guarantor for the loans obtained by GLCs from banks.
Paul Low seems to have abandoned his principles - he was a Malaysian Transparency Internation person before he joined the Cabinet..
Paul Low knows clearly what the stated objects of the BERSIH 4 peaceful assembly ..
Paul Low also knows that there are 3 branches of government - Executive(PM & Cabinet), Legislature (Parliament) and the Judiciary...
Paul Low also know that the most some are talking about if for the current Prime Minister to resign - or if not be removed (and they are talking about MPs expressing the loss of confidence with Najib, which is something provided for in our Constitution)..
Paul Low also knows that Malaysia is a DEMOCRACY - not a dictatorship...not a military state, and in a democracy we certainly respect freedom of expression, freedom of opinion and freedom of peaceful assembly...
So, what is saying when he says 'dismantling the government in power'? 'undermine parliamentary democracy'? How was 'parliamentary democracy' undermined?
Paul Low, should have been sensitive to the feelings expressed by the 'international anti-corruption community', and the feelings of the people...do not simply be apologist for the Prime Minister..you should be better than that...
Allegations of corruptions....have not been acted upon in accordance to the law... with speed... and let's not take the expressions(or actions) of a few individuals as reflective of the over 600,000 that came out over the 2 date BERSIH 4 peaceful assembly...and mind you, all these people were peaceful and did not cause any violence, etc... and the police have confirmed this...
What we can say about the Minister is only what has been reported - and after the reports were published, to date there has been no allegations of mis-reporting by Paul Low.
Bersih rally a mini 'Arab Spring', says Paul Low
"Yes, you may be angry about corruption, but if you're calling for the dismantling of the government in power then it's a different thing," he asserted.
He pointed out that the purpose of the Bersih rally was to urge the prime minister to resign.
"It's like a mini Arab Spring [...] You can talk about corruption but you don't undermine parliamentary democracy.”
The minister in the Prime Minister’s Department was responding to a question on the Bersih rally by a participant at the 16th International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC) in Putrajaya today.
Low (photo) explained the government did indeed allow its people to enjoy the right to assemble, but the purpose of a particular assembly may be questioned.
"In the case of Malaysia, the important thing is, what's the purpose of the assembly?
"If you assemble against corruption and injustice, it shouldn't be a problem," he said, admitting that the government was initially hesitant as it was not used to such freedoms.
Police questioning those involved
Meanwhile, Low was also asked on inspector-general of police Khalid Abu Bakar's statement that those involved in the rally would be called in by the police.
"The IGP is not arresting them, he is just asking them (to come in) for questioning.
"It depends on the value system itself. If you had said something provocative then police will just say; let's see what was your intention of saying that," he said.
Low added that the country had a "strong obsession" to ensure peace and stability in the country due to its past "bad experience".
"In time to come, the government may be a bit more liberal. But at the moment it's for the authorities to ensure peace and stability," he said.
The Bersih rally, held for 34 hours during the weekend, saw tens of thousands of people gathered near the vicinity of Dataran Merdeka.
Despite threats of arrests, especially with the rally declared illegal by the authorities, the rally ended peacefully without major disturbances.