Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Using government monies for party purposes is wrong

Can the Barisan Nasional government collect money for the Barisan Nasional, UMNO, MCA, etc.... ?

Can they use their government position of being Prime Minister, Minister, etc for the benefit of the party?

Can the government use government property and personnel for party activities?

I am of the opinion that it is very wrong, and the answer to all the above 3 questions is "NO"

And so Ezam's allegation "....that the menteri besar's office had collected funds from businesses for the 100-day-in-office bash but the monies was deposited into PKR's account instead of the state coffers, an act that was allegedly tantamount to criminal breach of trust...." do have merit [see Malaysiakini, 1/7/2008 "Ezam accuses Selangor MB's office of power abuse" [].

If it did happen then our Menteri Besar Khalid will have a lot of explaining to do....

In fact, the Pakatan Rakyat leadership must immediately commence their own investigation and if it is proven that Khalid Ibrahim and/or any other State Exco member has abused his position in government for the good of the party - action must be taken immediately. Maybe, even Khalid be removed as Menteri Besar..

We recall that on or about 5th June, we read that "...four PKR members had yesterday lodged an ACA report alleging irregularities in the approval of a cleaning and rubbish collection contract in Petaling Jaya by the unnamed official....They alleged that an unnamed top official from Khalid's office was involved...". This was followed by another report almost soon after, whereby this time it was stated "...that the top official had given the contract to four companies without the knowledge of the mentri besar..." In fact, it was reported then that the letterhead of the Office of the Menteri Besar was used allegedly without the knowledge of the MB [see Malaysiakini, 6/6/2008 "Top state official in MB's office accused of graft", and Malaysiakini, 11/6/2008 - "Khalid: Graft allegations 'unfounded'".]

Of course, after that, 2 weeks later, it was reported that "...Selangor Menteri Besar's special officer Yahya Sahri
has been suspended for two months from official duties from today over his alleged abuse of power in awarding cleaning contracts..." The Menteri Besar apparently "...SMS-ed Yahya to inform him of the state's decision..." [see Malaysiakini, 23/6/2008 "Khalid's suspended special officer resigns"]

One did wonder whether the suspension of Yahya was after some sort of due inquiry, or at least the right to be heard.

In any event, now there is yet another allegation of corruption and this time the fingers are being pointed to MB Khalid himself - so what will the response of the Menteri Besar and the State government be? What will be the response of the national-level Pakatan Rakyat leadership? Who will be doing the investigation? Who will be doing the and issue the suspension order...if needed later on.

This will be a NEW challenge for the Pakatan Rakyat - Do they have a Disciplinary Committee, or some sort of internal Investigation Body...

Maybe, what we do need in all the Pakatan Rakyat's states is an Ombudsman, with the power to enter, search, get disclosure immediately to documents, to investigate.... who will be tasked to weed out corruption and wrongful practices wherever and whenever....

We cannot anymore just depend on some PKR members here and there, or this Ezam person to expose corruption in the PR government.

Of course, there is always that ACA - but maybe it is good to also have some sort of Ombudsman for every state as well. Because our ACA still seemed to be still subservient to its political masters - when it comes to acting.

Of course, Ezam, being now an UMNO member would likely to be only focussing on the Pakatan Rakyat parties.....but I must ask him to also look at the BN State and Federal government/s as well.

I really do wonder about all that UMNO Buildings all over the place - wonder how UMNO got the money. Was it donations to UMNO? Or was it some monies given to government that were siphoned out to some other account which ended up paying for them UMNO buildings. Other BN political parties do not seem to have big buildings in almost every reasonable sized towns - and seem to be usually renting some premises here and there. Maybe , they are not UMNO-owned buildings...

Of course, we have seen abuse of power by the BN government - even those little signboards with words like "one more project of the Barisan Nasional" - which is very wrong.

It may have been a project done when the BN was in government - but it will always be a government project - not a coalition (BN or Pakatan Rakyat) or some political parties project.

It is the peoples' monies, the countries assets - not the funds of the political party (or any coalition) that went into the project.

Pakatan Rakyat claimed to be different from the BN, and so many voted them into power in 5 states for now - and this 'difference' must be evident in their practice. Yes, give us the accounts for that 100-day celebration...

Government activities and party activities must be separate and distinct... do not use the government car to go attend some party function - this is an abuse of powers.

Do not use government facilities for party purposes -- this means that if you use this hall and that stadium belonging to the government for party purposes, make sure that the party actually pays the required rental and payments ....and also make sure that all such premises would also be easily available to any other political party (or coalitions) to be used as well. [Of course, there can be a policy that premises are let for free or for minimal charges for political parties, unions, societies, etc....]

REFORMASI .... it is not just a slogan. It must be made real, and changes must be there where the Pakatan Rakyat rules...

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