Muhammad Taib should resign as UMNO National Vice President to set a proper example of the "new culture of accountability" as in Japan and South Korea

Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang

(Petaling Jaya, Monday): Today’s Berita Harian front-page headline news under the heading "‘Contohi tindakan saya’ - Nasihat Muhammad kepada pemimpin bermasalah" reports:

"SHAH ALAM, Ahad - Tan Sri Muhammad Muhd Taib mahu menjadikan perletakan jawatannya sebagai Menteri Besar Selangor semalam sebagai contoh kepada pemimpin politik atau pegawai kerajaan yang bermasalah, pada masa akan datang.

"Sambil menegaskan tindakannya melepaskan jawatan tertinggi kerajaan negeri dan beberapa jawatan politik itu secara rela hati, bukannya dipaksa, Muhammad berharap ia menjadi budaya baru di kalangan ahli politik negara ini seperti berlaku di Jepun dan Korea.

"‘Yang penting saya mahu set example dan menjadikan satu budaya di kalangan ahli politik atau pemimpin kerajaan yang mempunyai masalah supaya meletak jawatan seperti berlaku di Korea dan Jepun.

"‘Pada masa depan, kalau ada yang lain pun (pemimpin yang bermasalah), mesti buat macam itu,’ katanya kepada pemberita di kediamannya di sini, hari ini."

Muhammad Taib should not expect the nation to be very grateful to him for setting a fine example of a "new culture of accountability" as to be found in Japan and South Korea where government and political leaders resign their various posts if involved in scandals of corruption, gross negligence or incompetence, unless he can convince Malaysians that he is sincere and serious about wanting to be a Malaysian pioneer in this "new culture of accountability" by giving satisfactory answers to the following four questions:

(IV) Whether he is of the view that the eight State Executive Councillors who are under investigations by the Anti-Corruption Agency for alleged corrupt practices should emulate his example and resign from their posts. ACA investigations into the eight State Exco members, comprising one each from Selangor, Johore, Pahang, Kedah and Sabah and three from Malacca, was revealed by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Azmi Khalid in Parliament last Thursday.

At his press conference this morning, Muhammad Taib announced that he would be instituting legal action to sue Brisbane Courier-Mail for its various reports about his Australian properties. The further question Malaysians want to know is why he had to take more than three-and-a-half months to announce that he would sue Brisbane Courier-Mail. Is Muhammad Taib also going to sue political writer S.H. Alattas, who has just come out with a book on him with the title "THE FIVE HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARMAN"?

In any event, whether Muhammad Taib is going to sue Brisbane Courier-Mail or not does not absolve him from the principles of accountability which require him to give a satisfactory public accounting with regard to the foreign press reports linking him to over RM25.4 million f expenditures and properties in Australia.

Muhammad Taib is sorely mistaken if he thinks that his resignation as Mentri Besar on Saturday, which he claims be voluntary and not the result of pressure, is in the finest tradition of the Japanese and South Koreans. I believe the Japanese and South Koreans would be quite ashamed to be associated with his example, when he still clings to the post of UMNO Vice President.

Will Muhammad Taib now resign as UMNO National Vice President to set a proper example of the "new culture of accountability", as part of his advocacy of the "New Malay" concept, to be emulated by all future political and government leaders?


*Lim Kit Siang - Malaysian Parliamentary Opposition Leader, Democratic Action Party Secretary-General & Member of Parliament for Tanjong