Muhammad Taib should explain the latest Australian press revelation that he had bought more than A$3 million property in New Zealand in the past year and registered in his wife’s name

Speech (Part II) - DAP Malacca Anniversary Dinner
Lim Kit Siang
(Malacca, Sunday):
The Acting Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim with the approval of the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, has launched an all-out war against corruption declaring that the government is serious and that "Now is the time to act…we will catch the big ones and we will catch the small ones."

There are many in the country who regard the "war against corruption" as only a political gimmick which would fizzle out in a short while.

I take a positive attitude and want to see the "war against corruption" achieve results and take root in the country, resulting in the creation of a new political culture on integrity in public service and political life with zero tolerance for corruption.

If the "all-out war against corruption" is to succeed, then all political leaders must set good examples.

It is most ironical that when Tan Sri Muhammad Muhammad Taib resigned as Selangor Mentri Besar in April, he said he wanted to set an example of the "new culture of accountability" as in Japan and South Korea where government and political leaders resign their various posts if involved in scandals of corruption, gross negligence or incompetence.

On this standard set by Muhammad Taib, the Malacca State Secretary Abdul Rahman Jamal should at minimum be asked to go on leave as he is under investigations by the Anti-Corruption Agency in connection with the contract for the new Malacca State Sports Complex.

Be that as it may, Muhammad Taib himself had not fully acted out the example of the "new culture of accountability" he wanted to set, as he has not resigned as UMNO Vice President and State Assemblyman for Batang Kali, especially when he had not fulfilled his promise at a press conference on 14th April that he was going to sue the Brisbane Courier-Mail for its various reports about his Australian properties.

What is of greater concern to Malaysians is Muhammad Taib’s failure in the past six months to give a satisfactory explanation for the the RM25.4 million worth of various expenditures and properties which had been reported by the foreign press and linked to him, namely:

If the all-out war against corrupution launched by Anwar is to be taken seriously both inside and outside the country, then the drive must also be extended to the "appearance of corruption".

Muhammad Taib has not only failed to institute legal proceedings against the Brisbane Courier-Mail, the Queensland newspaper has now come out with a new revelation that Muhammad Taib had acquired more than A$3 (RM5.2) million of property in New Zeland over the past year and registered in his wife’s name.

The Brisbane Courier Mail report, dated 28th June, 1997, under the heading "Politician’s property empire still growing", in a report by-lined Sean Parnell, states:

With these new revelations in the Brisbane Courier-Mail, Muhammad Taib, who had failed to sue the newspaper despite his public threat on April 14, has no choice but to resign as UMNO Vice President as well as Assemblyman for Batang Kali.

The Anti-Corruption Agency sent a high-powered team to Brisbane to investigate into the reports about the various properties of Muhammad Taib in Australia. Nobody knows what is the outcome of such investigations. Is the ACA also going to send a team to New Zealand to check on the new revelations?


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