(Petaling Jaya, Tuesday): Yesterday in Parliament, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad returned to his latest favourite theme of accusing foreigners, especially the Western media, of coming up with terms like nepotism, cronyism and corruption to instigate political unrest in Malaysia.
I had asked a supplementary question whether the denial syndrome, the KKN - corruption, cronyism and nepotism, and the information deficit are major causes why after a year of the worst national economic crisis in history, there are no signs of a restoration of national and investor confidence which are a fundamental prequisite for any economic turnaround or recovery.
Mahathir went into a rampage, accusing me of "parroting" the Western media and accusing those who talk about KKN - corruption, cronyism and nepotism - as agents of foreigners on the alleged ground that these terms were coined by the West to topple Asian government leaders.
He also repeated baseless allegations of nepotism in connection with Lim Guan Eng against me, although he studiously avoided the point I made in my supplementary question asking for the establishment of a Royal Commission of Inquiry into Nepotism with special focus on the children and associates of political leaders,both government and opposition.
Mahathir should stop going around claiming that those who raise their concerns about corruption, cronyism and nepotism in Malaysia are agents of foreign powers, as he would not only be attacking the Opposition but Barisan Nasional leaders as well.
At the 11th Gerakan Youth and Wanita annual delegates conference in Kuala Lumpur on 26th June 1998, both the Gerakan Youth leader, Chang Ko Youn and the Gerakan Wanita leader, Kee Phaik Cheen, spoke about corruption, cronyism and nepotism.
The Gerakan Youth and Wanita leaders did not know that on the same day, at a studentsí leadership siminar, Mahathir was drawing the line to declare those who speak up against corruption, cronyism and nepotism as his enemies who are being made used of by foreign powers to topple him from power.
This was why the Gerakan annual delegates assembly, as well as the Gerakan Youth and Wanita annual conferences, backed down from the issues of corruption, cronyism and nepotism although they had earlier made big play in the mass media that they would be taking an uncompromising stand against these three scourges of society.
In any event, both the Gerakan Youth and Wanita chiefs should explain whether they were "agents of foreign powers" when in their opening speeches at the Gerakan Youth and Wanita annual conferences, they took up the cudgels against corruption, cronyism and nepotism.
Both should also explain whether they have now realised the error of their ways and judgement and now repudiate what they had said in their opening speeches, giving full endorsement to the Mahathir line that those who talk about corruption, cronyism and nepotism can only be agents of foreign forces out to topple the Prime Minister of Malaysia.