(Petaling Jaya, Monday): On Saturday, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad took advantage of internal DAP allegations of nepotism against me to again accuse me of nepotism in the case of Lim Guan Eng - the second time in a week!
A week ago, Mahathir even dragged my wife into his allegations, as if he had not caused her enough sufferings when he detained her husband and son under the Internal Security Act during Operation Lalang 11 years ago, and kept them in the detention for the longest period of 18 months when all the other detainees were released very much earlier, and now her son faces the prospect of 36 months jail as a result of politically-motivated selective prosecution
Mahathir had said:
"He chose his son as deputy secretary-general of the party. If others do the same thing, he will call it nepotism.
"DAP has not even formed the Government and he has already given a place to his son. If DAP manages to form the Government one day, his son, his wife and other family members will be in the Cabinet."
Mahathir had not apologised to my wife, but he has repeated his allegation of nepotism against me in connection with Guan Eng.
Mahathir has continued to maliciously publish false news knowing that he enjoys immunity to commit such an offence under the Printing Presses and Publications Act, as the Attorney-General Tan Sri Mohtar Abdullah would never prosecute him regardless of whatever false news he publishes.
Two days ago, for instance, Mahathir accused me of banning all DAP leaders, state committees, branches from talking to the press about the DAP Central Executive Committee action against three national leaders, when this decision has nothing to do with me, as it was decided and announced by the Chairman of the DAP Disciplinary Committee, Sdr. Ahmad Nor. If this is a "gag order" as described by some newspapers, then I am also gagged as Party Secretary-General.
Mahathir committed another offence of maliciously publishing false news when he accused me of making Guan Eng as Deputy Secretary-General, as it is the DAP Central Executive Committee and not I personally who decided on this appointment.
When Mahathir accused me of nepotism, he was given the fullest media publicity over radio, television and the local printed media. When I rebut Mahathirís accusation of nepotism or when I accuse Mahathir of nepotism, can I expect equal and fair treatment in the local printed and electronic media?
This is a test of press freedom and mass media fair-play in Malaysia.
I am not surprised that Mahathir had gleefully accused me of nepotism when eyes are focussed on him and other Barisan Nasional leaders. Nepotism has been defined as "favouritism shown to relatives or friends in conferring offices or privileges" and if I am guilty of nepotism in Guan Engís case, it must be the most unique and unprecedented type of nepotism in the world.
As the DAP National Chairman, Dr. Chen Man Hin, had said, the government through Petronas is using hundreds of millions of ringgit of public funds to bail out Mirzan Mahathirís Konsortium Perkapalan Bhd, while the son of the MCA President, Datuk Dr. Ling Liong Sik, Ling Hee Leong could become a financial boy-wizard at the age of 27 years old in acquiring RM1.2 billion of corporate stakes in three months. What has Guan Eng got in store for him? Thirty-six months jail in Kajang Prisons for standing up for the honour, human and woman rights of a 15-year-old girl against the powerful and mighty, and this is after he had been detained for 18 months under the Internal Security Act after a political apprenticeship of 14 months!
Guan Eng had left his cushy job as a bank officer and would be today leading more than a comfortable life as a banker to plunge into the political maelstrom, forsaking a bed of roses for a crown of thorns. If this is nepotism, I will like to see whether there is a single offspring of the Barisan Nasional leaders, from the Prime Minister downwards, who is prepared to make such a commitment?
I challenge the Prime Minister to set up a Royal Commission of Inquiry on Nepotism with special focus on the children and associates of Mahathir as well as the Lim Kit Siang/Lim Guan Eng case.
In August last year, 15 NGOs including Aliran, AWAM, FOMCA, ERA, SUARAM and Tenaganita submitted a memorandum to the Anti-Corruption Agency asking for swift investigations concerning various noted personalities, including the children of the Prime Minister.
The 15 NGOs enclosed a document containing lists of private limited companies where three children of the Prime Minister - Mirzan, Mokhzani and Mukhriz Mahathir - act as directors, and that according to searches made at the Registry of Companies at the end of 1994, Mirzan had interests in 98 companies, Mokhzani in 48 companies and Mukhriz in 67 companies.
The search was made four years ago and I will not be surprised if Mirzan, Mokhzani and Mukhriz had doubled if not trebled the companies where they have interests in the past four years.
Let the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Nepotism investigate into all these hundreds of companies where Mahathirís three children have interests to ascertain as to whether there is any KKN involved - corruption, cryonism and nepotism.
In fact, let KKN be the top agenda in the July meeting of Parliament.