(Bukit Mertajam, Sunday): I welcome and commend the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad for releasing a list of names of those awarded privatised projects.
The list of 171 companies includes the names of major shareholders and those connected to party and government leaders.
Mahathir also made available another set containing 114 companies which had been offered privatised projects in principle.
DAP welcomes the release of names of those awarded privatised projects and calls for the full release of beneficiaries of awards of approved permits (APs), licences and shares to rebut allegations of KKN - corruption, cronyism and nepotism - in Malaysia.
Yesterday, Mahathir clearly and categorically denied cronyism and nepotism, which was very different from his earlier stance of trying to "creatively" redefine them away in a most absurd manner.
The previous Saturday for instance, when in Kuantan, Mahathir said that all who received benefits from the government are his cronies - claiming that he has millions of cronies in Malaysia.
Such a ridiculous definition can only reinforce public and international suspicion that Mahathir has something to hide. Mahathir kept to his absurd "creative" redefinition of "cronyism" and "nepotism" in his UMNO presidential address, where the thrust of his speech was not to deny cronyism and nepotism but to warn those in UMNO to "Look at oneself before accusing this and that person as being crony of the leader".
What is even more shocking is that the MCA President and Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Ling Liong Sik, jumped in immediately to support such an absurd re-definition of "cronyism" - although the Malaysian public are not so stupid as not to know the real reason.
After Mahathirís UMNO Presidential address last Friday, Liong Sik competed with other Barisan Nasional leaders to gush praises for the Prime Ministerís speech. Liong Sik even said that "Cronyism is not a bad word in the Malaysian context", outdoing Mahathir in the absurd redefinition of the term by implying that while cronyism is bad for other countries, it is good for Malaysia!
I am therefore very relieved that Mahathir has stopped all this absurd exercises in redefinition and had stated clearly and categorically that cronyism and nepotism are heinous crimes when he said yesterday: "We are not guilty of cronyism and nepotism".
The release of names of those awarded privatised projects does not per se end the issue of KKN in Malaysia. Furthermore, the Prime Minister should have made public these information as a public policy of accountability and transparency and not because he felt under political attack in the UMNO General Assembly.
Mahathir should adopt a new policy of accountability and transparency by making public all such information as a matter of course, and I would urge the Prime Minister to make public all such related information in the forthcoming Parliament which will reconvene on July 13.
The DAP MPs will make KKN - corruption, cronyism and nepotism - a top item of the Parliamentary agenda next month.