Money politics is the equivalent of political AIDS afflicting UMNO, which the suspension of  six UMNO division leaders cannot even begin to touch the surface of the problem

Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang

(Petaling Jaya, Monday): The claim by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad that the decision by the Umno Disciplinary Board to suspend six Umno division leaders from holding office for six years was proof that the  party was  serious in wiping out money politics is most riciculous and laughable.

Money politics is the equivalent of political AIDS afflicting  UMNO, which the suspension of  six UMNO division leaders  cannot even begin to  touch the surface of the problem.

After all, there had been such disciplinary actions against UMNO divisional and branch leaders  in the past, with Mahahtir publicly crying over the very deep-seated cancer of money politics in UMNO more than once, but UMNO credibility, integrity and public support had continued to be corroded unchecked by the curse of money politics - with the disease spreading to the general body politic and the UMNO-dominated government.

How can anyone believe that the disciplinary actions against six UMNO members mark the turning point in the fight against money politics in UMNO and not a new form of internal UMNO power struggle  when the  UMNO leadership  had not referred the six to the Anti-Corruption Agency for corruption charges to be filed against them?

Furthermore, one of the six  suspended, Datuk Zainol Mat Isa, UMNO Baling division chief, is allowed to continue as Kedah State Executive Councillor for Agriculture, Rural Development and Community Development.

As the Prime Minister said  he wanted the country to be ruled only by those who were clean and not involved in money politics, will he ask Zainol to resign not only as Kedah State Exco member but also as the State Assemblyman for Bayu so that a by-election could be held to elect a “clean” person to represent the Bayu voters?

 If UMNO is serious in wanting to wipe out money politics in the party and set the example of an all-out war against corruption in government, then it must do the six  following things:

If Mahathir is not prepared to declare an all-out war against corruption by adopting these five measures, then UMNO is following the footsteps of the
Liberal Democratic Party of Japan, which had been  in power for all but 10 months since 1955 but with lowest public confidence quotient among the Japanese  with repeated corruption scandals.

Mahathir had himself found from the feedback he had received from the people during his recent nationwide tour that many Malays are not interested in joining and supporting UMNO because  they believe UMNO leaders are corrupt and untrustworthy and  “involved in corruption and used money to become leaders.”

If Mahathir wants to wipe out what he had himself diagnosed as the “dirty culture of corruption” in UMNO, time is running out and he must immediately start an all-out purge of the corrupt in UMNO and the government,  starting with the abovementioned five proposed measures.


*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman