Zainol Md Isa should resign as Bayu State Assemblyman if  UMNO Supreme Council is to pass the test that it is serious about rooting out money politics in UMNO and corruption in Malaysia

Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang

(Penang, Thursday): Datuk Zainol Md Isa has finally announced that  he will relinquish his State Executive Councillor’s post in Kedah this week but will not give up his Bayu State Assembly seat.

The Kedah Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Syed Razak Syed Zain is very mistaken if he thinks that “the matter is closed and we consider it closed”, as the matter remains very much alive and open so long as Zainol does not resign as Bayu State Assemblyman.

Zainol should resign his State Assembly seat if UMNO Supreme Council is to pass the test that it is serious about rooting out  money politics in UMNO and corruption in Malaysia, as how could an UMNO leader adjudged as unfit to be an UMNO leader by the party leadership  from his suspension could be considered fit to be the people’s elected representative in Kedah?

In continuing as UMNO State Assemblyman, Zainol would be a constant reminder and reproach of the failure of political will of the UMNO leadership to clean house in UMNO and to give substance to the declaration by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad `  that  he wanted the country to be ruled only by those who were clean and not involved in money politics - and by continuing as State Assemblyman, Zainol  is continuing to take part in the “rule” of Kedah state.

The New Straits Times editorial yesterday entitled “Weed Out the Parasites”,  said:

“Political bribery in all  its variant forms and political parasites should be obliterated.

“The rules provide a foundation for a clean UMNO.  Dare we say that Dr. Mahathir has ushered in what may prove to be a radically altered era of UMNO politics?”

Where is the foundation for a “clean UMNO” when a person who is not fit to be a State Exco can still be a State Assemblyman?
Such a state of affairs can only reinforce what Mahathir had publicly declared as the general Malay belief that UMNO  leaders are corrupt and untrustworthy and that UMNO is still unable to come out of the “dirty culture of corruption” which he had diagnosed.

The failure of the UMNO Supreme Council on Monday to require   Tan Sri Khalil Yaakob to immediately take leave as UMNO Secretary-General and Information Minister also made   a total mockery of UMNO's commitment to wipe out money politics and corruption.

How can   the UMNO Secretary-General and the Information Minister continue to be in office after a police report of  corruption had been lodged  against him by the UMNO Pahang State Assemblyman for Beserai, Datuk Fauzi Talib?

Khalil must be required to set an example in the new political culture of zero tolerance for  corruption in high political places by going on leave as UMNO Secretary-General and Information Minister until completion of  Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) investigations and  he has been cleared of any corrupt practice or wrongdoing.

The battle against corruption will not register any gain or headway if UMNO is only interested in cosmetic gestures but not prepared to conduct an all-out  war against  money politics and corruption by declaring them  as the No. 1 enemy of the country.

It is most unfortunate that  the whole thrust and momentum  against corruption had suffered a subtle but insidious  setback in the past eight weeks, following the appointment of the former Sarawak Police Commissioner Datuk Zulkifli Mat Noor to take over the post of ACA Director-General from Datuk Zaki Husain.

For the past eight weeks since Zulkifli’s appointment, the ACA had receded or even disappeared totally from public consciousness.

I do not know Zulkifli but believe that he must be a conscientious policeman who is a very obedient servant of the government of the day. But these are not the qualities we want from the director-general of the ACA, who must be prepared not to be an obedient servant of the government if there are clear cases of corruption and other malpractices against government officials and the political masters.

This is why in the history of the ACA for over three decades, no policeman had ever been appointed to head the ACA, and why the appointment of Zulkifli to head the anti-corruption agency was neither  encouraging sign or good news that Malaysians can look forward to a vigorous and spirited ACA  war against corruption.

Zulkifli should be posted back to the Police force and Zaki re-appointed as ACA director-general or another committed and courageous crusader against corruption appointed instead.


*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman