Friday): DAP calls on Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi
to approve priority debate for the DAP motion on corruption on the first
day of Parliament on Sept. 9 to underline the government’s “zero tolerance
for corruption” which he announced on Monday.
Speaking at the
Ethics and Integrity Conference at National Institute of Public Administration (INTAN)
in Kuala Lumpur, Abdullah said the public sector must always operate with
the highest standard of honesty and
integrity, that “"Nothing else will do" as the Government had
“zero tolerance for corruption” and wanted it to be eradicated at all
He said the Government possessed ample political will to ensure that the scourge is eradicated in both the public and private sectors, and that ethics and integrity should be at the core of every person.
As this is the first time any top government leader in Malaysia had embraced
the “zero tolerance for corruption” concept, the motion on corruption which
the DAP MP for Tanjong, Chow Kon Yeow had notified the Parliament Speaker, Tan
Sri Mohamad Zahir Ismail, should be given priority for debate to send out the
signal loud and clear to Malaysians and the world of the government’s
new-found resolve against corruption.
Chow’s motion is the direct result of the new crisis of confidence in
the integrity of government precipitated by the conviction and two-year
jail sentence of Keadilan Youth chief Mohd Ezam Mohd
Noor under the Official Secrets Act (OSA) which
sent out the outrageous message to the nation and the world that in
Malaysia corruption is no crime while exposing corruption is the heinous crime.
The parliamentary debate on Chow’s motion on
Sept. 9 would also be the proper
occasion for a full discussion by MPs as well as by the Government on the latest
bombshell on corruption to hit Malaysia from overseas – the arrest in the
United Kingdom of the chief of YTL Power-owned Wessex Water on suspicion of
receiving a bribe of almost one million pounds sterling (RM5.7 million) during
YTL Power’s bid to take over the company.
According to London-based The
Guardian and wire reports, chairperson and chief executive officer Colin
Skellett was picked up by British police yesterday for allegedly receiving a
bribe during YTL Power’s takeover of the company from Enron’s Azurix Corp
for about 1.24 billion pounds sterling (RM7.15 billion).
Although YTL Power has since issued a
statement to the British media denying knowledge of any illegal payment,
Parliament cannot be blind or indifferent to the damage this latest bombshell
has done to Abdullah’s “zero tolerance for corruption” declaration a mere
five days ago, and a debate on Chow’s motion on the first day of the budget
meeting of Parliament on Sept. 9 would provide an opportune and timely occasion
for Parliament and the government to reaffirm its seriousness
and commitment to a policy of “zero tolerance for corruption”.