(Petaling Jaya, Saturday): The blackout by the mainstream media and the total official silence on the serious allegation of corruption made by the Kuala Lumpur deputy director of Fire and Rescue Department, Mohd Ali Thambi Chik against the director-general, Datuk Jaafar Sidek Tambi will be an acid test of the seriousness of the recent declaration by the Deputy Prime Minister and Prime Minister-next-October, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi of zero tolerance for corruption in the public service.
In going public on his corruption allegations against the director-general of the Fire and Rescue Department, Mohd Ali has not only risked his entire career but also his honour, credibility and personal liberty as well.
In view of the gravity of Mohd Ali’s action and the seriousness of his allegations, Abdullah must give a categorical assurance that there would be no “cover up” or victimization and that for once, no extraneous influence would be allowed to interfere or impede a full and untrammeled Anti-Corruption Agency investigations into Mohd Ali’s allegations about corruption and wrongdoings of senior officers of the Fire and Rescue Department, such as putting lives at risk through the “sale” of fire certificates to building owners and to sponsor the wedding of the son of the director-general.
Both Datuk Jaafar Sidek Tambi and Mohd Ali Thambi Chik should be suspended immediately as Fire and Services director-general and KL deputy director respectively to allow for a full and no-holds-barred investigation into the allegations which have cast a dark cloud on the integrity, professionalism and commitment of the entire Fire and Rescue department.
In fact, the Cabinet next Wednesday should seriously consider whether an independent public inquiry should be established to probe into the serious allegations of corruption and malpractices in the top echelons of the Fire and Services Department in view of the proven failure of the Anti-Corruption Agency all these years to deal with high-level corruption.
*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman