Challenge by Zahid Hamidi to DAP leaders to publicly declare assets accepted provided that within two weeks, BN Ministers, Deputy Ministers, Parliamentary Secretaries, MBs/CMs, MPs and SAs publicly declare their assets and those of next-of-kin
Media Conference Statement (3)
- after visiting the Perak Education Expo 2004 at Stadium Indera Mulia, Ipoh
by Lim Kit Siang
(Ipoh, Sunday): Deputy Tourism Minister, Datuk Zahid Hamidi yesterday challenged me and other Opposition leaders to declare our assets instead of only urging Cabinet members to do so.
Berita Harian headlined “Lim Kit Siang dicabar isytihar harta” with the lead paragraph: “Ipoh: Pengerusi DAP Lim Kit Siang dan pemimpin parti pembangkang dicabar menginytiharkan harta mereka kepada umum terlebih dulu sebelum meminta menteri Kabinet berbuat demikian, kata Timbalan Menteri Pelancongan, Datuk Ahmad Zahidi Hamidi.”
I am quite tickled by Zahidi’s challenge. Five years ago, Zahidi had attempted to present himself as a “lion” against corruption – but he quickly proved to be a mere mouse.
When he was the UMNO Youth leader, Zahidi used his UMNO Youth Leader’s address in the June 1998 UMNO Youth General Assembly to denounce KKN – corruption, cronyism and nepotism. It shook up the UMNO leadership as the KKN slogan had caused the downfall of President Suharto of Indonesia and the emergence of Indonesia reformasi, and Zahidi’s denunciation of KKN was seen as an attempt to use the slogan to trigger the downfall of the then Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad – which led to the sacking from office and persecution of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, the kangaroo trials and his continued incarceration in Sungei Buloh Prison.
In the event, Zahidi proved to be a mouse when after a week’s detention under the Internal Security Act, he was completely “turned over” and has become the exact opposite of his 1998 role – a defender of the corrupt by championing their right from having to publicly declare their assets and their next-of-in.
I accept Zahidi’s challenge that DAP leaders publicly declare our assets – provided that within two weeks of our public asset declaration, all Cabinet Ministers, Deputy Ministers, Parliamentary Secretaries, Mentris Besar, Chief Ministers, MPs and SAs publicly declare their assets and those of next-of-kin to be subject to public scrutiny and accountability.
Tonight, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi will be meeting the 650 Barisan Nasional elected representatives – 198 MPs and 452 state assembly members – and he should get all the Barisan Nasional Ministers, Deputy Ministers, Parliamentary Secretaries, Mentris Besar, Chief Ministers, MPs and SAs to publicly declare their assets and those of their next-of-kin within two weeks of the public declaration of assets by DAP elected representatives.
* Lim Kit Siang, DAP National Chairman & Member of Parliament for Ipoh Timor