Call for immediate termination of appointment of Zainudin Maidin as Media Adviser of Information Ministry as it is an abuse of public appointment process and gross waste of public funds
by Lim Kit Siang
(Ipoh, Wednesday): The appointment of Datuk Zainudin Maidin as Media Adviser of Information Ministry following the termination of his two-term Senator appointment today, which also means the termination of his position as Deputy Information Minister, is an abuse of the public appointment process and a gross waste of public funds.
As Zainudin’s job is to be the hatchet man of the Barisan Nasional in the propaganda war against the Opposition, he should not be paid from the public purse. Nobody can object if he is appointed as media adviser of UMNO or the Barisan Nasional – which would be the proper way for the Barisan Nasional to use and pay for his “expertise”.
The appointment of Zainuddin as media adviser to the Information Ministry, enabling him to continue to be the general comptroller of all government media, especially the electronic media of radio and television, as well as the Information Ministry, to carry out his unfair and even “below-the-belt” attacks on the Opposition will be an adverse reflection that under the new Prime Minister, Datuk Sri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi the distinction between government and political party continues to be blurred.
This is only a small step from blurring the important distinction between national and personal interests – a fertile ground for the culture of political corruption which Abdullah has sworn to eliminate in his pledge for a clean, incorruptible, efficient, people-oriented government which is prepared to hear the truth from the people.
If Abdullah allows the people the “truth”, the people will undoubtedly tell him that it is wrong to use public funds to appoint Zainudin as media adviser to the Information Ministry to spearhead the Barisan Nasional’s propaganda attack against the Opposition – and that Zainuddin’s pay should come from UMNO or the Barisan Nasional, but definitely not the government coffers misusing taxpayers’ money!
If Abdullah is serious in wanting to introduce a National Integrity system, there must be a clear distinction between the government and the ruling party, and the government and personal interests. DAP therefore calls on Abdullah to impress on all government leaders to set the leadership example of being able to distinguish between right and wrong, and issue an immediate directive to terminate the appointment of Zainuddin as media adviser to the Information Ministry – and to employ him instead as media adviser to UMNO or Barisan Nasional but with no powers over radio, television and the information department.
* Lim Kit Siang, DAP National Chairman