Abdullah should honour his undertaking to “hear the truth from the people” that there is universal disappointment that he has failed to deliver his pledge of a clean, incorruptible and trustworthy government in failing to appoint a Cabinet which is distinguished by the criteria of integrity and incorruptibility
by Lim Kit Siang
(Ipoh, Sunday): The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi should honour his undertaking to “hear the truth from the people” that there is universal disappointment that he has failed to deliver his pledge of a clean, incorruptible and trustworthy government in failing to appoint a Cabinet which is distinguished by the criteria of integrity and incorruptibility.
Abdullah claimed yesterday that all the Cabinet Ministers appointed yesterday, including those inherited from the previous Mahathir Cabinet, like Rafidah Aziz, Samy Vellu, Ong Ka Ting, Nazri Aziz and Jamaludin Jarjis are clean and that those who had been dropped like Chua Jui Meng (Health), Zaharah Sulaiman (National Unity and Social Development), Law Hieng Ding (Science Technology and Environment) and two Ministers in the Prime Minister’s Department Hamid Zainal Abidin and Tengku Adnan Mansor were not because they lacked integrity but to allow more “young blood” to serve in the Cabinet.
If Abdullah is right, that there was not a single Minister in the previous Cabinet who did not have impeccable character and unimpeachable integrity, why then did the Barisan Nasional make a public confession during the recent general election that the government is “corrupt and rotten to the very core with no aspect of life untainted by corruption””, and asserting that Abdullah was the only Prime Minister who could be like the famous Justice Bao, the incorruptible and upright official in Chinese history, and clean up the corrupt and rotten system in full-page advertisements in all the Chinese newspapers during the election campaign?
Malaysians are entitled to know whether they had been taken for a ride in the recent polls, with the Barisan Nasional confessing during the general election that the government was “corrupt and rotten to the very core with not an aspect of life untainted by corruption” and promising a total clean-up of the rotten system by Abdullah – which is immediately forgotten after Abdullah had achieved the unprecedented nine-tenth parliamentary majority, even denying that there was any serious problem of corruption in the country, let alone the need for Abdullah to become a Justice Baon!
It is a bad start for the Abdullah premiership to break its election promise less than one week after the tsunami-like landslide victory in the 2004 general election last Sunday, and I call on Abdullah to be mindful of the high expectations he had raised among the people about the his commitment to establish an integrity Cabinet and government and to honour it before it is too late in a full-blow crisis of confidence and credibility.
* Lim Kit Siang, DAP National Chairman & MP for Ipoh Timor