Abdullah must personally clarify Khairy’s revelation that he had made a policy decision after the March general election last year to grant immunity to all corruption cases involving the high and mighty, impliedly including the 18 “high-profile cases”, as part of the policy to “look forward” and “not to dig up the past” in the anti-corruption campaign
by Lim Kit Siang
(Parliament, Monday): The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz evaded my question in Parliament whether a policy decision had been taken by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to grant immunity for all high-level past corruption cases, particularly involving “big fishes”.
During the question-time, I had asked a supplementary question to Nazri, asking whether there was such a new policy in Abdullah’s campaign against corruption, referring to the March 29 report in the International Herald Tribute by its correspondent Thomas Fuller entitled “Leader underwhelms Malaysia”, which said:
“As for criticism that the government is not pushing hard enough against corruption, Jamaluddin (Khairy) said Abdullah decided after the election not to dig up the past. ‘We decided not to focus on retroactive actions,’ he said, ‘but rather look forward.’”
Nazri gave the tame answer that he had also read the International Herald Tribune report, remarking that the statement was only made by the UMNO Youth deputy leader while he was a Cabinet Minister, suggesting that a Cabinet Minister should be believed when stating that there would be no immunity for corruption for anyone, regardless of post or station, as compared to the UMNO Youth deputy leader.
This is completely unsatisfactory, as although such a statement is right and acceptable in normal cases involving a Cabinet Minister and an UMNO Youth deputy leader, this position does not apply as Khairy Jamaluddin is no ordinary UMNO Youth deputy leader. As Abdullah’s son-in-law, he is in Abdullah’s policy inner circle privy to information and exercises greater influence and power not enjoyed by the overwhelming majority of the Cabinet Ministers, including Nazri.
Who has more influence and power in decision-making and can speak with greater authority particularly on immunity to all past corruption involving “big fishes” – the present UMNO Youth deputy chief or the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department? The answer is a very clear.
In the circumstances, Nazri does not throw any light by trying to pull Cabinet rank.
Abdullah must personally clarify Khairy’s revelation that he had made a policy decision after the March general election last year to grant immunity to all corruption cases involving the high and mighty, impliedly including the 18 “high-profile cases”, as part of the policy to “look forward” and “not to dig up the past” in the anti-corruption campaign and to justify such a policy.
Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman