http://dapmalaysia.org Forward Feedback
Rafidah undermining not only her credibility as a Minister but that of the Prime Minister in his pledge to lead an administration of accountability, transparency, integrity and good governance with her attempt to be dumb and deaf to the mountain of contradictions which have surfaced over her explanations on the APs scandal
(Parliament, Monday): International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Rafidah Aziz is undermining not only her credibility as Minister but also that the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in his pledge to head an administration of accountability, transparency, integrity and good governance with her attempt to be dumb and deaf to the mountain of contradictions which have surfaced over her explanations on the APs scandal.
Rafidah must be told in no uncertain terms by the Prime Minister and the Cabinet that she has only one option – she cannot continue to play dumb as she owes a higher duty to the Cabinet to give a full and satisfactory accounting of her handling of the APs scandal so as not to continue the haemorrhage of public confidence in the Cabinet and Abdullah’s premiership, and if she cannot clear the mountain of public doubts about her handling of the APs scandal, she would have to leave the Cabinet whether voluntarily or otherwise.
Rafidah had misled the Cabinet which had specifically discussed the APs controversy on 6th July, leading the Prime Minister to declare that the APs controversy had been resolved following Rafidah’s written explanation to former Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, when in fact the APs controversy has kept snowballing into a bigger and bigger embarrassment to the government.
“Once bitten, twice shy”, Abdullah has learnt to adopt a non-committal position and refused to publicly endorse Rafidah’s claim that the APs controversy was a “non-issue” or that she had given full and satisfactory explanation, whether after Rafidah’s winding-up speech at the UMNO General Assembly or during his recent visit to South Africa.
Abdullah gave a most revealing response to the press in Johannesburg when asked about Mahathir’s allegation that Rafidah had not spoken the truth - “Let Rafidah deal with that by giving all the details that are needed. You are asking me. How am I to know?”
Among the contradictions and new queries which have emerged about Rafidah’s explanations about the APs scandal are:
Abdullah has for far emerged unscathed in the APs scandal, having won praises for his two directives to make public the APs list for 2004 and 2005.
Johore Mentri Besar Datuk Ghani Othman has praised the “deft, yet astute, political touch” of Abdullah in handling the APs scandal, where he “kept his part of the bargain by opening the list for public scrutiny but has left it to Rafidah to do her own explaining”. (Sunday Star 31.7.05)
What is urgently needed, however, is for Abdullah to be pro-active and not continue to be reactive in his pledge to lead a clean, incorruptible, accountable, transparent and people-oriented administration as in making public the APs list for the past 35 years instead of being forced to order the piecemeal release of the APs list year by year.
The time has also come for the Cabinet to send a clear and unmistakable message of its full commitment to a more effective and efficient process of check-and-balance in the system of governance to ensure accountability, transparency, integrity and good governance by supporting the establishment of a Parliamentary Select Committee on International Trade and Industry in the September meeting of Parliament with a permanent brief to give parliamentary oversight and input on the expenditures, administration and policy of the Ministry of International Trade and Industry, including the national automotive policy and the issuance of APs.
Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP
Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission
Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman