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Rafidah suffering from terminal cases of twin complexes, “denial syndrome” and “psychological feudalism”, when she claimed that APs controversy is a “non-issue” which had been resolved following her letter of explanation to Mahathir
(Ipoh, Thursday): The Minister for International Trade and Industry, Datuk Paduka Rafidah Aziz, is suffering from terminal cases of twin complexes, “denial syndrome” and “psychological feudalism”, when she claimed yesterday that the APs controversy was a “non-issue” which had been resolved following her letter of explanation to former Prime Minister and Proton Adviser, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad.
Rafidah cannot be more wrong, for the release by the Prime Minister’s Office on Monday of the 2005 list of 67,158 APs, with four “AP King of Kings” getting the lion’s share of 28,283 APs worth some RM850 million, have raised many questions as reflected in the debate by UMNO Youth delegates yesterday.
The fact that delegates of both Wanita UMNO and Puteri UMNO were cowed into silence on the APs issue yesterday does not mean that the APs issue is a “non-issue” but only raises the serious question about the relevance and credibility of these two UMNO wings.
Rafidah announced yesterday that Wanita UMNO will form a women’s think-tank to monitor government development policies. How effective can such a UMNO Wanita think-tank be when Wanita UMNO leaders and delegates dare not raise even a whimper on an issue which has been uppermost in the minds of all UMNO members and Malaysian citizens in the past three weeks since the public feud between Mahathir and Rafidah on the APs issue?
Rafidah suffers from a very advanced case of “psychological feudalism" when she claimed that her “confidential” letter of explanation to Mahathir on the APs issue had settled the controversy and turned it into a “non-issue”, completely ignoring the fact that this is not a private matter between the two of them but a grave and long-standing matter of public interests with the 26 million Malaysians as entitled as Mahathir to Rafidah’s explanations.
The statement by the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MITI) secretary-general Datuk Sidek Hassan yesterday denying impropriety in the award of APs and that Rafidah was not involved in the approval of APs is very weak, unsatisfactory and unacceptable.
Whether there was no abuse of power or corrupt malpractices in the issue of the APs is a matter which have to await a wide-ranging inquiry and audit as a bald statement of denial of impropriety, as made by Sidek, is no more adequate or acceptable.
Furthermore, Sidek had only headed the MITI committee on APs since last October and cannot speak for the previous 17 years when Rafidah was the MITI Minister. As the Minister for International Trade and Industry for more than 18 years, Rafidah must bear full and final responsibility for the APs mess.
Far from being a non-issue, many questions about Rafidah’s APs mess cry out for answer, including why Rafidah is not prepared to emulate the Prime Minister’s example by making public the full list of all the AP holders in the past 18 years as APs is directly under her responsibility, disclose the total number of APs issued by her Ministry in the past 18 years (which could be in the region of 300,000 – 400,000 APs worth tens of billions of ringgit), and whether she is prepared to ask the Cabinet to set up an full public inquiry into the issue of APs to establish without a shadow of doubt that there had been no improprieties, abuses of power or corruption.
We do not want Rafidah to cry over APs, but even more important, we do not want 26 million Malaysians to cry over APs because of its blatant injustices and malpractices.
Rafidah should come out of her twin complexes of “denial syndrome” and “psychological feudalism”, admit that the APs issue is still a very real and life-sized issue, and that the only responsible way to address it is to accept the principles of accountability, transparency and good governance by establishing a Royal Commission of Inquiry into its abuses and efficacy, with the specific term of reference to make recommendations about the future of APs to import cars.
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