Cukup hanya ini..”Najib signs clean polls pledge”?
Some members of Transparency International Malaysia (TI-M) are questioning the integrity of their president Paul Low, who has been appointed a minister in Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s new cabinet.
Koris Atan, a TI-M executive committee member, said members were unhappy that Low had signed the ‘Integrity Pledge’ with Najib without getting the approval of the organisation’s executive committee.
He said some questions were raised over Low’s conduct at the organisation’s annual general meeting in April. However, Low was re-elected as the president.
“Just because it involves the prime minister, Low cannot take the upper hand and do things as he wishes.
“Now that he has been appointed a minister, questions arise if this was part of the plan,” Koris (right), who is also president of the Penang Consumer Protection Association, told Malaysiakini.
“Of course, we are happy for him, and applaud him for being made a minister. But where is Low’s integrity?” he asked.
Low should have resigned his post in TI-M before accepting the ministerial, Koris said.
“TI-M is a watchdog for corrupt practices. With his integrity now in question, we wonder whether Low can do a good job as a minister,” he stressed.
“And we will certainly be watching him, too.”
Low’s background dragged in
Koris said Low had in 1998 been appointed to the National Economic Action Council by virtue of being an MCA member.
He questioned whether Low was picked for a role in the cabinet to represent the Chinese community, saying “I wonder what MCA president Dr Chua Soi Lek has to say to that?”
Low resigned as a life member of the MCA in 2009, after his impartiality was questioned upon his appointment as head of the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) ad hoc committee to investigate the multi-billion ringgit PKFZ scandal involving former MCA president Dr Ling Liong Sik.
Najib sprang a surprise yesterday when he announcedtwo non-politicians, including Low, as senators and ministers, along with six others, in his overcrowded Prime Minister’s Department.
The other one is former Maybank president and chief executive officer Abdul Wahid Omar.
P Waythamoorthy, who leads a Hindraf faction, was appointed as deputy minister in the Prime Minister’s Department.
In February, Najib and the BN component party leaders signed the Integrity Pledge to show their seriousness in promoting clean elections in the face of mounting allegations of vote-buying and money politics leading up to the May 5 general election.
Scorpene sub surfaces again
Meanwhile, human rights lawyer Charles Hector expressed hope that Low would not turn a blind eye but “would act to expose and eliminate” corruption in Najib’s administration.
Hector (left) advised Low not to assist in cover-ups and to get rid of all the bad apples within the cabinet and the government who were involved in corruption.
“Perhaps one of the things Low should do is ensure Najib’s full cooperation in the Scorpene (submarine) affair,” he said, referring to the RM7.3 billion purchase of two submarines from France in 2002, when Najib was defence minister.
Hector suggested that Low should probably be “de facto anti-corruption minister” and with his presence, Malaysia may fare better in this year’s Transparency International Corruption Perception Index.
In 2012, Malaysia’s score was merely 49, with a country ranking of 54 together with the Czech Republic, Latvia and Turkey.