PETALING JAYA, 15 June 2009: Senior Umno leaders shot down efforts last year to get ministers to publicly declare their assets and income, former minister Datuk Zaid Ibrahim revealed today.
Zaid, who was sacked from Umno and joined Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) on 13 June, blamed Umno leaders for scuttling then Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi‘s intentions for all ministers to declare their assets.
Zaid (File pic) “I still remember when Pak Lah suggested that ministers declare their assets and income. I suggested to Pak Lah that the declaration forms should be simplified like the ones used by the Australian government so that they are not difficult to fill.
“But it was never implemented because of objections by senior Umno leaders,” Zaid said in his blog posting Kepada Adnan Yaakob dan rakan-rakan.
Zaid was responding to Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob, the Pahang Menteri Besar, who called him “a wolf in sheep’s clothing” for joining PKR.
Zaid resigned as a minister on 15 Sept 2008 over the government’s use of the Internal Security Act and was sacked from Umno on 2 Dec 2008 after 23 years as a member.
In his blog, Zaid said leaders like Adnan were quick to label those who wanted to bring reforms as “enemies of Umno”.
Abolish the OSA
Zaid took issue with his detractors whom he said called him a rich man who was made rich by Umno.
He said the government should abolish the Official Secrets Act (OSA) and reveal the identities of those in power who had received government contracts and shares.
“Whenever Umno leaders want to embarrass me or are upset about my stand, they always say I am rich because of Umno. I have repeatedly explained that I am not rich and that Umno did not make me rich.
“So I suggest the government abolish the OSA so that all records of government contracts, projects and shares given by Umno to ministers, former ministers, menteris besar and Umno leaders and their family members can be revealed to the public.
“This way, the public will know who is rich and who is not, and where the source of wealth comes from,” Zaid wrote.
He suggested that those who were out to tarnish his reputation were wasting their time as they themselves were corrupt.
“There is no need to accuse and tarnish others unless we ourselves are open to letting the rakyat scrutinise us.”
Zaid said he would ask his lawyer to contact Adnan over his statement.
Why would BN/Umno leaders refuse disclosure if they have nothing to hide?
1BlackMalaysia. Democracy First. Elections Now.
When the water gets shallower, we can see the bottom more clearly. The pressure is on us to see things more clearly and when that happens, the truth and the depth of misdeeds will be revealed.
Jeffrey Ng says
I am from Pahang. I have only this words for Adnan Yaakob: Ask yourself what have you done for the state of Pahang? NOTHING.
I definitely and strongly support Zaid to be our next law minister of the next Pakatan Rakyat federal government. Abolish the OSA and nationalise all BN crony companies that are enslaving the rakyat.
I am very happy today. Finally this honorable man has joined PKR to help all Malaysians to have a better and safer living. I have been following this man for a long time and he deserves to serve our nation and hopefully he becomes prime minister to straigthen all the wrongdoing is this country. He will provide equality to all Malaysians immaterial of their background. With him in the national scene, I see some future for my children and all children of Malaysia. Next, we must support him all the way so that he can function without fear. My family will pray that you will live well and that no harm will come to you. God bless you, sir.
Nicholas Aw says
Zaid Ibrahim is one of two politicians whom I hold in high esteem. The other being Nizar Jamaluddin. I believe these two gentlemen will be able to help shape Pakatan Rakyat into a formidable force to challenge BN in the GE13.
As far as Adnan Yaakob is concerned, he is not worth talking about. He and other big guns of Umno and BN will never agree to public scrutiny of their assets. I vividly remember a video clip of this Menteri Besar of Pahang which was in circulation sometime ago where he clearly showed a dirty sign. Such action by a VIP speaks volume of his character and upbringing.
albert lee says
Yes, abolish OSA. Will the BN MPs submit the proposal during the coming Parliament sessions to get it abolished? Malaysians dare them to do it. Will the slogan MALAYSIA BOLEH stand high and mighty?
Yalah tu! This Adnan is a holier guy, that’s why he likes to show his bad hand signals to others. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIR4YdoDk1o&feature=PlayList&p=EC39DAF9EFCD0247&index=1&playnext=2&playnext_from=PL)
BN guys, we rakyat know you guys all holy people! No need to remind us anymore! That’s why this negara become so successful!
We are all with you….
Since Zaid has highlighted about assets disclosure, perhaps THG would like to put up a list where the public can find politicians’ asset disclosure. Perhaps THG can start with Zaid…wonder how many Umno contracts Zico got when one of their lawyers was an Umno member….?
BN does not want honourable people like Zaid. So, good move to join PR …… Vote PR for change!
P.T Kan says
It is always the pot calling the kettle black. Those who have plenty to hide will always want to do so. Calling for the abolishment of the OSA may be an overkill and play into the government’s (read office holders who have skeletons in their closets) hand. There may be a real need for the OSA, eg in matters of national security.
The rakyat are not stupid. Even without declaration of assets, information does surface from time to time. A recent case in point is the palatial home of a former menteri besar which was widely circulated in the internet. I recall several instances of news in the public domain of children of ministers who suddenly became major shareholders of large corporations without any disclosure where their wealth came from. This only leads people to draw one conclusion: through connections and may be even corruption.
As long as those who have plenty to hide remain in power it is only natural they want to protect their ill-gotten wealth and stall all efforts at transparency and accountability. In the recent US presidential election, all candidates declared their assets. This only shows the moral integrity of leaders there. We should strive to have leaders with similar moral standing. If we want the undesirable situation in our country to change we have to start from the top, ie change the government.
There is a saying: when a fish rots, it always starts from the head. As loyal citizens who want to see the country prosper and be held in high esteem amongst the community of nations, we, the non-politicians, must vote for change and tell those within our influence to do the same.