SANDAKAN, May 3 ― The greatest achievement of the Pakatan Harapan-led (PH) government in its first year in office was putting an end to the infamy of Malaysia as a global kleptocracy and ensuring work-in-progress in transforming Malaysia into a nation of integrity, according to DAP Adviser Lim Kit Siang.
He said Malaysians had previously been ashamed to identify themselves as Malaysians when abroad because of the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) scandal, the ignominy of Malaysia becoming a global kleptocracy and having a prime minister then that was regarded worldwide as a thief.
“I myself was disappointed when the Transparency International Corruption Perception Index 2018 was announced at the end of January this year that Malaysia had gone up by only one place to 61 out of 180 countries, maintaining the score of 47 points in the corruption index just like in the previous year, although the former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and several prominent personalities including former Cabinet ministers had been charged for corruption last year.
“It is a salutary reminder that one swallow does not make a summer and that the prosecution of the former prime minister and former Cabinet ministers, however prominent the event, does not itself transform Malaysia from a global kleptocracy into a shining example of a nation of integrity,” he said in a statement here.
Lim said as illustrated by the RM6.3 billion Federal Land Development Authority (Felda) and RM17.8 billion Lembaga Tabung Haji bailouts respectively, the mission to transform Malaysia from a global kleptocracy into a nation of integrity is a work-in-progress.
“Although I expect the Transparency International Corruption Perception Index for next year to show a great improvement in both ranking and score,” he said and reminded Malaysians not to regard the war against corruption as a “mission accomplished”.
Lim also questioned why Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) President Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili, the former Cabinet minister who had served under Najib, never condemned the 1MDB scandal or expressed regret for bringing Malaysian the odium of a global kleptocracy.
“If Ongkili was not prepared to risk his Cabinet position to speak out against the 1MDB scandal, which brought ignominy and infamy to Malaysia by being condemned worldwide as a global kleptocracy, what can Sabahans and Malaysians expect if PBS is able to stage a political comeback through the Sandakan by-election?
“Would PBS denounce a 2MDB, 3MDB or 4MDB scandal if it is in any future government?” he questioned.
In conjunction with the anniversary of PH’s victory in the 14th general election on May 9, Lim said PH must remain true and committed to the principal objectives of its general election manifesto to reduce costs of living, achieve institutional reforms, engineer economic growth, restore power to Sabah and Sarawak, and build an inclusive and moderate Malaysia.
“This is the work not of 100 days or months but of years and decades, and it calls for steadfast commitment to bring about unity, freedom, justice and prosperity to Malaysia and to all Malaysians,” he said.
Lim is in Sandakan to help campaign for the election of DAP candidate Vivian Wong Shir Yee in the Sandakan parliamentary by-election on May 11.
The 30-year-old youngest daughter of Sandakan parliamentary seat incumbent, the late Datuk Stephen Wong Tien Fatt, is up against PBS’ Datuk Linda Tsen Thau Lin and three Independent candidates ― Hamzah Abdullah, Chia Siew Yung and Sulaiman Samat. ― Bernama