KUALA LUMPUR, May 13 — Former education minister Maszlee Malik today penned a heartfelt post about the direction Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) is headed, questioning the morals of the party which has banded with Barisan Nasional (BN), which it once stood against.
In his posting titled: “Is there still a future for this sacred party?” Maszlee questioned the appointment of Government-Linked Company (GLC) heads, specifically targeting one such appointee; his predecessor Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid, whom he said is already embroiled in an energy source scandal.
Mahdzir has been testifying as a prosecution witness against Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, in her corruption trial for taking bribes totalling RM6.5 million in exchange for helping Jepak Holdings get a RM1.25 billion project for a solar hybrid system to supply electricity to 369 rural schools in Sarawak.
In his posting, Maszlee, who is also Bersatu’s Supreme Council member, questioned his party’s pledge to practise a new political culture void of corruption.
“Everyone knows how damaging the system has been for so long, the big scandals and the extraordinary cases of breach of trust, all slowly unfolding.
“Let’s not go too far, in our own education (scene), look at the case of a Sarawak rural school solar project that was already on trial. Observe how the characters who want to save themselves from being charged quarrel with one another.
“It’s truly unfortunate that the trial could not end before PH (Pakatan Harapan) fell. Today, the character directly involved in the solar energy project, got the chairmanship of a GLC (which is also related to ‘energy’),” Maszlee wrote, indirectly referring to Mahdzir, who was last week, announced as the new chairman of Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB).
Maszlee then questioned religious leaders, asking if the practise of appointing “such characters” like Mahdzir is right from their perspective.
“If any religionist ever said appoint clean Cabinet ministers as a strong argument for the government, now what about the appointment of these characters in GLCs? Are there other religious arguments that need to be relied on to justify this action? If anything, I’d love to read it,” he added.
Maszlee concurred that though Bersatu is a young party, the foundation for its formation was to fight power abuse and implement a new management culture with integrity.
“Now, what are we going to answer ourselves, when such culture (corruption, power abuse) comes to reign again in our country, in front of our eyes? Don’t we feel guilty looking at the characters whose actions we had stood up against then, now returning to dominate, without an ounce of shame and guilt?” he questioned.
Maszlee said he joined Bersatu because of the often touted ideology to become an alternative to old politics and “politics of corruption”, to a new one known as the “Bersatu culture”.
However, he said he is not able to see the party’s once clear direction now.
Maszlee also questioned if Bersatu is still relevant as a replacement for Umno and an alternative choice for the Malays, after it left PH to join Perikatan Nasional (PN) in February.
“If Bersatu finally follows the same stream, start mixing with those who carried the political culture that we once vowed to fight, and is now apologetic and not guilty for being with those we defeated because of their greed for money and power which happened clearly before our eyes, where is the rationale that our party is still needed for the Malays?” he asked.
Maszlee also questioned as to where would Bersatu stand, as the Umno Supreme Council has decided to contest all the seats won by its party and allies in the 15th general election (GE15) via its Muafakat Nasional alliance ewith PAS.
“Not with PH and not with Muafakat Nasional too. We would become the most marginal third party, facing two blocks, PH and Muafakat Nasional in the coming GE15,” he added.