By Christine Tay
Malaysians wanted an end to corruption, Pakatan Harapan is ending the corruption. It has been nothing short of a waking nightmare to clear up the muck UMNO left, but here’s what Pakatan has done so far to make Malaysia cleaner for you and me:
Gave the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) a complete makeover
Under Najib’s administration, the MACC was nothing more than a puppet that was forced to carry out its master’s every order. Najib was a despotic puppetmaster who had zero tolerance for those who did not toe his line. Anyone who was bold enough to rebel against him got axed one way or another.
Do you still remember how Teoh Beng Hock died in MACC’s custody and how the Royal Commission alleged that he had committed suicide? How about the cold-blooded murder of Datuk Anthony Kevin Morais, a high-ranking MACC officer whose body was dumped in a concrete-filled drum? Malaysians are convinced that the blood of these innocents is on Najib’s hands, and it’s no surprise given that the disgraced ex-Prime Minister was infamous in meddling wherever and however he pleased. Above all, remember how MACC absolved Najib of corruption charges in 2016 and how enraged we were? Yes, that was MACC’s sullied legacy under Najib.
However, the situation is radically different today. Under Pakatan, MACC has regained its dignity and integrity as an anti-graft agency that fiercely hunts down the corrupt. Under Pakatan, MACC has been pivotal in spearheading the war against corruption and abuse of power. To date, MACC has filed 1MDB-related civil suits against 41 individuals and entities under Latheefa Koya’s lead, the newest Chief Commissioner known for her fearless and no-nonsense approach. In addition, it has also issued compound notices to 80 individuals and entities to recover funds embezzled from 1MDB. Leaving no stone unturned, the MACC has managed to recover RM919 million from the 1MDB scandal thus far.
Requiring all Members of Parliament to declare their assets
Such an exceptional move has never been done before in all 63 years of Malaysia’s history as a nation. So what does it say about the new government who introduced it? In an astounding endeavour to be transparent with the Malaysians who voted them in, all 139 MPs from Pakatan have submitted their statutory declarations of assets to Dewan Rakyat without any fuss. This is what it means to lead by example.
Another 21 non-Pakatan MPs have also done the same, leaving 62 non-complaint MPs who have not honoured this requirement. Almost all of them are of course, UMNO and PAS MPs. As these two parties have been very busy amassing wealth through abhorrent means for decades, is their blatant refusal to come clean about their assets any surprise?
Note this, all MPs were given more than enough time to submit their declarations to Dewan Rakyat last year. Under the initial bill, they had 3 months to do so – by 1 October 2019. This deadline was then graciously extended to 5 December 2019. Therefore, it is resoundingly obvious that all 62 MPs who have failed to declare their assets until now have wilfully chosen to make a mockery out of Parliament and delusionally consider themselves to be above the law.
Financial transparency is one of the greatest hallmarks of a government with integrity, one that can be trusted with the hard-earned money of its taxpayers. If politicians truly have nothing to hide or be afraid of, then publicly declaring their assets should not be a stumbling block. Without such transparency, no government deserves the trust or respect of its people. UMNO and PAS may throw rotten eggs at Pakatan all they want, but politicians who have been systemically robbing the very people they were meant to protect do not deserve to be heard at all, let alone hold positions of power.
Prosecuted Najib, Rosmah, Zahid, and other UMNO cronies in court for corruption
No doubt, this has been one of Pakatan’s greatest accomplishments so far, if not the greatest. Taking Najib, Rosmah and the rest to court over their many misdeeds would never have happened during the BN regime. The dishonourable husband and wife duo was always quick to silence any potential form of dissent or threats to their power, and they did so openly, shamelessly, and consistently.
Nonetheless, when Pakatan took the reins of power on 9 May 2018, they wasted no time in bringing these offenders to justice. Within one month following their historic victory at the polls, they initiated legal proceedings against Zahid for 40 charges of bribery. Shortly after that, Pakatan hauled Najib to court in September 2018. At the moment, Najib faces 42 counts of corruption and money laundering related to 1MDB alone. These charges do not even include the seven he also faces over the SRC International scandal. And just very recently on 3 February 2020, Rosmah’s trial also began with the self-proclaimed First Lady of Malaysia slapped with three counts of corruption.
Yes, while it is certainly no secret that the judicial process has been rife with delay (Najib’s case being an excellent example), no right-minded person can deny that Pakatan has been relentless in scrubbing Malaysia clean to fulfil its election pledge of making our country corrupt-free. Changing an entire system that has been so deeply entrenched in corruption from top to bottom isn’t a process that happens overnight, it is simply not humanly possible. Show me a country that has suffered the kind of paralysing losses that we have yet has miraculously turned things around overnight, and I’ll show you a country that belongs in a fairytale.