Malaysiakini

Ministers can laugh all the way to the bank

YOURSAY 'In other countries, awarding contracts to your own children or family members is a no-no. But over here, they just tell us that there is no proof of corruption.'

Taib's son rich from gov't deals, but no proof of abuse

your sayKim Quek: First, under Section 23 of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act 2009, whether the beneficiary is Sarawak CM Abdul Taib Mahmud or his son makes no difference.

Second, Taib as planning and resources minister, has to approve the timber concession application, even though he might not have sat in the committee meeting.

Third, as chief minister, he has got to give the final approval even though he might be absent in the state cabinet meeting.

With Taib's involvement in so many layers of the administration including the apex authority concerning his son's application, how the hell can MACC deputy chief commissioner (operations) Mohd Shukri Abdull claim that Taib is completely free from involvement in the award of such state contracts?

If what Shukri says is true, then every minister and every head of department can openly and legally award government contracts to himself, as long as he is absent in the meeting which deliberated on the application. How ridiculous can Shukri get?

DontPlayGod: In other countries, awarding contracts to your own children or family members is a no-no.

In China, you will be dismissed from your government post, even if you are the governor of that province and disciplinary action taken. But over here, they just tell us that there is no proof.

Bystander: Even if Taib is not present at such meetings, would you think those who were authorised to make the decisions dare to reject his son's timber concessions application?

Why choose his sons or daughters over so many applicants? Wouldn't it create a perception of abuse of power even if it is genuinely not? Conflicts of interest also comes into play.

No wonder, Taib said his children are all very smart to make so much money ‘legitimately'. Any retarded children with such help could also be a billionaire, no sweat.

Xabiso: There's already a conflict of interest when everyone in the exco meeting is subservient to their boss - in this case Taib Mahmud, which will in turn influence the decisions they make.

They can't make decisions in an impartial way. You can ask any board of directors from any part of the world.

Longyan Ren: MACC deputy chief commissioner Mohd Shukri said, "A person cannot be charged for abuse of power if there is no evidence that he or she had personally made the decision to award a contract where there is conflict of interest."

Wait a minute, doesn't this show there is a huge loophole in our laws? How can our leaders not get filthy rich?

Just by declaring your interest or your family members' interest and excusing yourself from meetings that decide on the state deals, every such deal becomes above board and free of conflict of interest?

It's little wonder that some cabinet ministers and chief ministers have children who are already multimillionaires in their early 20s.

Ksn: How silly MACC has become! Earlier, the excuse was certain laws are protecting the corrupt, and now strongman Taib was said to be not present at meetings to decide on applications and contracts.

This does not speak much about MACC, its standards of investigations or the officers themselves.

Indeed, we are not going to get to the bottom of all the corruption, the unmentionable sums accumulated by our politicians, their families, their abuse of their positions, even in their absence.

We need a whole new government and new men, competent with integrity, to head all the agencies like MACC, Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM), Attorney-General's Chambers, etc.

Jimmy Ng: So, the door has just opened and it is now clear to all BN ministers that as long as they are not present physically during the tender meetings when the tender is awarded to their crony or relative, it is okay and legal and MACC cannot take action.

Up2U: MACC, how can you fall back on the weakness of the law? A person of Taib's stature does not need to be in a meeting. His omnipresence is strong enough to influence the others to approve the goodies for his son.

Righteous: The CM does not need to be present for him to influence a decision; he could instruct anyone to follow his instructions from afar. MACC needs to look at each contract that has been awarded and decide if each one was the best deal the government could have gotten.

Stories: I wonder how many of Sarawak ministers or exco members would actually dare not to award a contract to Taib's son. The implicit threat of not conforming to his wishes is already an abuse of power, hence corruption.

Blackberry: Mohd Shukri, what freaking proof do you want? How can the Sarawak CM's son have 111 bank accounts as mentioned in his ex-wife's statement?

Armageddon: Is this a case of the weaknesses in the law or the weaknesses in the people enforcing the law? I believe the latter is true.

If the law finds Taib guilty, most likely all BN MBs and CMs will suffer the same fate. White-collar criminals are not idiots, and that is why we label them white collared to signify their intelligence.

AnakBangsaMalaysia: It is grimly amusing to watch MACC fall over themselves making up desperate excuses to justify their eunuch-hood in investigating the openly and massively corrupt Taib Mahmud's kleptocratic dynasty.

Do we have to teach you to do simple arithmetic, MACC? How much is the CM's official annual salary and benefits? Multiply that by the number of years Taib has been in power, and subtract this from the billions of ringgit of known wealth.

And where Taib Junior is concerned, the simple fact that he is the son of the CM would automatically exclude him from all government contracts due to a clear and massive conflict of interest. But of course, MACC refuses to see this.

Iremember: Is MACC trying to wriggle out of this one and allow these corrupt whales to continue looting the nation? The rakyat are not likely to accept such a lame excuse.

Remember, the late DAP aide Teoh Beng Hock was subjected to a marathon interrogation session resulting in his death over a case involving a mere RM2,000.

Meanwhile, these corrupt whales are stashing their billions all over the world while millions of Malaysians are living below the poverty line.

Smalltowner: MACC acknowledging the sources of the BN leaders' wealth is the first step in the right direction. MACC acknowledging that they do not have the guts to go after big fish is the second step.

MACC saying all these with the intention to get the general public outraged enough to force them into action is the third step.

The fourth right step is ours. Come on, absurd as it is, isn't it clear MACC needs us to force them to act so that big brother won't blame them for taking action?

Much as they possibly can't stand the present situation, and may want to act on their own, they also need to take care of their own rice bowl at the same time.

NH Gong: When they want to, they can find ‘proof' such as how sodomy was "proven" to have taken place in a non-existent condominium during Sodomy I. Please stop wasting our time MACC, soon you will join your brothers-in-crime in jail.

Not Confused: To any right-thinking individual, it matters not whether the beneficiary of any decision is actually present in the decision-making meeting. The point is that there should be no connection at all between the decision-makers and the beneficiary contractor.

Similarly, there should be a clear brick wall between politicians and commercial interests - no chance of any conflict of interest.

Until this is enshrined in a well-crafted legislation, then Najib's bleating will come to nought and the leaders of states and their relatives will continue to plunder the country's resources and their wealth will become even more obscene.

Tl: Taib's family has amassed billions of ringgit and MACC still can't pin anything on them - someone must be blind here.


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