UMNO veteran lodges ACA report on top leadership
By TEH ENG HOCK
KUALA LUMPUR: An UMNO veteran lodged a report with the Anti-Corruption Agency against the party’s top leaders.
Selangor veteran leader Datuk Mazlan Harun, who is also a former UMNO Youth exco member, did not make it clear what the report was about but said it was to alert the ACA on possible abuse of power in the run-up to the party elections in December.
“The ACA report is to ensure there is no abuse of power because we all want a free and fair elections,” he told reporters Tuesday after spending an hour being interviewed by ACA officers at the agency’s office here.
Muar branch leader Datuk Kadar Shah, the son of the late UMNO permanent chairman Tun Sulaiman Ninam Shah, accompanied Mazlan as he presented documents as proof to the ACA.
Asked who were the leaders implicated in the report, Mazlan said: “Those in power”.
“Who do you think is most powerful in Malaysia?” he said.
It is understood that the complaint was based on an open letter written by UMNO Petaling Jaya Selatan division chief Kapt (Rtd) Datuk Zahar Hashim and addressed to the party’s secretary general demanding that both party president Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and his deputy Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak be disciplined for allegedly abusing their power.
In the letter, dated July 11, Zahar asked for the party’s 2008 version of the Code of Ethics to be enforced only in December instead of July.
This was because Abdullah and Najib had breached the code on July 10 in a briefing with division, Youth, Wanita and Puteri leaders.
Zahar said they had openly campaigned and appealed for the top two posts to be uncontested, while Abdullah also promised to hand over power as party president to Najib in mid-2010.
Zahar called the act as "political corruption of the highest order", and claimed the duo had abused government machineries and given cash and gifts to UMNO members in a bid to sustain their position in the party.
Other UMNO veterans present at the ACA office were Kadar's brother Hassan Tun Sulaiman, who is also Muar division UMNO committee member and former Bandar Tun Razak division secretary and Sang Kelembai blogger Zaharin Mohd Yasin.
Hassan said the transition of power between Abdullah and Najib in 2010 was wrong, as the current Supreme Council can only decide if it was carried out before December.
"The new members of the Supreme Council elected in December are the ones who can make a decision on the transition of power in 2010," he said.
Zaharin said the transition was unconstitutional, as the party constitution does not provide for a transition of power.
"But we accept resignations. It actually means Abdullah is resigning in 2010, but that is if he is still party president then," he said.
In a statement, Civil Movement Against Corruption (Gerak) chairman Mohd Nazree Mohd Yunus urged the ACA to investigate all those involved in money politics in the UMNO elections at all levels.
"Gerak supports Datuk Mazlan Harun for reporting political corruption involving the UMNO president. The allegations by Datuk Zahar Hashim that the Prime Minister is involved in money politics should be looked into," he said.
Due to the confidentiality of any reports and statements given to ACA, Mazlan did not gave much comment. His report puts in question the seriousness of Abdullah Badawi's government to address the alleged corruption problem.
Dato Zaid Ibrahim, Minister in charge of law at the PM Department, was reported to have said that an independent ACA is a neccessary compliment to the judicial reform.
Former journalist Syed Imran in his blog, Kuda Ranggi yesterday asked the Government to prove its sincerity for an independent ACA for this case that will effect the Prime Minister. ACA falls under teh jurisdiction of the PM Department.
The issue raised by Kapten Zahar's letter and Mazlan Harun's ACA report relates to the arranged meeting of UMNO branch chiefs with the Prime Minister by JASA, a Ministry of Information agency believed to have contravened the recently issued Tataetika.
It raises the unethical practises in the use of Government machinery for intra party election and the corrupt political practise of bribing for political support in the form of "kain pelikat" gifts, providing travelling pocket money, hotel accomodation, and etc.
Rumours at UMNO coffehouse talk put the amount allocated by JASA for the PM's UMNO party political program at RM80 million. This excludes the donations of "kain pelikat" and pocket money by individual politicians.