Lamenting Malaysia as being deeply mired in a “kleptocratic culture”, DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang drove his point further by citing the appointment of a person removed as a minister for purported money politics and corruption as chairperson of the Federal Land Development Authority (Felda).
“And he is still today the top man of a key Felda conglomerate,” Lim said in a statement yesterday.
Although Lim did not name anybody, it is believed that he was referring to former Felda chairperson Isa Samad, who has since been replaced with Johor Baru MP Shahrir Abdul Samad - but Isa remains as Felda Global Ventures (FGV) Holdings Bhd chairperson.
Isa was suspended from Umno for three years on seven corruption charges for money politics in the 2004 Umno elections.
Lim said he believes this kleptocratic culture has plunged the country into the “infamy and ignominy of being regarded and ridiculed worldwide as a global kleptocracy”.
Acknowledging how there had been problems relating to good governance and democracy between Felda settlers and the Felda bureaucracy in the early years of Felda, the Gelang Patah MP went on to point out that the Felda problems and grievances had never reached the kleptocratic level seen in the past several years.
Felda brought low by a sea of problems
“This is clear and evident when we see Felda brought low by a sea of problems, not only with many important Felda officials arrested and charged for corruption by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission but the slew of Felda problems besetting Felda settlers, whether concerning FGV, Perumahan Generasi Kedua, GSA and education."
Lim therefore believes that the time is ripe for a “Malaysia Reset” of nation-building direction and national policies, especially since the country has been overtaken, both politically and economically, by other countries.
Pointing out how the country will be celebrating its 60th National Day anniversary and the 57th anniversary of Malaysia Day, Lim said there was no better way to mark the two important national milestones than to conduct a “Malaysia Reset”.
“We should keep the nation-building direction and national policies that are good for the country, but dare to correct and even abandon polices that are detrimental to the development of a united, successful, just, democratic, progressive and prosperous plural society.
“One deleterious nation-building mindset, which must be the subject of Malaysia Reset, is the bane of the culture of kleptocracy that has crept into the higher levels of leadership in our country."
Such a reset, added Lim, must involve the eradication of kleptocracy and the kleptocratic culture, not only in Felda but at all levels of government and society, not just in Majlis Amanah Rakyat (Mara), Tabung Haji and all government-linked companies but also in the highest echelons of government, including full accountability for the 1MDB scandal.
“It is impossible to expect the incumbent Umno/BN coalition to conduct any reset of nation-building directions and national polices, as they are responsible for the grave perversion of nation-building directions and national policies," Lim said.
A new federal government formed by Pakatan Harapan, together with Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia, would be the only coalition capable of undertaking a reset of nation-building directions and national policies after six decades, he added.
With a new federal government, Lim believes that there will be Royal Commissions of Inquiry into the 1MDB scandal and the Felda woes – and there will be a Parliamentary Select Committee on Good Governance with powers to call up government departments and entities that violate the principles of democratic accountability, transparency and good governance.- Mkini