Surely PPBM members have not forgotten that it was the practice of political patronage and abuse of government resources that led to Umno’s fall.
Electoral reforms coalition Bersih 2.0 has joined the chorus of condemnation over remarks by a PPBM leader demanding government projects to help the party’s machinery.
Saying it was shocked by PPBM vice-president Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman’s speech at the party’s general assembly yesterday, Bersih said it raised suspicions of government leaders’ commitment to do away with patronage.
“To be the government is not a reward, but a responsibility entrusted to politicians by the people. Serve diligently, effectively and honestly and the people will renew the contract every five years,” the coalition said in a statement.
Rashid, the former Election Commission chairman, drew flak from some party leaders for his call to give party chieftains government contracts, although it was greeted with applause from delegates attending the PPBM general assembly.
Among others, Rashid said it would be stupid not to demand government favours for the ruling political party, saying elections must be won “by hook or by crook”.
Bersih reminded PPBM members that it was the practice of political patronage and abuse of government resources that led to Umno’s fall.
“Has Rashid and the cheering delegates forgotten so quickly why Malaysians rejected the previous Umno/Barisan Nasional government just seven months ago?” it asked.
Bersih also urged Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad to come down hard on corruption by implementing tough laws against cronyism as well as to regulate political financing.
It also called for the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to be made answerable to Parliament, and for the Election Commission to be vested with prosecutorial powers against election offenders. – FMT