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Endorse Ku Li as PM, Zaid tells Dr M

 | April 7, 2015

The two must combine their resources for the good of the nation, says the former law minister.

zaid-ibrahim_ku-li_mahathir_600PETALING JAYA: Zaid Ibrahim has urged Dr Mahathir Mohamad to endorse Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah as the person to take over from Najib Abdul Razak as Prime Minister “if he truly wants to see some improvements in curbing the systemic corruption”.

“Tengku is from the old school,” the former law minister writes in his latest blog entry. “He values integrity and honesty. A person like him is therefore needed to start the reformation in the country.”

Zaid acknowledges that there might still be traces of enmity between Mahathir and Tengku Razaleigh, but he urges them not to let it get in the way of their doing good for the nation.

“Tun Dr Mahathir might still feel the rancour and pain of the bitter fight between Umno’s Team A and Team B in 1988, and Tengku Razaleigh might still feel uncomfortable with Tun,” he says. “But both of them must forget the past and rise above themselves. They need to use their combined resources to change the country from its current Wild Wild West mentality, where cowboys plunder our riches. We must return to being a country where rules are followed and where good values are respected. We need honourable men as leaders before we can make fundamental changes to the system of government.”

Zaid says he agrees with Mahathir that Malaysia is “very corrupt”.

He writes: “In many other countries, for example, politicians and senior civil servants do not travel in jets or helicopters that belong to businessmen. If they do and get caught, they have to resign. But in Malaysia this is a normal thing to do and no one bats an eyelid.

“According to our value system, there is nothing wrong with leaders who keep close company with business tycoons and get free rides in their personal jets.

“JAKIM and the fatwa committees do not see the need to issue a ruling on this practice.

In other countries, politicians, judges and senior police officers are also not permitted to receive honorary memberships in golf clubs, much less the five-star ones. In Malaysia I see many civil servants and judges playing golf in these clubs and their memberships are all ‘honorary’. In other words, they do not pay for them. I am sure the tycoons who own these golf resorts give away memberships to judges and police officers because they may come in useful in certain situations. No one, especially tycoons, gives anything for free and civil servants and judges know this all too well.

“Corruption has flowed into our national bloodstream to such an extent that it will take generations—if at all—to cleanse the system. Our values must first change. We must first feel that it’s wrong to be corrupt. That’s why, if he truly wants to see some improvements in curbing the systemic corruption, Tun should endorse Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah as the one to take over as Prime Minister after Najib.”


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