Just over six years ago I had the privilege of having Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah do the honours for my book launch, “Malaysia: Road Map for Achieving Vision 2020”, held in Ipoh.
At that time, Ku Li as we all know him, was only an MP but I recall that the public and opposition parties were very much hoping that he would throw in his lot with the opposition for the general election due in 2013.
I had also supported Ku Li to break away from what was clearly a corrupt and kleptocratic regime and was of the opinion that he would be able to play a leading role in the opposition on account of his 10 golden political principles which he was touting.
In fact, on April 12, 2013, I had written an open letter to him in which I stated that should Tengku Razaleigh decide to stand as a candidate of Umno – a party lacking in the political integrity and ethical standards that he has espoused – I and many Malaysians will feel badly disappointed and let down.
Unfortunately for various reasons he did not make the move although he was returned as MP for his constituency for the umpteen time.
Since then, not only has there been much water under the bridge but Tengku Razaleigh is standing for election for the Umno presidency which is taking place soon.
I will not write about him or the other candidates that are running for the top position in Umno. Suffice to say that the party has not only let down the Malays but its alleged corruption and abuse of power have also alienated all Malaysians. The crushing defeat that Umno has suffered in the 14th general election (GE14) is more than fully deserved.
Today, there is an opportunity for Tengku Razaleigh to redeem his name and honour. There is also an opportunity for him to put Umno back on the right track to being a decent and respectable party. This can be done by him reaffirming to Umno’s party members that he will stand by his earlier disseminated 10 golden principles.
Tengku Razaleigh’s 10 golden principles:
- All political parties are required to include in their constitutional objectives the equality of citizenship as provided for in the Federal Constitution.
- An economic and political policy that political parties propagate must not discriminate against any citizen.
- All parties shall include and uphold constitutional democracy and the separation of powers as a fundamental principle.
- It shall be the duty of all political parties to adhere to the objectives of public service and refrain from involvement in business and ensure the separation of business from political parties.
- It shall be the duty of all political parties to ensure and respect the independence of the judiciary and the judicial process.
- All parties shall ensure that the party election system will adhere to the highest standards of conduct, and also ensure that the elections are free of corrupt practices. Legislation should be considered to provide funding of political parties.
- It shall be the duty of all parties to ensure that all political dialogues and statements will not create racial or religious animosity.
- All parties undertake not to use racial and communal agitation as political policies.
- To remove and eradicate all barriers that hinder national unity and Malaysian identity.
- To uphold the federal and state constitutions and its democratic intent and spirit, the rule of law, the fundamental liberties as enshrined in Part II of the Malaysian Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Koon Yew Yin is a retired chartered civil engineer and one of the founders of IJM Corporation Bhd and Gamuda Bhd.
The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of FMT.