Development without corruption is an ideal situation in Malaysian politics. Corruption and development is, at a stretch, somewhat acceptable. But corruption without development is completely unacceptable. Sadly, the Malaysian political scene has somehow have found ourselves in the second scenario and moving rapidly towards the last scenario. And it is within this such formula that incumbent Chief Minister, Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud, the undisputed leader of Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) and Chairman of the ruling coalition in Sarawak’s victory in the recent 10th Sarawak state elections 2011, needs to be seen.

The issue whether or not Taib Mahmud is a clean politician was never the key. It was whether Taib Mahmud had delivered, and on that count he scored. Perhaps not in the most raring of percentages but but he was adequately high on a scale of one to ten. In the Malaysian context, irrespective of corruption, development scores. If a politician at the helm of affairs demonstrates his intent and will to deliver as well as takes positive steps in that direction, similar to that of the Taib Mahmud Sarawakian government, then the electorate reposes its faith in him. This more often than not overlooks the incumbency factor. Taib Mahmud was voted in as chief minister for eight terms: the last one going beyond anyone’s expectations. The grapevine has it that Taib himself was not sure of winning but the people voted him in on three counts; the first being that only he can keep UMNO from coming into Sarawak, the second being that he had done for Sarawak what no other Chief Minister had and third being that development was high on the agenda.

There were stories about several family members benefiting billions during his regime but those allegations waned in the face of the work he had done. A great deal still remains undone but his intention and will to work benefited the people who voted him in and this alone is enough reason for the electorate to back him and ensure his return to office which he held for eight terms. In the case of Dr Mahathir, the issue also worked in his favour was the perception that his heart beats for the Malays although he is half-Indian and that even while the party or his confidantes made money left, right and center, he had electoral support till of course he made the fatal mistake of sacking Anwar Ibrahim for corruption and sodomy charges.

In Malaysia, race, religion or corruption comes into play when development takes a backseat. In situations like this, non-performing politicians have a field day in exploiting race and religion blocks to their advantage and they often succeed. Koh Tsu Koon was able to rule Penang and later managed to name chairman Datuk Dr Teng Hock Nan as his successor primarily because he helped UMNO and had the support of the Feds in the center, get electoral power and in turn had a role in decision making. But what dented Koh Tsu Koon’s unassailable position were his non-performance and confining his tenure solely to UMNO politics. That worked initially but later Penangites wanted results of governance where of course he failed miserably. The consequence: a total rout from which recovery seems a near impossibility as the recent 2008 election-results have demonstrated.

This is in great contrast with Lim Guan Eng’s human development agenda in which the situation is crystal-clear. Koh Tsu Koon’s UMNO discrepant policies brought Lim Guan Eng center-stage: His initial victory had little to do with him and more with being the protégé of then Penang Chief Minister Lim Chong Eu and UMNO. Koh Tsu Koon’s Parti Gerakan who vouched for him throughout the years deserted him on the grounds that his UMNO sucking up politics were limited to his family and an inner circle comprising his relatives and maybe a handful of supporters. At the macro level Koh Tsu Koon had failed to deliver or do anything for the state, they argued. Worse still, he had put the clock back.

Lim Guan Eng reign checked these: corruption, accountability and transparency and followed this up with development. Not only did he bring back the dignity of Penangites but also stressed on the state’s CAT (competency, accountability and transparency) principles. It is after many years in Penang that the state is finally transparent in its governance. In the face of all this, whether Lim Guan Eng and his minions are corrupted or not were non issues when it comes to voting him and his boys back to power. This can be said about Taib Mahmud or Musa Aman for that matter. Upon a better look, the way Musa Aman went about getting The Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) on illegal immigrants in Sabah to investigate the Mother of ALL Problems, “Project IC”, the alleged systematic granting of citizenship to foreigners, was a brilliant move in spite of so much objections and even sabotage by Shafie Apdal and some UMNO Sabah chaps. Despite the drama he still managed to get it thru and convince Premier Najib against all odds, that this is the true meaning of development!

I stand corrected on my theory that people accept corruption only if it rides piggyback on development and never the former without the latter. Lim Guan Eng substantiates the first and Koh Tsu Koon the second. And although the the third option of development without corruption is an ideal situation, it is sadly rarely found in Malaysian politics. Even honest politicians, Musa Aman, who was voted in on grounds of his honesty and integrity, rued the fact that political parties need money to survive.

So with the way things are, it is less about corruption and more about being found out. Or even getting caught. Hence, solo development or clean governance in Malaysian politics is an ideal situation. In lieu with this, I have to single out Former Prime Ministers Tengku Abdul Rahman and Tun Hussein Onn whose integrity is beyond doubt, despite the various scams their Government had been besmeared with. But ask the man on the street or even Tengku or Tun Hussein Onn’s former political rivals and they will charge them with inaction but not dishonesty. In this case the clean image scores over governance.

Comments
  1. Sabah Boleh says:

    Pairin was toppled by Bn, yet he still support Bn now, what the heck he is thinking? The right thing Pairin should do now is pull out of Bn and bring back the Sabahan pride and dignity.

    remember by the time the RCI completed its investigations and publish its report, GE13 would be over and the truth would never be told. Right-minded Malaysians especially Sabahans whose rights as enshrined in the 20 points, the Malaysia Agreement and Federal Constitution especially their democratic rights to choose the government of their choice and absolute immigration control, must boot out this treacherous government at GE13 to right this mother of all evils.

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  2. ini kali lah says:

    Sabahans, wake up!

    PBS, UPKO, PBRS, LDP you all better be careful not to be cheated again by UMNO/BN through this RCI which as the days go by seems not to lead anywhere to uncover the whole truth as to what have had happened.

    Firstly, the RCI’s very limited terms of reference already protected the masterminds of the scam.

    Secondly, the Conducting Officers have appeared to self-censured themselves by not asking the questions which will expose the masterminds.

    Thirdly, the RCI hearings and written findings will only be completed after the 13th General Election. These are all deliberately planned for ONE purpose: to dupe Sabahans. Najib’s strategy is, set up the RCI as demanded by the Sabahans to please them.

    But make sure the terms of reference is very limited and questions to be asked during the hearings shall not exposed the masterminds involved.

    The findings shall only be made after the 13th General Election so that hopefully by that time Sabahans had voted for BN!

    Don’t let Musa Aman use his billions to blind you all, all these development story is no use if illegals take over the state from true Sabahans. Its ethnic cleansing at work and this is Mahathir’s plan to dilute the Kadazan Dusun community.

    Ini Kali Lah!

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  3. Ali Katak says:

    Koh Tsu Koon is a ball-less bugger, when Anwar was DPM he was licking Anwar’s ball and always Abang, Abang Abang Anwar, when Anwar got kicked out he was saying nasty things about Anwar, when Pak Lah was made PM, everything Pak Lah did ok, Pak Lah was God to him, when Pak Lah say move bus station from Komtar to Sg Nibong without giving any thoughts to people in Tanjung he just moved it and gave the contract to Shariff Udang because Shariff Pak Lah’s bag carrier. All the contrats in Penang he gave to UMNO buggers, others thai gigi pun tak ada. Uselessbugger this Koh Tsu Koon.

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  4. Adigelam Belachami says:

    The amount of money plundered from the Public Treasury in Malaysia can be calculated from the fact that Singapore, with no natural resources and with a population of only 5.3 million of which 38 per cent are foreigners, has an economy in US$ terms almost as large as that of Malaysia with a population of 28 million and considerable natural resources.

    The author’s sense of moral values can be questioned.

    It’s like saying that a rapist should be excused because he, through his crime, gave a child to a woman who had been childless throughout her, say, 15 years of marriage to an impotent man.

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  5. jabu says:

    One electric generator per long house from BN and Taib will remain the CM again. that’s the reality in rural Sarawak. Nothing is going to change

    Like

  6. Dayak says:

    Who ever replace White Hair, same . They only care to replace him and continue where he left behind once the new one takes over. Nothing is going to change. Those wealth are not going to recover back. In fact the new leader and cronies will broaden their circle to reap what ever else is left behind. As a new team,you need to have sufficient funds and wealth to do that. The newly discovered O & G in the northern region of Sarawak together with the few coal reserves in mid Sarawak will be taken over by this new group . Sarawakian will still be one of the poorest and backward state in Malaysia ! The only way we can see any change is break away from Malaya and be like Brunei or Singapore.

    Like

  7. nosob says:

    ONLY A NEW PR GOVERNMENT WILL HAVE THE WILL TO LOCK UP ALL THIS EVIL DEVILS CORRUPT UMNO/BN THIEF CM TAIB, MUSA AMAN, UMNO MBs, HARAM TUN M AND FAMILIES, UMNO MINISTERS AND ALL THEIR CRONIES.

    AS FAR AS MALAYSIANS ARE CONCERN, NO……….NO POLITICIANS AND THEIR FAMILIES ARE ALLOWED TO AMASS, STEAL AND CORRUPT THE MILLIONS AND BILLIONS OF RINGGITS FROM THE RAKYATS COFFER DURING THEIR TERM OF OFFICE.

    CAN’T WAIT FOR NEW PR GOVERNMENT TO COME TO POWER TO CLEAN UP ALL THIS DEVILS UMNO/BN CORRUPTION ONCE AND FOR ALL, AFTER GE13, ONLY FEW MORE MONTHS TO GO FOR A CLEAN PR GOVERNMENT FOR MALAYSIA.

    WE WILL KICK OUT UMNO FROM SABAH AND THROW INTO THE SOUTH CHINA SEA.

    Like

  8. foochow says:

    Sarawakians are crazy only smart people are the Foo Chows who dare to screw BN in Sibu. Others can easily be sway by election money and big big makan every night during campaign period.That is why its tough for the Opposition candidates. Sarawakians doesn’t mind being screwed back and front by BN/UMNO and are happy to be among the poorest in Malaysia and happy that their natural resources money are taken away to develope West Malaysia and also making a few BN Politicians multi billionaries. Sarawakians are happy to dream about developments promised by PBB candidates during election. Even though promises were made by BN to them before and never fulfilled, they still think that BN should be voted in because they are happy to receive BR1M RM500/- .

    Like

  9. Joe Fernandez says:

    Development is an Umno/BN euphemism for raiding the cookie jar and feathering one’s own nest.

    International laws define money laundering and terrorism as having assets far in excess of what one could legitimately accumulate in a lifetime.

    The SWIFT and IBAN International banking systems can easily trace ill-gotten assets.

    In Sabah, the grinding poverty has been brought about by the Federal Government taking a disproportionate share of the revenue and resources that should otherwise go to the state government.

    Very little comes back to the state government by way of reimbursement.

    Left with meagre resources the state government is unable to lift the state out of its status as the poorest Nation in Malaysia.

    What little development takes place in the state is organic and mostly as a result of private sector initiatives in general and the Chinese community in particular.

    Sent by DiGi from my BlackBerry® Smartphone

    Like

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