The Truth Revealed

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Dr M: Pak Lah to blame for corruption and cronyism in Umno


By Shannon Teoh

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 14 - Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed today blamed Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi for the corruption which he says is rife in Umno.

He said the new Umno leadership would have to work hard to repair what he described as the damages inflicted on the country by Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's administration.

Dr Mahathir, who has been increasingly vocal in recent weeks, repeated his contention that Barisan Nasional's (BN) current weak position is largely the fault of Abdullah.

Writing in his popular chedet.com blog today, he defended his own administration and leadership, pointing out that even when Umno was extremely unpopular in 1999, BN managed to retain its two-thirds majority in Parliament.

"Umno leaders must now meet as many Umno members and voters as possible to hear their

complaints," he said, naming the economic downturn, inflation, lack of employment and contracts for small contractors as matters that Datuk Seri Najib Razak, as Abdullah's successor, must pay attention to.

He said that cronyism and corruption became rife under Abdullah.

"This was so because even Abdullah was seen to abuse his position and power to help his son and son-in-law's businesses," he stated, referring to such companies as Scomi, in which his son Kamaluddin Abdullah is involved in and ECM Libra, which his son-in-law Khairy Jamaluddin is linked to.

"Everyone knows about the RM200 given to delegates to the Kubang Pasu division so that they did not vote me to be a delegate at the 2006 Umno General Assembly," Mahathir said.

He added also that a Petaling Jaya Selatan leader as well as a veteran leader had reported that Abdullah had given RM 200 and other gifts to branch members and treated them to a stay in a luxury hotel in exchange for support of his 2010 transition plan.

"It is clear that corruption has become part of Umno culture at all levels. This will cause Umno to lose the confidence of the people.

"If Umno under Najib wants the support of voters, it must stamp out corruption. If not, voters will vote whoever pays them off and this includes the opposition," he warned.

Mahathir, who was Prime Minister for 22 years, rebutted any assertion that Abdullah had inherited a damaged Barisan Nasional.

"If so, then why did BN gain two-thirds majority since 1974? BN has never failed to rule Kedah, Perak and Selangor and since Gerakan joined BN, it has never lost Penang," he reasoned.

He further stated that Abdullah had succeeded him in Oct 2003 and in five months, won big at the 11th General Elections with 90 per cent of MPs from the ruling coalition and took back Terengganu as well as nearly regaining Kelantan from Pas.

"This shows that the BN he inherited was very healthy," Mahathir concluded and added that the Permatang Pauh by-election was further proof as "members were afraid to wear the badge and shirts of Umno or BN."
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