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CNN: Critics Wonder Whether Real Reform Can Happen in Malaysia Under Mahathir
By Lisa Barron
28/7/2001 6:44 pm Sat
[Korupsi ujud dan membiak dengan begitu sihat kerana Mahathir
juga. Dia memilih dan memberi tugas kepada orang yang memang
kontroversi. Walaupun Daim telah pergi, Ali Abul Hassan dipanggil
semula pula. Mahathir hanya bertindak bila rakyat dan akarumbi Umno
mula tidak senang dengan pembabitan dana awam untuk menyelamatkan kroni.
Sepatutnya dia tidak melantik Daim sejak dulu lagi kerana semua orang
tahu (pinjam kata Khalid Jafri) - takkan Mahathir yang sentiasa menjaga
polis selama ini tidak tahu-menahu. Shahrir Samad menyetujui Mahathir
sengaja melantik banjingan (crook) dalam kabinetnya.
Menurut Lim Kit Siang, Mahathir sepatutnya bertanggungjawab terhadap
gejala jijik korupsi itu. Steven Gan berpendapat sikap Mahathir yang
lembik dan lembab bertindak menyebabkan gejala korupsi semakin menular
dan bernanah ketahap akar-umbi. Tiada jalan lain melainkan merombak
sistem itu bersekali kerana semua sudah tercemar.
Bagi Dr Jomo pula adalah sukar untuk gejala itu dibanteras kerana ia
sudah membiak di peringkat atasan parti. Lagipun kuasa menghukum
terletak pada kuncu-kuncu pemimpin parti (seperti kes Khalil Yakob
yang sudah sunyi sepi). Selagi ini tidak ditangani politik baru yang
bersih tidak akan menjadi satu realiti.
Critics Wonder Whether Real Reform Can Happen in Malaysia Under Prime
Aired July 27, 2001 - 08:30:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL
FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DALTON TANONAKA, CNN ANCHOR: Malaysia's Prime Minister Mahatir
Mohammed recently announced a drive to weed out corruption in
government, but critics wonder whether real reform can happen under the
leader of 20 years.
BIZASIA's Lisa Barron reports from Kuala Lumpur.
LISA BARRON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The crackdown left
no doubts about the fact that Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad
means business. Money politics will no longer be tolerated, he announced, at
his ruling party, Umno's, general assembly in June. Thus began Mahathir's
campaign to clean up Umno's tarnished image and quiet a growing number of
critics who accuse him of fostering corruption and cronyism.
LIM KIT SIANG, DEMOCRATIC ACTION PARTY: I think that's one of the
biggest disasters, I will say, under Dr. Mahathir's administration. There's no
doubt money politics is on a different scale altogether as compared to
previous prime ministers administration. nobody says he's personally
involved, but there's no doubt that he must bear responsibility for the greed,
the clear magnitude of money politics and corruption.
BARRON: Three weeks before the assembly, Finance Minister Daim
Zainuddin resigned. Political analysts say Mahathir masterminded the
departure of his former protege, as part of his party clean-up. Daim is a close
associate of two prominent tycoons whose companies benefited from recent
controversial and expensive government rescue packages. Even Umno
leaders say Daim's tenure was characterized by corruption.
SHAHRIR ABDUL SAMAD, UMNO SUPREME COUNCIL: A crook? Yes, that
would be a possibility to put him into that, because I think he was aware of
the scheme of things.
BARRON: Mr. Mahathir himself now holds the finance post. One of his
administrations' first moves, the $1 billion government bid on July 23rd for
infrastructure firm UEM. The government plans to wrest control of the
Uem-Renong group from chairman Halim Faad, who had close ties to former
Finance Minister Daim. The question now is: Will Mahathir's fiery words
translate into action? Six senior members of the Umno Party have already
been suspended, and nine more are before the party's disciplinary board. But
many here believe the cleanup will fail to be a cure.
STEVEN GAN, MALAYSIAKINI.COM: Political will is not enough really. I
think he has to have all the support from all the party members. But I think the
situation in Umno is way beyond one person being too soft, because party
politics has fallen off, gone beyond just a few key leaders. It's gone down to
the grassroots and without the support of everyone. It's hard for Umno to
tackle money politics. Some analysts say cronyism will not disappear unless
Malaysia gets an overhaul.
JOMO KS, UNIVERSITY MALAYA: To move fundamentally against the whole
system, it seems to me is very unlikely in that its become so central to the
system of power that exists in this country. The regime has to be broken and a
new type of politics and, in a sense, has to develop in its place.
BARRON: Still, analysts say if Mahathir believes a full-scale offensive is
needed to boost support for his regime, expect even more measures against
Lisa Barron, CNN, Kuala Lampur.