Thursday, August 10, 2006

For whatever its worth (14)

I can still remember the occasion when Jalan Silang was renamed Jalan Tun Tan Siew Sin many years back, the late Tuns daughter, who is now a lawyer was present to witness it.

There she spoke to the press about the many qualities of her late father who was once the Finance Minister. The one that still lingers in my mind to this day was when she spoke of her fathers resentment upon knowing that her mother had applied for public issue of a public listed company through the normal process.

According to him the wife of the Finance Minister should not be seen applying for such shares.

But she was not applying for pink forms or nudging anyone for favor. All she did was to submit a normal application like any other member of the public, yet Tun cracked up.

Today the son and son in law of the Finance Minister who happens to also be the Prime Minister is free to indulge into the business and corporate world without much hesitation. Here we are not talking about applying for public listed shares, but making tones of money through contracts and favors from the government without an inkling of fear or guilt.

Someone commented in one of my articles that it is alright for the son of the PM who happens to also be the Finance Minister to bid for government contract after all it is an open tender exercise. I beg to differ. With Tan Siew Sins case in mind, a clean and transparent government could only materialize if and only if whatever likelihood of biasness, favoritism, cronyism, nepotism and conflict of interest be avoided.

Allowing this practice would mean we are opening the floodgates to more and rampant abuse and misuse of power which eventually shall ruin society and bring us back to the dark ages.

Already people are questioning how Khairy (the PMs son in law) could easily obtain RM9 million loan from friends to purchase shares in ECM Libra? Would these friends be as kind if Khairy is simply Jamaluddins son or were they kind because thry knew that he is the son in law of The PM and Finanace Minister?!

Ask any member of the Umno Youth and they would tell you that Khairy won the the number two post in the movement uncontested simply because no one wanted to take the risk and challenge the son in law of the party president.

Can we recreate a truly fair, transparent and open government like what Siew Sin had managed to achieve during his time or are we gradually turning into a lawless society where the strong and rich are the power brokers of the day (or are we already there?)?

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