KUALA LUMPUR: Former finance minister Daim Zainuddin said the public should not get too influenced by the “indoctrination” of many “Pakatan-sympathetic” online news portals as Pakatan Rakyat leaders were every bit as unscrupulous as Barisan Nasional’s.
He said that despite the reality being what it is, the general perception was that “political cronyism only existed in Malaysia and in BN-controlled states, but not in the states controlled by Pakatan.”
Saying PR leaders were “quick to pick out the speck in BN or UMNO’s eye but always forget the log that is in front of their own eyes”, he attributed this mentality to their proficiency in “disguising or hiding their own cosy relationships with businessmen, developers and other tycoons”.
In his speech, Daim went through a laundry list of misdeeds that PR leaders were guilty of, starting with the most obvious which was business-politics.
Acknowledging that many labelled him as one of the “main architects of business-politics” when he was finance minister, he said, “Truth is, business and politics are like Siamese twins – inseparable and inevitable.”
He explained that it was important for people to realise that profits from businesses were used to fund political parties and contest in elections, and while BN leaders were rather open about this, PR leaders preferred to let their supporters think this was not condoned despite much evidence to the contrary.
Daim zeroed in on the Penang state government, saying their move to “wi-fi George Town” was shrouded in secrecy.
“Perhaps we can ask the Penang state government how the project was awarded and if it was based on competitive bidding, and whether all the original objectives or promises by both the state government and contractor have been met?”
He also mentioned Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng’s tunnel project asking, “Was there any open tenders called for this project? How were the evaluations done and who are the parties privileged enough to be awarded this multi-billion dollar project?”
Not sparing Selangor, Daim brought up the mushrooming of “hundreds of foot and reflexology centres” and implied these were fronts for shady businesses and were “linked to certain personalities in the state government”.
Targeting Kelantan next, Daim said political cronyism and nepotism was rampant in the state despite PAS’ efforts to portray an “Islamic and clean image”.
He cited the leasing out of thousands of hectares of land to loggers and planters, some of which went to “DAP parliamentarians and cousins Ngeh Koo Ham and Nga Kor Ming of Perak.”
Asking, “No political cronyism and nepotism?”, Daim added “It’s easy to blame everything wrong on the previous BN government before Pakatan took over.
“But how long can Pakatan continue to use BN/UNMO as the scapegoat?
“How long can you (rakyat) continue to swallow such indoctrination and falsehood?”