Press Statement: Rashid’s Head Needs to Roll

C4 Center is disturbed by the calls made by Bersatu vice president Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman who called for government resources to be given to party members in a bid to retain power. It is now absolutely necessary for Bersatu to reprimand Rashid for making such proposals which would only bring Malaysia back to how it was under UMNO. 

The action against Rashid would also indicate the party’s credibility in handling such issues.  Pakatan Harapan component parties cannot succumb to UMNO style politics.

In his speech made during Bersatu’s second annual general meeting, Rashid is reported to have said that it is “stupid” not to give government projects to party members.  He also pointed out that the projects given to his party’s division leaders would be vital in ensuring the party’s victory in the coming general elections by “hook or crook”.[1] 

Rashid should consider himself as lucky for chairing the election reforms committee for which he receives a fat salary, even though he had in the past, admitted to ensuring UMNO’s victory in general elections.

Bersatu chairman, Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s response to this issue is merely a move to downplay the issue by blaming the previous government of side lining some who are qualified to obtain the contracts. 

The move by party youth chief Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman who criticised calls from delegates for contracts and the youth wing, Armada who stood firm against this practice indicates that the party’s wing ready to lead in the right way.

It is now time for Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad to keep up with his words regarding public procurement laws as promised by Pakatan Harapan in its election manifesto regarding good governance. It is worth reminding that Pakatan Harapan won on the ticket of good governance. It is therefore imperative that they do not back track on their promise.

While delivering the 11th Malaysia Plan Mid Term Report, Dr Mahathir stated that the strategies included improve procurement management and strengthen the performance management framework, monitoring and evaluation.

He also spoke of enforcing open tender system with a more relevant, comprehensive and effective legal framework.[2]  During Budget 2019, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said a public procurement law will be tabled during the sitting of the next Parliament session in April 2019. 

The prime minister and his cabinet must show resolve to push for a comprehensive and transparent procurement system through, and not succumb to pressure from party grassroots and look for short cuts for political financing.

It is also absolutely vital that this government punishes those who abuse their political position to obtain government contracts since Pakatan Harapan regained power on the basis that the former BN government under the leadership of Najib Razak were filled with corruption.

C4 Center is of the stand that more Malay contractors can be helped through the open tender system since the system would ensure that the best Malay contractors would be elected to the job. This method would eliminate the need for political affiliation towards Bersatu and bring about real support for the party instead of a patronage-based support which was practised by Umno.

How can the Malays be assisted economically by Bersatu when contracts were given out based on patronage politics only succeeded in aiding Umno linked individuals?

We are willing to assist the government to bring about positive changes but nothing will change if there is no political will on the part of Pakatan Harapan.

C4 Center would like to demand the government to:

1.     Engage stakeholders in drafting public procurement law

2.     Cut Abdul Rashid’s salary and suspend his position until he apologises to Bersatu delegates.

 

Released by:

Cynthia Gabriel, Executive Director

C4 Center

 

[1] Bersatu VP says 'stupid' not to use gov't resources, gets standing ovation, Malaysiakini 30 Dec 2018, https://www.malaysiakini.com/news/458243

[2] Dr M outlines need for governance reform in delivering 11MP's mid-term report, New Straits Times, 18 Oct 2018 https://www.nst.com.my/news/nation/2018/10/422463/dr-m-outlines-need-governance-reform-delivering-11mps-mid-term-report