First, you have Chong Kah Kiat who resigned as the Sabah deputy chief minister in protest over the stoppage of Mazhu statue in Kudat . Kah Kiat was upset by his boss Musa Aman who scrap the project without any justification. Before the Mazhu incident, Musa Aman has also interfered with Kah Kiat’s portfolio as the state tourism minister.
And now, you have Bernard Dompok who resigned as the chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Integrity over the sabotage of NRD officials. Earlier, Dompok was apparently upset with Nazri Aziz and other ministers who help blocking the ACA Director General from attending the hearing by the PSCI.
Both Dompok and Kah Kiat have set a fine example for other BN leaders who hold on to their positions shamelessly with no principle and courage whatsoever. They will be remembered as political leaders who have the courage to defend their integrity in the larger interest of the people. Incidentally, both of them hail from Sabah.
While we werte disappointed with the reaction of the Prime Minister (he remarked that Kah Kiat’s resignation has no impact with BN Sabah), we were heartened to note that the Transparency International KL Chapter and the Council of Churches in Malaysia have voiced their support with Dompok.
|Kit Siang and groups support Dompok|
|Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang has come out to defend Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Bernard Dompok after he was criticised by cabinet compatriot Nazri Aziz.Lim’s response came in the wake of Dompok’s shock resignation as the head of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Integrity (PSCI) on Wednesday.
However, Nazri said the resignation was seen as being influenced by the committee’s deputy chairperson which happens to be Lim.
Nazri pointed out that the committee was set up to meet people, obtain feedback and formulate a programme or find ways to improve on policy, not investigate people.
He also said Dompok was frustrated that Nazri had objected to the PSCI calling the then Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) director-general Zulkipli Mat Noor to appear before the Select Committee.
Dompok’s decision to resign from the bi-partisan committee followed Lim’s question on why a scheduled committee meeting yesterday with National Registration Department (NRD) into a fake identity card scandal in Sabah dubbed ‘Project M’ was suddenly cancelled.
Test of strength
The NRD has refused to appear before the committee – a move which Nazri has supported.
Lim then pointed out that this appeared to be a test of strength between Nazri and Dompok with the former having the upper hand.
“Even if Dompok is prepared to reconsider his resignation as chairman of PSCI, it is not clear that the cabinet would agree to his continuing to serve in this capacity,” he said.
Meanwhile. Transparency International president Ramon Navaratnam expressed regret over Dompok’s resignation and over the NRD’s refusal to comply with the committee’s request.
“It is a serious matter and indicates an unbecoming attitude of an agency when a meeting called by the Parliamentary Select Committee can be rejected.
“This is also disrespectful to Parliament and reflects the standard and quality of administration of this country,” Ramon said in a statement today.
He also called for Dompok’sposition as chairperson of the PSCI to be reinstated and that the NRD be held accountable for the issuance of identity cards in Sabah where there is apparent widespread abuse.
“Tough disciplinary action must be taken against individuals and agencies that do not heed parliamentary meetings seriously,” he added.
Echoing their support for Dompok is the Council of Churches of Malaysia who is appealing to Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to implement his stated policies of integrity, accountability and transparency by reinstating Dompok to the PSCI post.
“As much as we regret his resignation, we applaud his courage based on his conviction that issues related to transparency in the government administration should not be compromised,” their statement added.