Wednesday, October 22, 2008

UMNO DIVISIONAL MEETINGS: Money politics rampant in Umno, says Rais

Umno supreme council member Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim yesterday charged that "a clutch of corporate figures and businessmen" in Umno has caused money politics within the party to be more widespread.
Rais, who is also the foreign minister, however, did not name them, saying "they don't really bother how much of the money goes, provided your horse is running".

"It has gone into the clutch of corporate personnel and businessmen who always believe in making dividends out of a deal. This is dangerous for a political party.

"The best fallback, I believe, is to look at our colleagues in MCA or Gerakan in how they handle their elections. They don't have all the restrictions but comparatively, they are free from money politics.

"I have been warned by my friends in Umno not to talk so much about this but I belong to another school. I believe transparency is our best teacher. We should be transparent and more accountable of our needs," he said after a meeting with diplomats and ambassadors from the United States and the Carribean countries.
Rais is one of the Umno leaders who has been making claims of rampant money politics within the party ahead of its upcoming elections in March.

Asked whether he would lodge any report with the Anti-Corruption Agency, Rais said the problem lay in getting the evidence as they gave out the money very discreetly. He expressed hope that the amendments to the Anti-Corruption Act and the formation of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission would put an end to the menace.

Rais also said several Umno leaders who met during a retreat session on Monday had suggested several ways to overcome the problem, one of which was the abolishment of the quota system. Another suggestion, he said, was to set up a monitoring body within the party itself.

"But as you know, Umno does not have the expertise in handling this. So, it is best we leave it to the authorities."

source: Rais: Money politics rampant in Umno
New Straits Times, Malaysia