The new Umno President and incoming prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said Umno MUST reject leaders mired in money politics. Nothing new as more and more leaders and people are saying it.
Money politics is for those with cash, enabling them to 'buy' nominations and votes. Its nothing new already.
On the other side of money politics is also an 'old' issue. What about leaders who give away contracts to their cronies, friends and family members, building a business empire which was meant to be distributed to Malaysian ailing contractors?
Former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad used to write in his blog about a wife of a senior minister being awarded a 15-year supply contract to Pusat Latihan Khidmat Negara (PLKN), about someone close to another key minister changing the LA (letter of award) already given to a Perlis guy for an aquaculture project, and some other instances of 'direct nego' involving contractors who are called 'the ministers' and politicians' friends.
Should someone out there wants to take me for task for this posting, I am more than ready but I will have to refer to Tun... I believe he and God will be on my side.
Many say that getting an LA for a government project is not a guarantee that the project is already yours. LAs can be manipulated to change hands. 'Under table' money being flushed to a minister's camp, too will not guarantee you of even a small Class C contract.
Some projects are publicly called for tender in newsapers advertisement while some are not, especially the big ones. Sources from the Works Ministry once revealed that even some open tender projects already have got its 'bin' or 'owners', means some tenders were advertised to enable the JKR to make money out of tender forms and build of quantities (BQ).
What do you call this? Money politics, too? Or what?
We want Najib to be more transparent when he takes over from Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in March 2009. Only a resilient and transparent administration will gain public and business confident.
Most of our leaders are already rich (at least they live comfortably) after serving the government for at least two terms. Maybe as to appreciate their service, its okay if they have 'something' for the good terms they have served. I think Malaysians will agree to that.
However, to secure to many for their friends and families prior to retirement, will be seen as greedy and denying others of their opportunities.
Malaysians are a 'give and take' society... or are they not?