Oct 24, 2008

Tun Mahathir says Umno will lose power because of corruption

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 24 – Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today said Umno will lose the next General Election if nothing is done to weed out corruption in the party.

“After the defeat there will be no Prime Minister, minister and other positions. No more contracts, APs and licenses. Everyone will suffer, and be insulted by others. And that is the end of Umno,” said the former Prime Minister.

In his latest blog posting he said that he believes that many people are disappointed with money politics in Umno now.

“I know a lot of money is being used. It used to be only the division Youth heads that received the money. But this had resulted in other office bearers of the movement not cooperating. But now everyone can get it and the return is very substantial for the bribers,” said Dr Mahathir.

“The winners can become lawmakers, Exco members, ministers, deputy ministers, parliamentary secretary, chairman of GLCs and receive contracts worth millions of ringgit,” he added.

He said corruption is expected to get worse by March 2009 when the General Assembly begins.

“Looking at the positions being contested, every delegate can receive up to RM20,000,” said Dr Mahathir.

He said that the Barisan Nasional's victory in the 2004 General Election was because the people believed that the new leadership was cleaner than the previous administration, but Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi had failed to walk the talk.

“Between 2004 and 2008, they could see that Abdullah's administration was full of corruption. They noticed the role played by his family members and cronies and also Cabinet members. What they saw convinced them that the administration is not clean. The result can be seen in the 12th General Election,” said Dr Mahathir.

Corruption or money politics is a thorny issue in the Malay nationalist party.

After the last party election in 2004, newly elected vice president Tan Sri Isa Samad was suspended for three years for his involvement in money politics.

Supreme council member, Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim, who is vying for a vice president's post even suggested that the positions in the party be awarded to the highest bidder, since money politics is so rampant in the party.

At the Umno Supreme Council meeting on Oct 20, the issue was discussed at length and the party's highest decision making body is expected to announce tough measures soon.

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