Saturday, December 13, 2008

We can’t talk about your legacy as you have none

Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said the two ‘reform’ Bills tabled for first reading in Parliament this morning should not be seen as a legacy of his tenure.

The Malaysian Commission on Anti-Corruption and the Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC) Bills were drafted to curb graft and improve confidence in the judiciary, he said.

“I do not want to talk about legacy… I’ve never associated myself with any intention to create a legacy. What I want to do is what should be done…,” Abdullah said.

“People said something has to be done about this and I decided to do it. I should have done it over the last four years but there were a lot of things I needed to do.

“People may ask ‘why are you doing this now?’ I have decided to do it and I shall be working until the last second as a prime minster.”

Abdullah will step down from his government and party posts next March, after handing over to anointed successor and current deputy Najib Abdul Razak.

Speaking to reporters after chairing the economic council meeting, Abdullah said he is “happy in a way” because he had intended to table the Bills as early as possible.

“The Bills are very important because issues related to both these bodies have raised various perceptions. And these perceptions are not very agreeable,” he said.

He identified corruption as a major issue that has hogged headlines and which has been raised by politicians. There has been a need to increase public confidence since “many have expressed dissatisfaction and feel the government is not capable of getting rid of corruption”.

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