MARCH 23 - The newspaper headlines for the last few days have been busy exposing to the world how rampant "money politics" is in Umno.
Ali Rastam has been banned from contesting the number two seat and Khairy has been let off with a warning letter.
To everybody's surprise, Khir Toyo has been declared "clean". Such were the findings of the Disciplinary Committee of Umno.
From the perspective of Selangor politics, Khir Toyo had to be found "clean" because without him, who is left to play the role of opposition leader in Selangor?
Bearing in mind that the charges presently leveled by Khir Toyo against TS Abdul Khalid are ones pertaining to corruption, it would be ridiculous if Khir was then himself found guilty of corruption!
And by his own party to boot! So they released him with a clean sheeet so that he may "respectably" portray himself, in the eyes of the uninformed, as a champion against corruption in Selangor!
Ignore please, the many years of corrupt governance under his leadership as these are yet to be given serious consideration by any court in the country.
And will they ever be brought to the attention of the courts? Or will they, as always, lie in the back cupboard somewhere in the office of the MACC or the Public Prosecutor, collecting dust, yet another case of justice falling victim to Umno politics.
Yes, same old song it would seem. However, what Umno seems to have forgotten is that the case of Ali Rastam and that of Isa Samad of years gone by, prove that money politics is alive and kicking in Umno.
In fact in the words of their own leaders, the situation is "worse than ever before". What they fail to realise also is that the rakyaat can now put two and two together and ask, "Where do they get the money to start buying up each other's votes?"
One must bear in mind, we are not talking about coffee money or small change here.
It is not a case of five ringgit or ten ringgit per vote. It runs into the thousands, bringing the total to millions!
Where would a Chief Minister of any state in Malaysia come up with that kind of money. Even if his salary was RM50k per month, which it is not, it would take years to raise the kind of money we are talking about.
As such it is obvious that the money used to buy the votes comes from sources other than his official salary. Simply put, corruption.
A piece of commission here, a sale of state land there, money for favors here, a crony"s contribution there and the list goes on. It takes corruption to feed corruption and the vicious circle goes on.
Politicians who "invest" by buying votes then make sure they reap the profits of their "investment" when they win leading to their holding public office.
Knowing full well that they would not be prosecuted for an act which has become synonymous with BN, they just make sure all the palms that need greasing are greased.
Then they plunder the wealth of the nation or state as the case may be.
It is for this reason that the MACC should definitely step in. The MACC is not necessarily interested in the internal politics of UMNO.
If it is a question of UMNO funds being wrongly used, then the party can say, "we wish to settle it ourselves. It is our money so butt out!"
However, it is not UMNO funds being used to buy votes here but public funds which have been siphoned away, one way or the other and any self respecting Anti-Corruption "Commission" would be interested to find out how.
Oops, I forgot. We do not have one of those yet do we?
The MACC should investigate, quantify the amount of money involved and follow the paper trail so as to ascertain the source of the funds.
Then we will see for sure the "can of worms". We can be sure that we will not see that level of professionalism while the BN remains in power at the Federal level.
Too many cans, too many worms. All belonging to the BN.
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