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Thursday, January 19, 2012

"Dangerous" for BN ministers to declare assets: Nazri ridiculed for "worst excuse" ever

Sulaiman Kamal | 5:33 PM | | | | | | Best Blogger Tips

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As expected, recent calls for top political leaders to declare their assets have struck fear into the hearts of BN Cabinet ministers, who are perceived to be among the richest but most corrupt people in the country.
Nazr Aziz, the Minister in the Prime Minister's Department, was obviously tasked to knock down the suggestions from Transparency International, the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission as well as the examples set by the Pakatan Rakyat state governments in Selangor and Penang.
For defending the indefensible, Nazri was ridiculed for insisting that revealing the assets of ministers and their immediate family to the public "may endanger them".

"This takes the cake. It is the worst excuse I have ever heard. It only underscores Umno's fear for anti-corruption reforms. And very important for Malaysians to take note of is that it shows Najib's transformation programs are all fake, There has been too much hype but no substance, no result and no follow-through," Batu MP Tiuan Chua toldMalaysia Chronicle.
Striking fear into the hearts of the BN leaders
Nazri was responding to reporters on a call by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission to the Cabinet and their families to follow the lead set by the Pakatan Rakyat officials in Selangor and Penang.
But it was clear from Nazri's response, the MACC's advice had struck fear in the hearts of the BN Cabinet, who have all been accused of high-level and massive corruption.
Even now, Women's minister Shahrizat Jalil and her family are being probed for their role in the failed RM250 million National Feedlot Center cattle-rearing project. But Nazri waved aside the advantages of such an anti-graft measure.
"If we make these details public, it may endanger the individuals concerned. This is especially so as it will also include personal details, on which we also have laws to protect against indiscriminate distribution,"Nazri told a press conference in Putrajaya.
Nazri also refused to comment on the NFC debacle. Najib had announced that the project's assets had been frozen, an obvious blunder as such a freeze would also mean NFC's business operations would have to be halted, which it has has not been so far.
Growing rift between PM and DPM?
Caught between exposing Najib for the financial ignoramus he has been accused of being and of putting right the facts about NFC, Nazri deftly passed the buck to Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.
Whether intentional or not, Nazri raised eyebrows with his remark as it well known that there is rivalry between the PM and the DPM, with Najib hoping to use the NFC fiasco to run down Muhyiddin's ambition of challenging him for the Umno presidency later this year.
“I don’t know how that is. You have to ask the DPM,” said Nazri.
Nazri also tip-toed over the fact that Pakatan Rakyat leaders in Selangor and Penang had faced no problems despite having declared their assets online for the public to view.
“That is up to their administration, if they decide to do so,” he said.

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