3 Jun 2013

Low's early fumbles are costly, says Phang

INTERVIEW Former Transparency International-Malaysia (TI-M) head Paul Low had made some costly mistakes early into his foray as a cabinet minister, said Robert Phang, who was once a TI-M exco member.

Phang said Low should have followed due process prior to his departure as TI-M president on May 24 in order for the organisation's exco to take the necessary measures.
NONEInstead, Phang said the sudden departure had caused "turmoil" in TI-M's leadership.
“His sudden resignation to become a Cabinet minister had led to a chaotic situation not because he was indispensable but because he has deviated from the real code in TI namely transparency and integrity," he said.

Phang said that Low could have called for an emergency TI-M exco meeting to inform them of his decision to accept the appointment to cabinet and not resign only when he was sworn-in as a minister.
Big task ahead for PM
He said that this had shown a lack of integrity and described it as a "big insult" to TI-M, which is meant to promote transparency and integrity in governance.
"This has created a bad precedent and is contradictory to the TI fundamental principles," said Phang, who made his name as a philanthropist before being occasionally appointed as a government advisor, such as his stint in the MACC consultation and corruption prevention panel.
najib new cabinet 150513During the wide-ranging interview earlier this week, Phang also opined that Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak has a big challenge ahead with his new cabinet because many appointees are fresh.
He said that some cabinet ministers and their assistants from Sabah and Sarawak did not have prior experience in the state exco.
"After the results were announced, Najib looked tired and unhappy. It must be stressful for him because he is aware that his government must perform or else BN will be changed the next round.
"The new cabinet has to deal with problems accumulated from the past. They will need to put in extra effort," he said.

Moots 'Chinese affairs council' 
On Najib's claim that BN lost due to a "Chinese Tsunami", Phang said that this was a wrong assessment as the Chinese only account for 25 percent of the population while Pakatan Rakyat's received 51.4 percent of the popular vote.
Phang said that the blamed cannot be pinned on the Chinese community alone because there were serious problems with MCA - the main Chinese representative in BN - as well.
NONEAccording to Phang, MCA president Dr Chua Soi Lek had chosen only those favourable to him as candidates instead of people who are more likely to draw votes.
"He placed his own candidates instead of popular ones. He sidelined Ong Tee Keat and Gan Ping Sieu," he said.
Now that MCA is not represented in the cabinet, Phang urged the premier to set up a Chinese affairs council - headed by prominent personalities from the community - in order to form a bridge between the community and the government.
He said that Low - the only ethnic Chinese minister - is unable to do this because his expertise is in handling matters concerning transparency.

Source :  http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/231837

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