Monday, November 24, 2008

Shouldn’t Politicians Have A Code of Ethics?


There is a Chinese saying that “If you want to eat salted fish, you must be prepared to endure the thirst.” Indeed, if you want to be involved in politics and hold important posts at the same time, you must be prepared to face all plausible and unfair challenges and criticisms.

In the wake of the defeat in the March 8 general election, some former members of parliaments have chosen to cross-over and accepted appointment by the DAP and Parti Keadilan for posts in organizations or companies linked to the state governments. Unlike them, I decided to remain with the MCA and BN to face the electoral setback and hope to contribute towards the transformation of the MCA and BN government, and thus working towards a better future for the nation.

I can clearly remember that in last April when Datuk Seri Azalina Othman, Tourism Minister received me for the first time at the Malaysian Tourism Centre, she told me apart from responsibilities in the company, she also hopes that I could help to promote the Malaysian tourism in the “Chopstick” markets (countries and regions which use the chopsticks, including China, Taiwan, Japan and etc).”

I was extremely thrilled by the offer as I was given an opportunity after my election defeat to have a platform to continue serving the country. I then decided to turn down an offer by a private company which was much favourable than the offer by the Tourism Ministry.

I thought it was nothing wrong for me to continue serving the country. Unfortunately, after assuming the position, I found that the company was plagued with financial and investment problems. Everyday, apart from looking for ways to stop the ‘bleeding” of the company, I have to endure incessant allegations and slander by various quarters, including those from within and without the party. Recently, I was asked to resign and return the company’s car to the company by YB Lim Kit Siang (in fact, I am still using my 6-year old Camry). Lim has also made a lot of unfair criticism and allegations against me in the media and the internet.

His ground for demanding my resignation is “because I am now the chairman of MCA Wanita”. Such a ground is indeed so ridiculous that perhaps he may even be amused in his dream.Does he means that I have no right to serve the country other than the Parliament platform? Or just because I am holding a party post? Isn’t that fair I need to earn a salary for my living? I am not entitled to pension at this moment as I have yet to reach the age of 50, furthermore, this is my only job, I don’t have any other business or income. Unlike YB Lim, he is not only getting monthly allowance as a MP, but also getting a pension as former state assemblymen. Is it wrong for me to work and get paid and enjoy the resources which come along with my job? Furthermore, due to the financial position of the company, I have to use my own car for official duties and travel in economy class with domestic flight so as to cut down expenses as much as possible.

To demonstrate the transparency and our sincerity in revamping the company, we have provided YB Lim the audit report by professional audit firm Pricewaterhouse Cooper. He knows very well that the losses of the company were incurred before my appointment. He is in possession of the information contained in the report and some facts which he firmly believes. But he is unhappy even though the Tourism Minister has repeatedly stated publicly that appropriate actions, including lodging a report to the Anti-Corruption Agency, will be taken. Instead he continues to make dubious allegations against me demanding that I provide answers which he likes to hear knowing very well that the company is still looking for the right solution to revamp the company and while all plans are still pending and anything made public would affect the proposed revamp. His political design in doing so is obvious.

But I will never dance to his tune. I will continue to put the interest of the nation and the company above all. The persons who should be held responsible for the investment mistakes and losses of the company will be eventually identified and punished after the investigation carried out by the relevant authority.

There is a saying that “There is honour even among thieves”. Then, shouldn’t there be a code of ethics among those who want to fish political capital?

Chew Mei Fun

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