Friday, February 22, 2008

Dynasty

If the USA have their Bushes and Clintons, I think it's fair to have our own Lims, Lings and Singhs. From theSun:

Rising sons and daughters
Husna Yusop

PETALING JAYA (Feb 21, 2008): Political nepotism, it would seem, is getting common in Malaysia as some seats in the general elections are being “passed” from one generation to another, as though they are family businesses.

The latest cases of political heirs making their electoral debut on March 8, succeeding their fathers as candidates, can be seen in the Labis and Kota Samarahan parliamentary seats, and the Port Klang state seat.

MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting announced today the candidacy of 31-year-old Chua Tee Yong in the Labis seat, formerly held by his father, former health minister Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek.

Chua resigned from all party and government posts last month after he admitted to being the man in a sex DVD, copies of which were widely distributed in Johor.

In Sarawak, the country’s longest serving MP, Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud will not be defending his Kota Samarahan seat, which he held for 41 years, paving the way for his eldest son Datuk Seri Sulaiman Abdul Rahman, 39, a PBB Youth vice-president and former banker to contest it.

In Selangor, Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Khir Toyo announced today Roselinda Abdul Jamil will be contesting in Port Klang, taking over from her father-in-law, the incumbent Datuk Zakaria Mat Deros who was dropped. Zakaria sparked a controversy for building a luxury mansion in Pandamaran without approval from the authorities.

Other family links which could be found among political parties, be it Barisan Nasional (BN) or the Opposition are:
> Lim Si Pin, son of former Gerakan president Datuk Seri Dr Lim Keng Yaik (incumbent Beruas MP), who will be contesting in Batu parliamentary seat;
> Lim Guan Eng, son of DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang, who is standing in Bagan, Penang;
> Mujahid Yusof, son of PAS leader the late Yusof Rawa, is contesting in Parit Buntar, Perak;
> Gobind Singh Deo, son of DAP leader Karpal Singh, is expected to be standing in Puchong;
> Jagdeep Singh Deo, another son of Karpal, is said to be contesting in one of the Penang state seats;
> Datuk Ling Hee Leong, son of former MCA president Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik, to be fielded in Gopeng, Perak;
> Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir, son of former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, is to contest in Jerlun;
> Nurul Izzah, daughter of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, has expressed her interest to be a candidate, likely in Lembah Pantai; and
> Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s son-in-law Khairy Jamaluddin is said to have received nominations from the ground to stand in Rembau, Negri Sembilan. But to date, he has yet to confirm it.

Commenting on this development, Transparency International-Malaysia (TI) president Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam said it is the responsibility of political parties to make sure they put up able and honest candidates. Otherwise the rakyat will vote against the individuals and the party will get a bad name.

“A leopard cannot change its spot. If candidates come from a family of questionable background where there are members of their family perceived to be corrupt and inefficient, then their family members who stand for elections should be scrutinised even more closely and carefully,” he said, adding TI is against cronyism.
He urged voters to exercise their duty as loyal Malaysians and ensure that the best, most efficient and honest candidates are elected, and those who fall short of high standards should be rejected at the polls.

“We have to check on the background of our candidates. If they come from families that have had a bad track record or history of lack of transparency and integrity, then we should be very, very careful and hesitant to give them our trust and confidence.

“This is because their families have let the rakyat down before and we should not take a risk in thrusting our votes for people of this kind of background and character,” he added.


Updated: 10:48PM Thu, 21 Feb 2008

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