Saturday, October 5, 2013

Paul Low should not be an apologist for BN government or government agencies.

Media Statement by M Kula Segaran, DAP National Vice Chairman and MP for Ipoh Barat in Ipoh on October 6, 2013

Paul Low should not be an apologist for BN government or government agencies.

Minister in charge of Integrity Paul Low has been reported to say that it would be unrealistic to expect zero defects in government agencies and that  that private firms also have their fair share of governance problems.

He added that not all the revelations in the reports are related to corruption, there were possibilities that the officers also lacked the skills and knowledge in carrying out their jobs.

I am disappointed that as a minister in charge of integrity, he has made remarks which appear like an apologist for the agencies’ wrong doing.

With such strong and widespread public resentment against the abuses, wastage and inefficiencies revealed in the latest Auditor General Report, the right thing that Paul should have done is to tell the public what are the actions  that will be taken  against the culprits and the effective steps to minimize the defects. 

By saying that it is unrealistic to expect zero defects, he is actually giving the impression that he is attempting to in a way justify present and continued defects. 

Who has been so unrealistic to demand zero defects? Can Paul name any Member of Parliament who has said that there must be zero defects at government agencies? 

It is also wrong for Paul to make a general statement that private companies also have their fair share of governance problems when there are now calls for tough actions against the culprits at government agencies. 

Take for example the RTM wastage. Despite budgeting RM100 per unit for a clock and RM200 per unit for an A4-sized document scanner, the Auditor-General found that the Broadcasting Department spent RM3, 810 per unit for “branded” wall clocks and RM14, 670 per unit for the scanners.

Can Paul tell the public which private company has ever experienced such magnitude of defect in terms of wastage? 

This is not the first time where Paul has made remarks which have earned him the label of being an apologist for the BN government. 

Let’s hope that he will understand the public expectations from a Minister in charge of Integrity and become a voice of reforms in the government.

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