PETALING JAYA, 15 June 2009: Senior Umno leaders shot down efforts last year to get ministers to publicly declare their assets and income, former minister Datuk Zaid Ibrahim revealed today.
Zaid, who was sacked from Umno and joined Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) on 13 June, blamed Umno leaders for scuttling then Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi‘s intentions for all ministers to declare their assets.
Zaid (File pic) “I still remember when Pak Lah suggested that ministers declare their assets and income. I suggested to Pak Lah that the declaration forms should be simplified like the ones used by the Australian government so that they are not difficult to fill.
“But it was never implemented because of objections by senior Umno leaders,” Zaid said in his blog posting Kepada Adnan Yaakob dan rakan-rakan.
Zaid was responding to Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob, the Pahang Menteri Besar, who called him “a wolf in sheep’s clothing” for joining PKR.
In his blog, Zaid said leaders like Adnan were quick to label those who wanted to bring reforms as “enemies of Umno”.
Abolish the OSA
Zaid took issue with his detractors whom he said called him a rich man who was made rich by Umno.
He said the government should abolish the Official Secrets Act (OSA) and reveal the identities of those in power who had received government contracts and shares.
“Whenever Umno leaders want to embarrass me or are upset about my stand, they always say I am rich because of Umno. I have repeatedly explained that I am not rich and that Umno did not make me rich.
“So I suggest the government abolish the OSA so that all records of government contracts, projects and shares given by Umno to ministers, former ministers, menteris besar and Umno leaders and their family members can be revealed to the public.
“This way, the public will know who is rich and who is not, and where the source of wealth comes from,” Zaid wrote.
He suggested that those who were out to tarnish his reputation were wasting their time as they themselves were corrupt.
“There is no need to accuse and tarnish others unless we ourselves are open to letting the rakyat scrutinise us.”
Zaid said he would ask his lawyer to contact Adnan over his statement.