KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 12 ― Bribery happens across the board and allegations of corruption should not be made only against Umno, the party’s information chief Datuk Ahmad Maslan said today.
He was asked to comment on Umno’s secretary-general Datuk Tengku Adnan Mansor’s remark last week that the party faces the challenge of being perceived as corrupt.
“This perception is not necessarily true. Perception only remains as perception.”
“Bribery does not differentiate between party, does not differentiate between gender, does not differentiate between races...
“Don’t just accuse bribery only (by) Umno’s people. This bribery transcends all...” Ahmad told reporters at a press conference today.
The deputy minister in the prime minister’s department said the important thing is that the government is serious about tackling corruption.
“Most importantly, the government is serious to eradicate bribery,” he said.
Ahmad said one of the government’s National Key Results Area is to fight corruption.
Last week, Tengku Adnan Mansor told state news agency Bernama that it will be tough to fix the misperception because many of Umno’s critics were disgruntled partymen who chose to break away and form their own splinter groups, like PAS and PKR.
“The problem we are facing is perception. After we won the 2004 general elections, probably we were negligent until the opposition succeeded in labelling Umno a crony party, elitists, corrupt and all sorts,” he was reported saying.
He also blamed the widespread negative perception of Umno with some within its ranks who had painted a false and distorted image of the party having promised largess to individuals instead of the public good.
There was a controversy recently over a sum of RM40 million, which Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Razak had said is a “political donation” to Sabah Umno. Umno’s Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz had also told Parliament that the country’s anti-graft agency had cleared the Sabah chief minister of allegations of corrupt links over the RM40 million.