Politicians with ongoing graft trials in court should excuse themselves from running in the upcoming polls, the Center to Combat Corruption & Cronyism (C4) said today.
The chairman of the anti-graft organisation, Edmund Terence Gomez, said that before running for office, these lawmakers must dispel any such accusations.
“I am referring to the court cases of Ahmad Zahid Hamidi from Umno, Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman from Muda, and even Lim Guan Eng from DAP,” he said at the launch of C4’s Business in Politics report.
He added that candidates for GE15 should not have been chosen if their names were mentioned in the Pandora Papers leak.
The largest data breach of its kind contains around 12 million papers and other records from offshore service providers who assist with the creation and administration of shell companies all over the world.
“I’m calling on the party presidents to look carefully at the candidates they nominated. If they have serious allegations against them, such as being named in the Pandora Papers, why are they still being nominated?”
Zahid, finance minister Tengku Zafrul Aziz, former finance minister Daim Zainuddin, PKR’s William Leong, and the parents of wanted banker Low Taek Jho are a few people who have been connected to it.
Gomez, the report’s author, questioned the method used by political parties to choose candidates, noting that some of the 13 MPs under examination by C4 are not just GE15 candidates but also have significant ties to the political and corporate worlds.
“If party leaders bring more people with business links into the political system, will this not lead to the further monetisation of politics? Will this not lead to further corruption in this country?” he asked.
As such, he said, party leaders should be more responsible when it comes to selecting their candidates.
“Ultimately, it is the party leaders who sign off the ‘watikah’ (appointment letter) which allows their candidates to run for election. So, be responsible. Nominate good candidates,” he said.
On Oct. 20, the Election Commission (EC) announced that the country’s 15th general election will be held on Nov. 19 despite public concerns about another major flooding.
Meanwhile, nomination day will fall on Nov. 5 and the early voting period will be held on Nov. 15.
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