Monday, May 5, 2008

No returning favor business

I have been approached by several people from other constituencies requesting for help from my office. One of the "many helps" needed is for me to sign the good conduct form for immigration use. An Adun or MP can sign the form verifying good conduct of the applicant (even though I question how an Adun or MP can effectively and practically know every one in their constituencies). Hence, I rely on the statutory declaration made by these applicants.

When I refused to sign these forms for the people outside my constituency, my volunteers and I received abusive shouts and sms criticising me for my "lack of willingness" to help them. Anyone can put their signature down but I personally don't believe in signing documents blindly. It is not because I am too rigid but I believe this a matter of principle. I raised the issue of "proximity" ie. I am not their wakil rakyat and a form such as this should technically be signed by someone "close" to them and not just any Adun. I referred them to their Adun and even provided contact details but they were still unhappy.

I have also heard this - "I voted for you, I volunteered myself as a polling or counting agent and I told all my friends to vote for you BUT now you don't want to help me". If it is within my jurisdiction to assist, I will assist BUT please do not expect me to "return a favor". I guess it is this return of favor business that got many politicians trapped in corruption, whether willingly or unwillingly.

People voted for change but their ways of thinking have not changed. They only expected the government to change but not themselves. For change to effectively be put in place, every person must play their role. I will NOT allow myself to be purchased by "favors", "hidden costs" or "gifts". I have an allegiance to God and my people to stay clean in the performance of my duty as a state assemblyman.

I detest the practice of bypassing usual procedures. I absolutely hate such a practice.

I also want to make clear that I have NOT instructed anyone to raise funds for my office. If we need funds, I will make it known publicly. Do not entertain anyone who comes to you asking for money and tells you that they represent me or know me or that they can assist you in your matters because of their relationship with me. I have NEVER issued such an instruction to my volunteers or my family members.

For a clean and healthy society to exist, you need to ensure that not only the head is clean but the body must be clean too. Change your mindset. Until and unless that happens, we can only dream of a progressive and 'cutting edge' Malaysia.