MAY 15 – The appointment of Datuk Paul Low as a minister today appears to be another symbolic gesture in the fight against corruption and to promote transparency in the Barisan Nasional (BN) government.
On the face of it the Transparency International president’s appointment is a nod towards how serious the government is in tackling graft.
But is it?
After all Datuk Seri Idris Jala was also made a minister when Datuk Seri Najib Razak came to power to tackle the same problems.
Now after the GTPs, ETPs and many other acronyms, and not to mention the hundreds of millions of ringgit spent, the BN government is still seen as a failure in solving issues like corruption, rising crime and government bureaucracy.
So what can Low add to the mix?
Also by retaining personalities like Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor and naming former Perlis Mentri Besar Shahidan Kassim, the PM seems to be sending a mix message to say the least.
Shahidan is an old style political warlord representing the politics of the past who once urged the government to ban Facebook.
Tengku Adnan is a man linked to the VK Lingam judge fixing scandal.
So by appeasing the party warlords, Najib is now offering us the latest puppet he can parade around to tell Malaysians that BN is reforming.
If there is one thing the results of Election 2013 should have revealed to BN is that Malaysians are not buying cosmetic attempts at reform.
Please Mr PM, we have had enough of symbolic gestures.
* Fakry Osman reads The Malaysian Insider.