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BN : Pakatan , be frank

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So we now know exactly where Pakatan Rakyat stands on corruption: it considers itself way above the rest of the country and is not willing to subject itself to the same scrutiny that it demands from everyone else.

Pakatan’s hypocrisy was on full display this week with its leaders claiming instead that a public declaration of assets would somehow ensure that GE 13 candidates are not corrupt. After the coalition’s strident attacks against corruption in the past, its latest comments are a huge climbdown.

This follows Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s call for all general election candidates to be vetted by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC). He made it clear that transparency and good governance are vital to Barisan Nasional, saying the vetting of candidates would allow BN to field clean candidates.

Instead of supporting this landmark initiative, Pakatan has rejected it, no doubt worried about the skeletons that could tumble out of Pakatan’s closet if its candidates are ever vetted.

PKR vice president Tian Chua has dismissed MACC vetting outright. He claimed that a candidate should know whether he was clean before he decided to contest, and that the parties would vet the candidates themselves.

By his logic, corrupt persons would never allow themselves to be in government. If only life were so easy. Either Pakatan is being naïve or it is worried about what vetting will uncover in its ranks.

PAS vice-president Datuk Mahfuz Omar went even further, telling The Malaysian Insider that MACC should investigate candidates who are already accused of graft, instead of enforcing a blanket screening process.

But unless there is MACC vetting for all, some corrupt candidates with clean histories could always slip through. Why is Pakatan still insisting on a partial vetting?

DAP’s firebrand MP Teresa Kok even tried to convince everyone that there was no need for vetting at all. She claimed that a candidate’s assets should be first declared once before being named, and again after finishing one’s term as an MP, to show how much wealth had been accumulated.

“As long as the public feels that (the MPs) can be trusted, they can continue to serve,” she declared to The Malaysian Insider.

Really? Does Teresa really think the battle against corruption can wait for an MP to finish his or her term? Perhaps she has never heard that prevention is better than the cure.

It is clear that these otherwise strident Opposition leaders turn coy the moment their own positions are threatened. It’s about time they stepped up to the same high standards we expect of all our representatives.

The vetting of candidates by MACC is another win for Najib’s reform agenda. By trying to stall his historic proposal with confused arguments and a holier-than-thou attitude, Pakatan is only proving that when it comes to real reform, BN is far ahead. – the choice