Saturday February 23, 2013
Najib: Prove commitment
By SHARON LING
KUCHING: The leaders of Pakatan Rakyat should sign the Transparency International (TI) Election Integrity Pledge if they are committed to fighting corruption and abuse of power.
“They have been accusing Barisan Nasional of all kinds of things, yet we are willing to sign the pledge. So if they are truly committed they should also sign it,” Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak told reporters after a closed-door meeting with state Barisan Nasional leaders and elected representatives here yesterday.
Najib, who signed the pledge on Wednesday, reiterated that all Barisan candidates would be required to sign it.
“This was proposed by TI because they felt that if we wanted to ensure a clean and fair election, the focus should not be solely on the Election Commission.
“Instead, the role of parties and candidates is also important in respecting the laws of the land, especially vote buying,” he said.
Najib said it was time for Pakatan to prove that its stand against corruption was consistent by signing the pledge.
Launched last March, the pledge is a voluntary and self-regulatory declaration by election candidates to uphold integrity and combat corruption.
Signatories agree to uphold truth, integrity, ethical conduct and accountability, including not accepting or offering bribes or being involved in corrupt practices, give priority to the people’s interests, practise good governance and transparency and comply with election laws and regulations.
The names and contact details of signatories are published on TI’s website to encourage public monitoring.
Apart from Najib, Deputy Higher Education Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah, Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin and Opposition figures like PKR’s Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar, DAP’s Ipoh Barat MP M. Kulasegaran and Sarawak PKR chairman Baru Bian have also signed.