Nampaknya, kompas moral parti UMNO berada di dalam keadaan yang sangat, sangat tenat. Dahulu, terlampau mudah untuk menunjukkan betapa UMNO mengamalkan budaya yang korup. Duit rakyat tidak dibezakan daripada harta parti dan kuasa kerajaan dipergunakan untuk kepentingan parti, malah, kepentingan peribadi ahli-ahli UMNO. Bukannya mereka ini berasa malu tetapi dengan megahnya menyatakan yang itu adalah hak mereka.

Semasa Perhimpunan Agung UMNO 2008 yang lalu, Ali Rustam yang didapati bersalah mengamalkan rasuah telah diberikan tempukan gemuruh. Adalah sangat pelik untuk meraikan seorang pesalah, tetapi, disebabkan perverse incentive yang wujud sewaktu itu, itulah yang berlaku.

Tibanya tampuk kepimpanan yang baru datang dengan budaya yang baru yang lebih bersih, kononnya. Apapun kebenarannya, itulah persepsinya di kalangan orang ramai yang mungkin duduk di atas pagar.

Sekarang, pilihanraya kecil bagi kerusi Dewan Undangan Negeri Permatang Pasir mampu memperterbalikkan persepsi itu dan mengembalikan imej UMNO yang buruk itu.

Apa tidaknya?

Rohaizat Othman yang didapati bersalah menggunakan wang orang lain untuk kepentingan sendiri oleh Majlis Peguam langsung dilucutkan kelayakkannya untuk berfungsi sebagai peguam dipanggil hero oleh UMNO. Rohaizat Othman, calon bagi kerusi Permatang Pasir, dipanggil hero kerana, menurut UMNO, yang bersalah adalah rakan kongsinya dan Rohaizat Othman telah menyelesaikan masalah itu bagi pihak rakan kongsinya.[1]

Majlis Peguam menafikan cerita UMNO itu dan menekankan bahawa Rohaizat Othman secara peribadi bersalah dan bukan rakan kongsinya.[2] Berdasarkan kenyataan Majlis Peguam, jelas UMNO menipu.

Rakan kongsinya juga telah bersuara untuk menafikan cerita UMNO itu.[3]

Apabila pesalah dipanggil hero, tidak hairanlah UMNO boleh mencalonkan seorang yang telah memecah amanah sebagai calon ahli Dewan Undangan Negeri.

Timbalan Presiden UMNO pula menyifatkan tindakan Majlis Peguam ke atas calon UMNO untuk kerusi Permatang Pasir sebagai tidak berat, bagaikan saman letak kereta.[4] Sebagai seseorang yang baru sahaja menyalahgunakan helikopter tentera milik rakyat Malaysia untuk kerja-kerja parti tanpa rasa bersalah,[5] kenyataannya — yang akan dikritik hebat di mana-mana negara maju dan demokratik — tidaklah menghairankan.

UMNO masih lagi mengamalkan budaya lamanya: budaya penyalahan guna wang rakyat untuk kerja-kerja sendiri dan meraikan pesalah.

Inikah apa yang pengundi Permatang Pasir mahu?

Jika jawapannya ya, maka dengan kesalnya barah UMNO sudah mula meresap ke jiwa penduduk Permatang Pasir. Yang salah diraikan, yang betul disalahkan.

Jika kompas moral Permatang Pasir menunjukkan ke arah utara, calon UMNO ini patut ditolak. Calon UMNO ini adalah satu simbol budaya UMNO yang korup yang perlu dikeluarkan daripada budaya Malaysia.

Bagi ahli-ahli UMNO yang mahukan UMNO yang bersih, mereka juga sepatutnya menolak calon yang tidak beramanah. UMNO akan kembali gemilang hanya apabila parti tua itu bebas daripada budaya yang disimbolkan oleh Rohaizat Othman.

Mohd Hafiz Noor Shams. Some rights reserved Mohd Hafiz Noor Shams. Some rights reserved Mohd Hafiz Noor Shams. Some rights reserved

[1] — Ahmad said in discharging his firm’s responsibilities, Rohaizat had refunded monies due to the cooperative and following this, the cooperative had written a letter to the disciplinary board on March 28 2008 to retract all complaints made against Rohaizat as all their claims had been settled.

This, he said, showed Rohaizat was a leader of quality and did not run away from problems, unlike his partner, and thus could be deemed a “hero”. [Rohaizat Was Not Involved In Transaction, Says Umno Information Chief. Bernama. Ogos 19 2009]

[2] — The Advocates and Solicitors Disciplinary Board struck Rohaizat Othman off the Roll of Advocates and Solicitors on 7 March 2008 after he was found guilty of misconduct. The Disciplinary Board’s decision arose from an investigation into the complaint lodged against Rohaizat Othman by the purchaser of a piece of real property. According to the complaint, Rohaizat Othman failed to refund almost RM 161,000 to the complainant after the transaction was aborted.

Rohaizat Othman appealed against the decision of the Disciplinary Board to the High Court, and the appeal was dismissed on 12 August 2009. He is therefore legally disqualified from practising as an advocate and solicitor.

The finding of misconduct is personal to Rohaizat Othman, as the Disciplinary Board would not hold a lawyer liable for the actions of his/her law partner(s). [Press Release: Clarification regarding Rohaizat Othman. George Varughese. Malaysian Bar Council. Ogos 18 2009]

[3] — PERMATANG PASIR, Aug 20 — The controversy surrounding Barisan Nasional candidate Rohaizat Othman’s disbarment took a new twist today when his partner, the one Umno accused of taking their client’s money, appeared to deny the allegation.

Yusri Ishak alleged that the money was used by Rohaizat to help his friend-cum-client to finance a land transaction worth RM 130,000 which was to be reimbursed but the Umno politician’s friend had failed to do so.

Rohaizat then claimed the land, planning to sell it to remit the funds used to purchase it but to no avail, said Yusri, adding that that was one of the reasons why Rohaizat had failed to repay the co-operative.

He also said some of the co-operative funds had been used to help another of Rohaizat’s friends, a director in a housing development company, and also to manage the firm’s branch in Ipoh. [Rohaizat’s partner denies Umno’s accusation. Syed Jaymal Zahiid. The Malaysian Insider. Ogos 20 2009]

[4] — The deputy Umno president attempted to downplay the issue and said the campaign should not be burdened by the issues surrounding its candidate. [Muhyiddin calls Bar Council fines parking tickets. Syed Jaymal Zahiid. The Malaysian Insider. Ogos 19 2009]

[5] — PUTRAJAYA, Aug 18 — Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin dismissed a corruption complaint filed by PKR over his use of a military helicopter to attend Umno meetings in Sabah.

The deputy Umno president did not, however, offer any explanation as to why he used a military helicopter to fulfill his party duties.

”It (the allegations) does not scare me at all. It is a blatant example of how short on ideas Pakatan (Rakyat) are that they have to start coming up with something like this,” he told reporters here today when asked to comment on PKR’s recent allegations of corruption against him.

Yesterday, PKR Youth leaders lodged a complaint against Muhyiddin with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) over his alleged abuse of government property for personal use.

This was first highlighted by the news agency Bernama when the DPM flew on a military helicopter to attend the Penampang UMNO division meeting in Sabah after he officiated another division party meeting in Kudat. [Muhyiddin: Corruption allegations don’t scare me. Shazwan Mustafa Kamal. The Malaysian Insider. Ogos 18 2009]

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