Opaque Maneuvers at TI M’sia?


Ah! The seat got too hot for Paul Low, President of Transparency International Malaysia. Some rumblings were expected over at this body, especially judging by yesterday’s New Sunday Times report that implied the EGM today would expect outbursts from many of the exco members.

Six of TI Malaysia’s excos threatened to resign apparently. However, today’s shocker is that it was Paul Low himself who had to leave. Read it here.

Quite cryptic, don’t you think? In the absence of some substantive details, I’ll speculate a little.

Paul Low was Ramon Navaratnam’s rather nondescript successor who came from the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers. His term at TI Malaysia was to all intents and purposes to remain a quiet one. I mean who can outtalk little old Ramon Navaratnam, right?

But Low’s troubles began when he was  named chairman of the Port Klang Authority (PKA) ad hoc corporate governance committee that was to investigate the taxpayers’ disaster that was PKFZ.

Mr Opposition, Lim Kit Siang questioned his credibility and rightly so. PKFZ was a scandal that had too many political hidden hands in it, and some of them came from MCA. Paul Low himself is a life member of MCA and that makes even his holding of TI presidency an iffy one.

His troubles only grew worse with the  Malaysian chapter of the Global Corruption Report 2009 that he unveiled last week. The document is available for download here. Paul Low also gave an interview on the matter to The Star.

Not to mention the ferocity with which Bintulu Tiong responded to Low’s statement that in a gist, said PKFZ has Umno politicians’ dirty fingers in it. Guilty people are usually jumpy, but why is Tiong jumping when Low pointed his finger at Umno? Tiong must be an Umno member then…heheh.

This resignation looks like a coup has taken place at TI Malaysia and this dude has been driven out by an irate exco who took exception to the interpretations of the GCR in the case of Malaysia.

Mr Low is discovering that being at the helm of such an organisation as Transparency International requires more than patronage and an old boys’ club connection. It requires serious scrotal gumption and a background that stands the harsh glare of public and media scrutiny.

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