In the United States lobbying is permitted and honourable. Many famous
figures, especially former members of the Government have firms which
offer lobbying services.
3. Foreign countries, including
Malaysia find this service very convenient. We lobbied for some
favourable policy to be shown for palm oil, tin and rubber imports into
the United States for example.
Independent think tanks can lobby for their ideas on foreign policy
like the New American Century to be made the foreign policy of the
United States. They were successful and a million Iraqis died as a
5. Before Castro the Cuban Lobby ensured that sugar
produced by Cuba would be imported into the United States. Now an
anti-Castro Cuban Lobby ensures that Cuban sugar is banned in the
6. All these lobbyings are legitimate. You pay
the lobbyists a fee (which need not be revealed) and they will lobby
for whatever you want them to lobby.
7. In Malaysia we do not
have professional lobbyist. But we also do not have a law against
lobbying. Nor do we specify what constitute lobbying; which kind would
be permissible and which would not.
8. But now we have
apparently decided that lobbying is a crime and those who lobby or who
are lobbied are criminals. I say, syabas Kerajaan you have made
Malaysia more honourable than the United States.
Ministers and Ministers and just about anyone with any influence or
authority in Government are continuously approached to back someone or
something. They may be asked to write letters in support of something
10. I should also mention Deputy Prime Ministers.
They too are lobbied by a whole lot of people. I did not think they
were doing something wrong.
11. But supposing a Deputy Prime
Minister writes a letter of recommendation for his sister-in-law to an
official or minister of another country who could be expected to take a
serious view of the recommendation because the writer is a Deputy Prime
Minister of a friendly country and the recommendation is for his
sister-in-law, does this constitute lobbying, or corruption or abuse of
power. We need to know so that such letters of recommendation would not
be written again. We need to know if they were written before, can
action be taken against them now since we are now taking action on
things which happened in the past. By being very clear about the past,
the present and the future Malaysia would become highly regarded as the
epitome of righteousness and the practitioners of the rule of law.