KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 12, 2015:

The proposal made by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s brother must be disqualified, according to DAP Assistant National Publicity Secretary Zairil Khir Johari.

“In the interest of public accountability, the Home Ministry must immediately disqualify the bid by Real Time Networking.

“Additionally, Zahid Hamidi must come clean and clarify his role in the introduction of his brother’s company to the Home Ministry as well as the Bangladeshi authorities,” said Zairil, who is also the Bukit Bendera Member of Parliament.

He added if Ahmad Zahid, who is also the Home Minister, had been found violating ethical boundaries, then he should resign from both his posts.

Zairil was commenting on a report by Malaysiakini that Real Time Networking Sdn Bhd, of which Zahid’s brother Datuk Abdul Hakim Hamidi is executive chairperson, was in negotiations with Malaysian and Bangladeshi governments to provide an online system.

According to the report the system would register and monitor 1.5 million Bangladeshi workers that the federal government recently announced would be brought in over the next three years.

“When questioned about claims of nepotism, Hakim retorted that ‘my brother is the minister but I am a businessman. It is a democratic country and I can do anything, other than be a drug pusher’. He then further lamented that ‘Malaysians are very difficult. They say if my brother is a minister, I cannot do anything’.

“Such a statement not only smacks of ignorance, it also makes a mockery of public accountability,” claimed Zairil.

He said the fact was that Hakim could do as much business as he wanted to, as long as it did not involve any government agency or department that any of his direct family members had an interest in.

“As his brother is the Home Minister and the ultimate approving authority for all foreign workers in our country, there is no denying the glaring element of conflict of interest involved,” said Zairil.

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