Former Kenyan PM's remarks on 'corrupt' Malaysian minister making the rounds
The four-year-old clip is an extract of a talk given by prominent African politician Raila Odinga in Washington.VIDEO INSIDE
PETALING JAYA: A video clip of former Kenyan prime minister Raila Odinga suggesting the corrupt wealth of an unnamed Malaysian minister during a forum in the US four years ago has been making rounds among local social media users.
Odinga, the prime minister of Kenya from 2008 to 2013 who has since become the countryâs opposition leader, was answering a question on how African nations should deal with Chinaâs growing investments in development projects in view of its image as a corrupt economic power, during a talk organised by US-based think tank The Wilson Center in Washington on June 18, 2013.
Odinga, saying corruption was inevitable in development projects, related the experience of an African minister during his trip to Malaysia where he was hosted by the minister in charge of roads.
He said the African delegation was taken by the unnamed Malaysian minister to visit various projects in Malaysia.
Later in the evening, Odinga said, the African minister was invited to the Malaysian ministerâs house.
âHe finds a beautiful nice mansion, and sees the furniture is good and thereâs a nice swimming pool, about half-an-acre of nice compound with trees and so on,â he said during the question-and-answer session which followed his speech.
âSo he asked the minister, âHow did you achieve all this?â The minister took him out to the balcony and showed him, âSee that road up there? 10% is hereâ,â said Odinga, leaving the audience in stitches.
Odinga said the following year, the Malaysian official was hosted by the African minister.
âWhen he went there, he was taken around the country. When he went to the dinner in the evening, he walked in the compound, a five-acre compound, and the road was tarmacked inside. When he went in there, he found the furniture was all imported and most of the things in there were golden.
âHe was asked, âHow did you achieve this?â The Malaysian minister was taken to the balcony and told to look outside. The Malaysian minister could see no roads.
âHe was told, âItâs 100% hereâ,â Odinga said at the end of his talk on the theme, âAfrican Achievements and Challenges: Learning from the Past but Looking Forwardâ.
Odinga neither specified the African country nor named the ministers. In Malaysia, the ministry in charge of roads is the works ministry.
Odinga said he was mindful of the strong reactions he had received in the past when he criticised a certain African country.
âI donât want to mention any African country now, because once when I mentioned, the citizens were not very impressed,â said Odinga, whose interaction with the audience comprising policy makers, academics and journalists, was spiced with humour.
Odinga is widely considered a left-wing politician and has often promoted social democracy, as well as played a central role in Kenyaâs transition to a presidential system.
The popular politician, who is also a former professional footballer, has called for the suspension of fuel taxes and food and supported cash disbursement programmes to help the poor.
Source: Google News