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PM commended for Azmi trip to
China to restore confidence but suggest visit be postponed to next month to
allow firm action to be taken against all police/immigration abuses and
by Lim Kit Siang
This is the right and proper response, which accord recognition to the great damage recent events have caused to the good name of Malaysia, nationally and internationally, viz::
· The humiliation of three Chinese women nationals by the police and subsequent harassment after they had gone public to lodge police reports with police midnight “house calls”;
· The killing of Chinese nationals raising serious question about the security of the person and property in Malaysia;
· Police profiling of Chinese women nationals with official reports about some 50,000 Chinese nationals missing after entering Malaysia as tourists, when the authorities had not been known to be equally serious about the millions of other nationals who had entered Malaysia, whether legally or illegally.
· The Malaysian Abu Ghraib scandal highlighted by the MMS video clip of a woman detainee in police custody subject to mistreatment, stripped and forced to do “ear squats” and being photographed.
These are among the reasons why tourists from China have dropped 74% from 550,000 to 148,000 in the first half of 2005 compared to the same period the previous year.
If this crisis of confidence, both national and international, is not handled properly, resolutely and expeditiously, it will overspill to damage the entire tourism industry involving all other countries and other sectors, such as the internationalization of higher education to attract foreign students to Malaysian universities, trade and economic relations – not to mention the harm it can cause to Malaysia-China relationship.
It is most regrettable is that the Prime Minister’s sense of urgency to recognize and resolve the runaway crisis of national and international confidence about the reliability and credibility of the Malaysian government to protect all visitors and all property in Malaysia has not been fully shared by other Ministers and all government agencies, especially the police and immigration.
However, as deed speaks louder than words, Azmi should postpone his visit to China until next month to allow firm action to be taken against all police/immigration abuses and excesses of power, as otherwise, it would end up as a meaningless P.R. exercise by Azmi and an equally meaningless diplomatic exercise by the Chinese government.
For the past several days, the recent spate of events had become major news in China which had put Malaysia is a most unfavourable light.
In fact, ever since the establishment of diplomatic relations between Malaysia and China 31 years ago, Malaysia had never had such a bad press in China as at present.
Azmi should seriously consider inviting opposition MPs to join him on the special trip to China to convey to the Chinese government and people that all parliamentarians and Malaysians, regardless of political affiliation, condemn police/immigration abuses and excesses of power as highlighted by the recent spate of scandals.
DAP MPs offer the fullest co-operation and support to the Prime Minister’s effort to restore the confidence of Chinese government and people on Malaysia as a safe, desirable and worthy destination for trade and economic relations, tourism, educational studies, etc.
Before the Azmi trip to China, action must be taken on all the events which have brought down the international standing of Malaysia.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz said yesterday that he would show Malaysia’s Abu Ghraib video-clip to the Prime Minister and the Depupty Prime Minister at the next Cabinet meeting on Wednesday.
These issues cannot wait for another five days to reach the attention of the highest levels. Firm action must be taken swiftly and openly as any undue delay will expand the national crisis of confidence.
The police have identified the policewoman in Malaysia’s Abu Ghraib video clip as coming from the Petaling Jaya police district. There can be no reason why the authorities concerned cannot give proper and satisfactory accountability of the actions they are taking on a 24-hour basis.
Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP
Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission
Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman