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Five-minute speech on Malek Imtiaz, Khairy and Rafidah Aziz
(Parliament, Friday) : I spoke in Parliament on the 2006 Supplementary Estimates Bill five minutes before adjournment yesterday – referring to three personalities, Malek Imtiaz, Khairy Jamaluddin and Rafidah Aziz.
Starting with the National Human Rights Society (Hakam) President, I expressed grave disappointment that after a week of Parliament, no MP had spoken up to condemn the death threat to prominent human rights lawyer, Malek Imtiaz, who is also the secretary of the protem committee of the Malaysian Civil Liberties Society (MCLS) for his tireless defence and promotion of human rights and constitutional liberties, in particular freedom of religion, speech and expression. The government had also been conspicuously silent.
I stressed that this was most ominous for Malaysia, which will be celebrating our 49th National Day celebrations the following week and half-century of nationhood the next year – showing greater intolerance in our multi-racial society and our constitutional rights when Malaysians should have adopted the outlook and philosophy of "I may disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."
On Khairy’s speech as UMNO Youth leader to the Jerlun UMNO Youth division the previous week warning that Chinese Malaysians would exploit the current infighting within the ruling party to advance the community’s interests, I called for outright condemnation by all quarters as this was not just a matter concerning the youth wings of the Barisan Nasional but affected the harmony and wellbeing of all Malaysians.
I also referred to another instance of Khairy’s “playing the racial card” to boost his own political stocks utterly reckless of the harm he was doing to national unity and inter-ethnic relations – when he said he refused to sell his stock of ECM Libra Bhd. shares to a Chinese although with better offer to protect the bumiputra stake, when he had taken the loans of Chinese to buy their stake in the company in the first place.
I urged the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi this weekend to deplore the use of the “race card” by politicians when they come under attack and to strongly dissociate himself from his son-in-law’s retrogressive thinking and posture.
Rafidah Aziz, Minister for International Trade and Industry and UMNO Wanita chief, was another example of an UMNO leader playing the “race card” when she comes under political pressure, as evident from the intense attacks from her former boss, former Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad recently.
In Kedah the previous day, Mahathir had said that Rafidah was not fit to continue as a Cabinet Minister, and should not have been appointed by Abdullah, as she had given APs (Approved Permits) to her friends.
Was this the reason why Rafidah had recently been making fierce statements, such as “no compromise” with the New Economic Policy of 30% bumiputera equity to the extent of saying that Malaysia was prepared to say “bye-bye” to FDI?
That was the last question I posed in my five-minute speech yesterday. I will continue speaking when Parliament resumes on Monday.
Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic
Planning Commission Chairman
Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman