Will Cabinet meeting tomorrow
prove that it is a “half-past six” one with no constructive responses on two
major current issues – BERSIH petition to King for electoral reforms and
Lingam Tape scandal on perversion of course of justice?
by Lim Kit Siang
Will the Cabinet meeting
tomorrow prove that it is a “half-past six” one with no constructive
responses on two major current issues - the BERSIH petition to the Yang di
Pertuan Agong for electoral reforms for clean, free and fair elections in
Malaysia and the Lingam Tape scandal on the perversion of the course of
justice, dealing another lethal blow to the skyrocketing crisis of
confidence in the independence, integrity and quality of the judiciary in
The mammoth peaceful BERSIH gathering and petition to the Yang di Pertuan
Agong on Saturday for transparency and integrity of the electoral process
had also highlighted the deplorable state of press freedom in Malaysia.
I said in Parliament during question time that Datuk Seri Zainuddin
Maidin’s ministerial portfolio was a misnomer as he should be properly
described as Minister for Mis-Information.
This was why when the Deputy Information Minister, Datuk Zahid Hamidi, who
was representing his Minister during question time, demanded that I
retract the statement that his boss was “Mis-Information Minister”; I
refused, pointing out that Zahid is no better as “Deputy Mis-Information
I made this remark during my supplementary question deriding Zainuddin’s
criticism of Al Jazeera of “unfair reporting and conspiring with the
Opposition to paint an untrue picture of the situation in Malaysia” on its
coverage of Saturday’s BERSIH gathering when it was Zainuddin who is most
guilty of the allegation, as he presided over RTM’s “unfair reporting” and
“conspiracy with the Barisan Nasional to paint an untrue picture of the
actual situation in Malaysia”.
The disgraceful reporting of the official and mainstream media of
Saturday’s peaceful and mammoth BERSIH gathering to submit the petition
for electoral reforms to the Yang di Pertuan Agong was the best example of
such biased reporting under the directive of Zainuddin – where no official
or mainstream media dared to independently report on the size of the
gathering, which was easily between 40,000 to 50,000 or to use any of the
photographs of the massive crowds.
At least the Minister for International Trade and Industry, Datuk Paduka
Rafidah Aziz was speaking the truth when she said that the massive
peaceful BERSIH gathering had not affected foreign investors – as foreign
investors would only be turned off by rank corruption, massive power
abuses, utter disregard for accountability and transparency, contempt for
the rule of law, endemic crime and most important of all, whether the
country has a Prime Minister who “walks the talk” and not by the people
peacefully standing up for their democratic and human rights!
Will Abdullah “walk the talk” at the Cabinet meeting tomorrow to hear the
truth from Malaysians to respond positively and constructively to the two
major current issues – the BERSIH petition on electoral reforms to the
King and the Lingam Tape scandal?
This one issue will have more influence that any other issues in the
calculations of intending investors when deciding whether to invest in
Malaysia or not!
In Parliament last Wednesday, during the 2008 Budget committee stage
debate on the Prime Minister’s Department, I had called on the Cabinet on
Wednesday to heed the call of Malaysians as expressed through the
Malaysian Bar in their “Walk for Justice” and the civil society for a
Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Lingam Tape revelations and the whole
issue of the independence and integrity of the judiciary.
I had specifically asked the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department,
Datuk Nazri Aziz during his winding-up whether the Haidar Panel report (Nazri
said there are no three separate reports but one report incorporating
three separate submissions by the three panel members) would be made
Nazri had promised to lobby for the Haidar Panel Report to be made public
at the Cabinet.
Will Nazri honor his parliamentary undertaking to advocate for the Haidar
Panel report to be made public at the Cabinet meeting tomorrow, and will
Cabinet agree to it?
We will know tomorrow.
Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic
Planning Commission Chairman