Speech by Lim Kit Siang at the DAP Public Ceramah/Consultation with
DAP MPs/State Excos in Sri Kembangan at the Seri Kembangan Dewan
Serbaguna on Sunday, April 13, 2008 at 9 pm:
82 Pakatan Rakyat MPs prepared to co-operate with Abdullah and Barisan
Nasional government to usher in judicial and other major reforms to
ensure Malaysia regains international competitiveness to recover lost
ground in the past four decades to catch up with the economic progress
of Singapore, South Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan
During the 2008 general election campaign, the “kingmaker” of the
Abdullah administration, the Prime Minister’s son-in-law Khairy
Jamaluddin vowed to destroy the Opposition. In the end, he nearly
destroyed UMNO and Barisan Nasional.
UMNO Information chief and newly-resurrected Minister for Rural and
Regional Development, Muhd Muhammad Taib, has admitted that the
arrogance of some UMNO leaders was to be blamed for the Barisan
Nasional’s poor performance in the March polls.
In fact, it not “some” but most UMNO leaders who were arrogant while
some, like Khairy, was “very” and insufferably arrogant!
The pressure is on in UMNO for Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to
assume full responsibility for the March 8 “political tsunami” and to
step down as Prime Minister.
The biggest question today is how long Abdullah can survive as Prime
Minister, whether until after the UMNO polls in December or whether he
will have to step down even earlier, with former Prime Minister Tun Dr.
Mahathir Mohamad leading the campaign to demand that his successor
should vacate Sri Perdana immediately.
The future of Abdullah as UMNO President and Prime Minister of Malaysia
will have to be decided by the internal politics of UMNO, but Malaysians
are entitled to know whether there is the political will to honour the
post-election statements by Abdullah and other Barisan Nasional leaders
that they have finally heard the voices of the people and would
belatedly implement the pledges of reform made in the 2004 general
election - that the new 12th Parliament would open at the end of the
month with a full parliamentary agenda of wide-ranging reforms!
For the first time in the history of Malaysian Parliament, the Barisan
Nasional government is without the requisite two-thirds majority which
allows it to amend the Malaysian Constitution at its whim and fancy, as
was its wont in the past few decades.
Now, the Barisan Nasional government must secure the support of the
Opposition MPs numbering 82 in a House of 222 MPs in order to get
constitutional amendments enacted in Parliament.
DAP and Pakatan Rakyat MPs will not oppose for the sake of opposition
and the nation and people can be assured that we will support the
Barisan Nasional government whether in amending the Constitution or to
enact laws if this is in the interest of the people and nation.
There have been considerable talk that the government is finally serious
about judicial reforms, especially in ensuring that there is a just and
satisfactory closure to the 1988 “Mother of all judicial crisis” in the
arbitrary sacking of Tun Salleh Abas as Lord President and Datuk George
Seah and the late Tan Sri Wan Suleiman Pawanteh as Supreme Court judges;
the repeal of the 1988 constitutional amendment which removed the
“judicial power” of the judiciary and gave a fatal blow to the doctrine
of the separation of powers among the Executive, Legislature and
Judiciary; and the establishment of a Judicial Appointment and Promotion
The 82 Pakatan Rakyat MPs are prepared to co-operate with Abdullah and
Barisan Nasional government to usher in judicial and other major reforms
to ensure Malaysia regains our international competitiveness to recover
lost ground in the past four decades to catch up with the economic
progress of Singapore, South Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan
One important message of the March 8 “political tsunami” is the
consciousness of Malaysians, regardless of race, religion and political
beliefs, that 50 years after Merdeka, the priority concern of Malaysians
is not the competition between Malays and non-Malays but between
Malaysians and the rest of the world.
It is for this reason that the recent speech by the Regent of Kelantan,
Tengku Mohammad Faris Petra that non-Malays should not ask for equal
citizenship rights cannot find resonance or support among progressive
Malaysians, whether Malays or non-Malays – as it is the global focus of
international competition that should engage our primary attention.
If Malaysia is to fully enhance our international competitiveness so
that Malaysians can rise to up the challenges of globalization, Malaysia
must undertake a full reform programme to ensure that the country
becomes a First-World developed nation with world-class institutions
whether judiciary, Parliament, Cabinet, local government, civil service,
police, anti-corruption agency, universities, schools and mass media.
These are the issues the first meeting of Parliament should grapple with
when it meets at the end of this month, if MPs whether from the Barisan
Nasional or Pakatan Rakyat, have heeded the message of March 8
Kit Siang, MP for Ipoh Timor & DAP Central Policy and Strategic
Planning Commission Chairman