Speech by Lim Kit Siang at the 2008 DAPSY Congress at Federal Hotel, Kuala Lumpur on Saturday, 6th December 2008: 

Najib and the top UMNO contenders should declare whether they support reform legislation for independent judiciary and anti-corruption commission  

With the end of the 31-day debate on the 2009 Budget last Thursday, the focus of the last six sittings of the current budget meeting ending on December 18 will be on two of the three reform measures which the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, had promised to accomplish before he steps down from office next March.

These are the Bills to establish the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MCAC), reputedly patterned after Hong Kong’s Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) and the Judicial Appointments Commission.

As I have not sighted either of the bills, I am unable to comment intelligently on them.

However, it is evident that both these “reform” bills have evoked considerable opposition in UMNO circles, reaching to very high evels of the Umno leadership.

It would appear that there are powerful Umno circles who are uncomfortable with any measures to create a more independent agency with a bit more bite to fight corruption, especially as the ongoing Umno party elections is mired in the worst money politics and corruption in the party history.

I understand that among powerful UMNO personalities who are strongly opposed to Parliament enacting reform legislation on anti-corruption and the judiciary, and the four-day extension of Parliament to Dec. 18 to debate and approve these bills, are those who are contesting for high Umno posts next March, including candidates for Umno Supreme Council, UMNO Vice Presidents and Deputy President.

I call on the Prime Minister-designate Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who has won the Umno President’s post uncontested, as well as all UMNO candidates for the top party posts, particularly those contesting for the positions of UMNO Deputy President and Vice Presidents to immediately and publicly declare whether they give full support to the reform legislation for anti-corruption and the judiciary, and in particular whether they are fully behind Abdullah with regard to the bills for judicial and anti-corruption reforms to be tabled in Parliament next week.

* Lim Kit Siang,  DAP Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor