by Lim Kit Siang at the opening of the 2008 DAP
Federal Territory State Convention at the Federal Hotel, Kuala Lumpur on
November 2008 at 10 am:
Umno Ministers – take 5-month for party
election campaign instead of neglecting and abdicating Cabinet and
national responsibilities when the country faces the worst global
economic crisis in 80 years
Umno Ministers are neglecting and abdicating
their Cabinet and national responsibilities to gird the country to face
the worst global economic crisis in 80 years because of protracted Umno
party election politicking.
This could be seen from the absence of two Umno Ministers from
Parliament during the winding-up of their Ministries on Thursday, namely
Home Minister, Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar and Education Minister, Datuk
Seri Hishammuddin Hussein.
This is most shocking and irresponsible, as both Hamid and Hishammuddin
are responsible for important Ministries at this critical stage when the
country is faced with a crisis of competitiveness – a safe and low-crime
society where citizens, investors and tourists are not increasingly
worried about personal or property security as well as having an
education system which could nurture a creative culture of talents for
the country to climb up the competitiveness ladder with a core group of
highly-educated and competent people in all areas of the economy.
I do not know how many of the 14 Umno Ministers who are to reply on
behalf of their ministries in the next two days of the four-day
Ministerial winding-up of the debate on the 2009 Budget will absent
themselves from Parliament tomorrow and Tuesday, but Umno Ministers
should be told in clear and no uncertain terms that if they cannot find
the time to concentrate on their Cabinet and national responsibilities
or even to discharge their most elementary parliamentary duties, they
should take five-month leave from the Cabinet to conduct their Umno
election campaigning without hindering and undermining the interests of
the nation and people.
Let us see how many of these 14 Umno
Ministers will play truant from their parliamentary duties in the next
UMNO continuing to behave like big bully of MCA and Gerakan in
Parliament as well as PRS
It was only less than a fortnight ago that the Prime Minister Datuk Seri
Abdullah Ahmad Badawi made it as the theme in his opening speech at the
55th MCA General Assembly that "UMNO is not a 'Bully Party' or many
component parties would have left BN by now" and even asking:
"Do you think Ka Ting allows himself to be bullied? You think (MIC
president) Samy (Vellu) can be bullied? You think (Gerakan president Dr.
Koh) Tsu Koon wants to be bullied?"
I don't want to answer Abdullah's question as the best people to answer
are the Malaysian people. All I can say is that Abdullah will be very
surprised by the answers from the people if he really believes that Umno
is not a "bully party" in Barisan Nasional.
Those who follow the recent parliamentary proceedings cannot escape the
conclusion that Umno's "bully" mentality vis-à-vis the other Barisan
Nasional component parties are still very alive and unrepentant, as
evidenced from the merciless way Umno MPs flayed the MCA Deputy Minister
for National Unity, Culture, Arts and Heritage, Teng Boon Soon and the
Gerakan Wanita chief and Deputy Information Minister Datuk Tan Lian Hoe
- with a NST headline "DEWAN RAKYAT: Lian Hoe gets another roasting"
– and nobody in MCA and Gerakan in Parliament dared to come to their
defence apart from DAP and Pakatan Rakyat MPs! How pathetic!
BN MPs from Sabah and Sarawak are often victims of such "big bullies" in
The latest victim is Parti Rakyat Sarawak's (PRS) former publicity head
of its Balleh division Beginda Minda, who was removed from his party
post on Oct. 27 following his 'bully' statement against Umno and Parti
Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) published in Malaysiakini two days
Beginda has now boldly called on PBB president Abdul Taib Mahmud to step
down as Sarawak chief minister as "Twenty-seven years as chief minister
is long enough" as well as for Iban Deputy Chief Minister Alfred Jabu's
"retirement" – as it is better for the two "to step down gracefully and
retire as honourable and respected statesmen" than "to be forced out of
office through people's power".
Will Beginda now be sacked from Barisan Nasional for being a hero to the
people of Sarawak in daring to speak up about the marginalisation and
sufferings of the Sarawak Dayaks after 45 years of independence through
When will such high-handed bully tactics and culture in Barisan Nasional
end – whether in Parliament or outside?
Kit Siang, DAP
Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor