Media Statement by Lim Kit Siang in Petaling Jaya on Friday, 14th November 2008: 

BNBBC led by “spoilt brats” who have no concern or concept of parliamentary, judicial or government integrity

The latest tantrum by the Chairman and Deputy Chairman of the Barisan Nasional Backbenchers Club (BNBBC) breathing fire and brimstone against the formation of the Parliamentary Caucus on the Integrity and Independence of the Judiciary is most unseemly but typically characteristic of the BNBBC since it was taken over by leaders who had conducted themselves not very different from “spoilt brats”.

In the previous Parliament, when the BNBBC was helmed by Datuk Shahrir Samad (now Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister), there was class, quality and a palpable commitment to parliamentary integrity, excellence and professionalism but which got Shahrir into trouble when he stood up in Parliament to support my motion to refer a Barisan Nasional MP to the Committee of Privileges over the “One-Eye Closed” episode.

Even when the BNBBC was subsequently taken over by the then Larut MP ,Dato’ Raja Ahmad Zainuddin bin Raja Haji Omar (who is now back as Perak State Assemblyman), utmost efforts were made by the BNBBC to maintain parliamentary standards.

All these commendable benchmarks went down the drain in the present Parliament after the March 8 “political tsunami”, when a new BNBBC leadership took over and nobody has done more than the present BNBBC Chairman and Deputy Chairman to bring shame, dishonour and disrepute to Parliament.

The greatest “achievement” and scandal of this BNBBC leadership is its Taiwain “agricultural study tour” for BN MPs to foil a “916 sky-change” – but no BNBBC official could answer my simple question during the 2009 Budget debate on October 15 what lessons they have learnt from their Taiwan trip to explain why Taiwan, which was poorer and more backward than Malaya when we achieved independence in 1957, had shot forward to become a more advanced and richer country while Malaysia had been losing out to one country after another in the past half-century, whether to Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong or South Korea, and is in danger of losing out to even more countries like Thailand, Vietnam and even Indonesia?

The negative, irresponsible and even “anarchist” mindset and mentality of the BNBBC Chairman and Deputy Chairman are again illustrated by their “spoilt-sport” reaction to the establishment of the Parliamentary Caucus on the Independence and Integrity of the Judiciary yesterday.

Malaysians can be excused for thinking that these two BNBBC leaders live in another world when they act and talk as if they are woefully unaware that the issues of the independence and integrity of the judiciary have been among the burning concerns of thinking and patriotic Malaysians for the past two decades.

At least, the Abdullah administration is ahead of the dinosaurian BNBBC leadership on this issue, which was why the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in his written reply in Parliament on Wednesday spoke about his seriousness in wanting to undertake judicial reforms before he steps down from office in March next year.

But clearly, he has not been able yet to “educate” the BNBBC, or at least its Chairman and Deputy Chairman, on the critical importance of restoring national and international confidence in the independence, impartiality and integrity of the judiciary, or they would not be throwing tantrums over the formation of the Parliamentary Caucus on the Independence and Integrity of the Judiciary.

Both of them claim that they did not know about the caucus meeting until after the event during lunchtime yesterday.

Their complaints only exposed their lack of seriousness as Parliamentarians let alone as “leaders” of BN MPs – for they don’t even read the papers placed on their table in Parliament. Furthermore, they do not follow the latest developments particularly in Parliament, or they could not possibly miss out on the media conference announcement by the Parliamentary Opposition Leader, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim on the meeting to form the parliamentary caucus.

BN MPs are welcome to fully participate in the Parliamentary Caucus on the Independence and Integrity of the Judiciary as the protection and promotion of judicial independence and integrity s must be the responsibility of all MPs and not just Pakatan Rakyat MPs.

It is not for me to say that the cause of BN MPs as well as Malaysian Parliament as a whole would be better served if there are more mature, responsible and knowledgeable BN MPs to helm the BNBBC.

There had not been a single bleat from either the BNBBC Chairman or Deputy Chairman to one of the most disgraceful parliamentary episodes in the past nine days - when the BN MP for Pasir Salak Datuk Tajuddin Abdul Rahman used with impunity the terms “bastard” and “bloody bastard” in Parliament against DAP MP for Ipoh Barat M. Kulasegaran on November 5.

Right-thinking Ministers, MPs and Malaysians were outraged and horrified, except the BNBBC Chairman and Deputy Chairman! They seem to be very at home at such sacrilege of parliamentary sanctity, decorum and privilege.

Just google “Tajuddin bastard” on the google blogsearch, there will be 123 returns to show how the blogosphere had been outraged by the completely unacceptable unparliamentary conduct of Tajuddin!

It will do the BNBBC Chairman and Deputy Chairman, as well as Tajuddin, a lot of good to read these 123 comments and blogs provoked by the shocking “Bastard in the House” episode sparked off by Tajuddin as all three have a lot to learn from Malaysian bloggers.

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