Speech by Lim Kit Siang at the Perak DAP
5,000-People Solidarity Dinner in Ipoh on Saturday, 27th September 2008
Two more options, increasing to five, which
are open to Abdullah to decide his political future
The month of September has given birth to two
momentous dates – first “916” and then “926”.
“916” signifies political “sky-change”. Its importance does not lie in
whether the change in federal power takes place on Sept. 16 but in the
sea-change in the political mindset, attitudes and expectations of
Malaysians about power change.
Six months ago, the Barisan Nasional was so monolithic and impregnable
that it was unthinkable and impossible to envisage that it could be
toppled from the federal government level.
In the past six months however, the dream and possibility of change of
federal power have spread like a prarie fire among Malaysians that it is
no exaggeration to say that today the overwhelmingly majority of
Malaysians believe that change of federal power is possible while a
clear majority would want such a change to take effect immediately.
This is what is most important about the “916” magic – not whether the
“skychange” took place on September 16, 2008 (which it did not) but that
the political moment in Malaysia has arrived when change of federal
power is no more an impossible dream but has become a practical
possibility and it is only a matter of time when this “skychange”
transforms the political landscape in the country.
When the “916 skychange” takes place remains a very immediate political
agenda in Malaysia – whether 1016, 1116, 1216 or in an early 13th
“926” is another momentous date, for a coup d’etat was staged on
September 26 in the Umno Supreme Council emergency meeting where Datuk
Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was given the ultimatum to abandon his
mid-June 2010 power-transition plan and to agree to relinquish his posts
as Umno President and Prime Minister in March next year or he would be
packed off from the Putrajaya corridors of power summarily and
Abdullah appears to have three options before him:-
Firstly, before the October 9 deadline when Umno divisions begin their
month-long process to submit nominations for the various Umno party
elections to declare his intention to contest for the post of Umno
President so as retain the initiative in his hands as to his own
timeline to effect the power transition.
Would Abdullah dare to fight for his political life when his first
hurdle is to prove that he is capable of winning 58 or one-third of the
Umno division nominations for the post of Umno President.
This is not going to be an easy accomplishment for Abdullah and he must
be prepared to suffer the ignominy of the first incumbent Prime Minister
and Umno President who could not secure adequate nominations to contest
for the post of Umno President and the disgrace of being stripped of the
Secondly, to bow to the pressures of the “926” Umno Supreme Council
meeting and announce that he would not contest for the Umno President’s
post, becoming a lame-duck Prime Minister for the next six months until
March 2009 – after a completely lacklustre premiership for five years!
Thirdly, to announce his retirement as Prime Minister by Oct. 9.
There are two further options open to Abdullah:
• Advise the Yang di Pertuan Agong for a
dissolution of Parliament for the holding of fresh general election
to end the seven-month political uncertainty in the country in the
past seven months since the 12th general election on March 8, so as
to give the Malaysian electorate an opportunity to decide whether
they want a continuation of the Barisan Nasional government or a new
Pakatan Rakyat federal government; or
• Co-operate with Pakatan Rakyat to bring about a change of federal
government so that the country can end seven months of drift and
lack of direction, which have compounded the multiple crisis of
confidence afflicting the country.
Abdullah has less than 12 days to mull over
the options available to him. It is important that his decision must
hinge on the primary consideration of what is in the best interest for
the nation and Malaysians at this hour of national crisis and need
rather than on what would be in his own best interest and that of his
Kit Siang, DAP
Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor