Media Statement by Lim Kit Siang in Petaling Jaya on Sunday, 12th April 2009:
Tsu Koon – Super Minister or Superfluous Minister in Najib Cabinet?
Gerakan Youth leader Lim Si Ping yesterday hailed the Gerakan President, Tan Sri Dr. Koh Tsu Koon as the “Super Minister” in the Najib Cabinet who is tasked with monitoring the performance of the other 28 Ministers.
Is Tsu Koon a Super Minister or Superfluous Minister in the Najib Cabinet?
If one is to strike out the most superfluous Minister in the 29-member Najib Cabinet without causing any ripples of having to find a replacement, it will be difficult to find another candidate than Tsu Koon and his portfolio.
How pathetic – to end up as a Superfluous Minister when he should be a Super Minister after 18 years as Penang Chief Minister, especially as he is the most senior Barisan Nasional government leader in the Najib Cabinet after the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyideen Yassin and Information, Communication, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Rais Yatim.
He is even more senior as Barisan Nasional government leader than the other Umno leaders including Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishamuddin Hussein, Defence Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Rural Development and Territories Minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal, International Trade and Industry Minister, Datuk Seri Mustapha Mohamad and Minister in PM’s Department (Law and Parliament) Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz, not to mention the MCA President and Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat, the MIC Minister for Human Resources, Dr. S. Subramaniam or the Minister for Agricultural Development and Commodities, Tan Sri Bernard Dompok.
As a flyweight in the Najib Cabinet, who will believe Tsu Koon can wield the powers and influence to monitor the performance particularly of Umno heavyweights like Muhyiddin, Hishammuddin, Zahid or Shafie Apdal – when as Penang Chief Minister, he could not exercise authority or influence over Penang Umno divisions or branches, as illustrated by the “Chinese are squatters” political scandal precipitated by the Umno Bukit Bendera division chairman, Ahmad Ismail during the Permatang Pauh by-election last August?
However Gerakan national leaders are not so naive like the Gerakan Youth chief as to believe that Tsu Koon has become a Super Minister, which is why the Gerakan Central Working Committee in its statement on April 10 welcoming the Gerakan President’s appointment into the Cabinet through the “backdoor” of Parliament was careful to touch only on Tsu Koon’s role to monitor the performance of the 40 Deputy Ministers, omitting all reference to Ministers.
Clearly even the Gerakan CWC knows that it is ludicrous to expect a flyweight like Tsu Koon to monitor the ministerial performance of Umno heavyweights like Muhyiddin, Hishammuddin, Zahid or Shafie Apdal.
Never mind about being the “monitor” for the other Ministers on their Key Performance Indicators to gauge their respective ministerial performance and achievements.
Is Tsu Koon prepared to set a KPI example for the rest of the Cabinet by being the first to make public the framework and structure of the KPI to evaluate the success or otherwise of his carrying out of the Ministerial portfolio to promote national unity?
Najib had said when announcing his new Cabinet that he has created a separate portfolio in the PM’s Department to oversee national unity which will “adopt creative approaches towards promoting national unity, in line with the concept of One Malaysia. People First. Performance Now.”
In other words, whether Najib’s slogan of “One Malaysia. People First. Performance Now” succeed or fail as miserably as those of his predecessors, like Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s “Cemerlang, Gemilang, Terbilang” and Dr. Mahathir Mohamad’s “Amanah, Berseh, Cekap” , will be on Tsu Koon’s shoulders.
Is this what Gerakan Youth leader meant when he said Tsu Koon is the Super Minister in the Najib Cabinet?
How can the Malaysian public evaluate Tsu Koon’s KPI to assess the success or failure in ensuring that Najib’s “1Malaysia. People First. Performance Now” is instantly the overarching philosophy of the Najib government in all fields and not just empty rhetoric?
Is Tsu Koon able to come out with a website without any delay so that Malaysians who have complaints about the failures of the government in measuring up to Najib’s “1Malaysia. People First. Performance Now” slogan can lodge their complaints and seek immediate redress?
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor