Speech (2) by Lim Kit Siang at the opening of the DAP Negri Sembilan State Convention held in Port Dickson on Sunday, 25th October 2009 at 10 am:
To restore public confidence in Pakatan Rakyat, PR component parties should make a 10 or 20-year commitment to abide by the PR common principles and impose discipline among their leaders to uphold and protect PR image and integrity
The Prime Minister-cum-Finance Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak could not have a more disastrous end for his two-hour long speech for his first budget for 2010 in Parliament on Friday, as he said: “Our recent success in Bagan Pinang has sparked our zeal to embark on this journey of transformation to lift our beloved nation to greater heights.”
Najib’s last two sentences in his speech were virtually drowned in the shouts by Pakatan Rakyat MPs with their spontaneous chant of “Rasuah” – which was a dubious parliamentary record in the past five decades, not only for a maiden budget speech but also for any budget presentation by former Finance Ministers.
Najib had earlier failed to make any impression on MPs when he devoted two cursory paragraphs of his budget speech to “Combatting Corruption”, but which did not evince any political will on his part to break the back of the problem of rampant corruption in Malaysia.
When Najib compounded this failure with his reference to Barisan Nasional victory in Bagan Pinang by-election at the end of his budget speech and tried to bask in the glory of the by-election result, the customary sense of courtesy of PR MPs during such an occasion was strained and then broken that it resulted in Parliament being drowned in the chant of one word “Rasuah”!
This should be salutary reminder to Najib that there is nothing honourable or proud for Umno and BN about their victory in the Bagan Pinang by-election, as it was a major setback in the battle against corruption with the huge majority won by the Umno/BN candidate Tan Sri Mohd Isa Samad.
Although the Bagan Pinang by-election was a victory of corruption against integrity, the Pakatan Rakyat component parties - PAS, PKR and DAP – cannot take the setback lightly and must not be in denial about PR weaknesses and faults as Isa’s landslide majority of 5,435 votes was completely unexpected though not his victory.
Pakatan Rakyat had been suffering a prolonged and unceasing bout of loss of public confidence in the past eight months because of the failures of Pakatan Rakyat leaders to exercise responsibility and discipline in their respective parties to convince the Malaysian electorate in its credibility, cohesion, integrity and common sense of purpose.
To restore public confidence in Pakatan Rakyat, PR component parties should seriously consider making a 10 or 20-year commitment to abide by the PR common principles and to impose discipline among their leaders to uphold and protect PR image, credibility and integrity.
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor