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Media statement by Lim Kit Siang in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday, 4th December 2010: 

NEM (Part 2) cannot mark beginning of quantum leap for Malaysia to become developed, high-income, sustainable and inclusive nation when country is drowned by divisive cacophony like Ketuanan Melayu (Malay supremacy) calls contradicting Najib’s 1Malaysia concept

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak said yesterday that with the New Economic Model (NEM) Concluding Part released by the National Economic Action Council (NEAC), Malaysia is all set to make the quantum leap into the future and realize its goal to emerge as a high-income, developed, sustainable and inclusive nation.

If so, yesterday should be one of the major milestones in Najib’s premiership and the event would have been marked with unprecedented fanfare.

But this was not the case, for the simple reason that NEM (Part 2) cannot mark the beginning of a quantum leap for Malaysia to become a developed, high-income, sustainable and inclusive nation especially when the country is drowned by a divisive cacophony like Ketuanan Melayu (Malay supremacy) calls which stands in contradiction to Najib’s signature concept of 1Malaysia.

In its chapter on “From Vision to Results”, the NEM Part II stressed that an important prerequisite for the success of the national economic transformation blueprint is for all Malaysian citizens, “irrespective of race, ethnicity, religion or gender…to look past what sets Malaysians apart, focus resolutely on our common interests, and work together with determination towards the success of this transformation and our collective prosperity”. But these are just words without meaning.

Tomorrow, the Barisan Nasional is holding its national convention. Can it set an example of this national consensus which is an essential prerequisite for the success of the national economic transformation blueprint by reaching a consensus and accord on the democratic vision of “Ketuanan Rakyat” (People’s Supremacy) for Malaysia based on the 1957 Merdeka and 1963 Malaysia Constitution principles of constitutional monarchy rather than on “Ketuanan Melayu”, “Ketuanan Cina”, “Ketuanan India”, “Ketuanan Kadazan” or “Ketuanan Iban”?

The very fact that the NEM, whether Part I or Part II, was never presented to Parliament for debate and endorsement, is indicative that Najib has no confidence that it is capable of capturing the imagination of Malaysians by inspiring new hopes that the country can make the quantum leap to become a developed, high-income, sustainable and inclusive nation.

There is little public interest in the NEM Part 2 not only because of the failure of political will and leadership of the Najib administration in the past 20 months to give full endorsement to the initial NEM report when it came under attack by political extremists, but also because the Malaysian public is suffering from a great fatigue of Najib’s reform rhetoric not backed by implementation and deeds.

The NEM2 could only reiterate the importance of the Government Transformation Programme (GTP) initiatives on fighting corruption and support the National Key Results Areas (NKRA) to have zero corruption but was conspicuously silent at the worsening corruption in the country as evident from:

  • 2010 Transparency International (TI) Corruption Perception Index (CPI) which highlighted the failure of the key NKRA in fighting corruption which targeted to increase the CPI score from the new low of 4.5 in 2009 to 4.9 by 2010. In actual fact, Malaysia’s CPI score in 2010 sunk to the lowest in 16 years, registering 4.4. In his 20 months as Prime Minister, Najib presided over the worst single-year plunge in TI CPI ranking and score, i.e. a nine-placing fall from No. 47 in 2008 to No. 56 in 2009, with the score plunging to the lowest ever of 4.4 for 2010.

  • Despite the GTP and NKRA talk of fighting “grand corruption” or “political corruption”, not a single political “big fish” had been arrested or prosecuted for corruption in the past 12 months.

The NEM Pt II’s emphasis on the importance of public sector governance and civil service accountability to reinvigorate private investor confidence in the Malaysian economy wears thin when issues continue to multiply unanswered in the public domain raising fundamental questions about the independence, integrity and professionalism of key national institutions.

The latest example pertains to the Attorney-General, Tan Sri Gan Patail, not only with regard to the issues I had raised in the recent Parliament over allegations by the former Kuala Lumpur Crime Investigation Department (CID) chief Datuk Mat Zain Ibrahim that Gani had fabricated evidence in the Anwar Ibrahim black-eye investigations in 1998, but also questions raised by member of the Malaysian Anti- Corruption Commission's (MACC) consultative and advisory panel, Tan Sri Robert Phang referring to several allegations and adverse public speculations about the Attorney-General’s relationship with Shahidan Shafie, the proxy of former Malaysia Airlines Chairperson Tan Sri Tajuddin Ramli.

These developments detrimental to public confidence in the independence, integrity and professionalism of key national institutions in the country will bulk large and impact adversely in any blueprint to transform Malaysia into a developed, high-income, sustainable and inclusive nation and merit immediate attention and action.

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



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