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Media statement by Lim Kit Siang in Parliament on Tuesday, 12th October 2010: 

Why after more than half a year, not a single Cabinet Minister dare to rebut the communal extremists and state that the New Economic Model is not against Article 153 of Constitution?

I walked out of Dewan Rakyat in disgust this morning.

I had stood up to ask a supplementary question for the first oral question which was on the New Economic Model, but the Deputy Speaker, Datuk Ronald Kiandee, who was in the chair, refused to call me.

The question on the New Economic Model was posed by the UMNO MP for Maran, Datuk Haji Ismail bin Hj Abdul Muttalib who asked the Prime Minister “to state the guarantee that in carrying out the New Economic Model it is effective and will achieve the objective set out to make Malaysia a high income nation and at the same time spur the economy and the programmes planned for implementation”.

The answer was given by the Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk S. K. Devamany.

If I had the opportunity to pose the supplementary question, I would have observed that on the second day of the 34-day of the budget Parliament, the absence of the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak or anyone of the many Ministers in the Prime Minister’s Department to answer this question shows that the Barisan Nasional government is neither really seriously nor fully committed whether to Najib’s 1Malaysia concept, New Economic Model or Parliament.

I would have asked in my supplementary question:

  • Whether the Najib administration has taken full ownership of the proposals in the New Economic Model for Malaysia to escape the two-decades long middle-income trap to achieve sustainable and inclusive high-income developed nation status by 2020 and no more regard the New Economic Model proposals as merely “trial balloons” of a group of experts from the global market perspective as said by Najib in June;

  • The government stand in particular on New Economic Model Strategic Reform Initiative (SRI) 5 for “Transparent and market-friendly affirmative action” which will “consider all ethnic groups fairly and equally as long as they are in the low income 40% of households…..taking into consideration the needs and merits of the applicants”;

  • Why for more than six months, not a single Minister dare to state that the New Economic Model is not against Article 153 of the Constitution to check the rise of racism because of the rhetoric of communal extremists, although the Prime Minister has gone to the United Nations General Assembly and Asia-Europe Dialogue to call for a global movement of moderates against extremists.

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



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