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Media statement (2) by Lim Kit Siang in Kuala Lumpur on Monday, 21st May 2012: 

Let restoration of decency and civility to politics and public life be top of the Cabinet agenda on Wednesday

Last Thursday, I had called for the restoration of decency and civility to politics and public life in Malaysia.

I had expressed concern at the rise of incidents of immoderate and even “uncivilized conduct” citing three examples within a week - the Perkasa “funeral rite” in front of Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng’s house in Penang, the setting up of a burger stall in front of the house of Bersih 2.0 co-chairperson Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan at Bukit Damansara, Kuala Lumpur and the utterly insensitive and deplorable “butt” dance by a group of armed forces veterans in front of Ambiga’s house.

The subsequent double cancellation by NGO WargaAMAN of a thosai stall outside the house of the Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Datuk Seri Khalid Abu Bakar and the proposal by Ikhlas representing small traders to hold another protest outside Ambiga’s house were most encouraging, indicating that good sense and sanity were beginning to prevail in Malaysian politics and public life.

Unfortunately, this momentum for the restoration of decency and civility in politics and public life was broken by two incidents, viz:

  • The threat by the Kuala Lumpur Petty Traders Action Council supported by Perkasa to set up stalls outside Ambiga’s house on Thursday and Friday to protest losses of trade during the Bersih 3.0 rally in Kuala Lumpur on April 28; and

  • The Merlimau “riot” involving Jasin Umno Youth protesting a ceramah which was to feature Ambiga, where two DAP Malacca Assemblymen Khoo Poay Tiong (Ayer Keroh) and Tey KIok Kiew (Bandar Hilir) were attacked and several vehicles damaged.

Both these incidents mark a regression in the restoration of civility and decency in politics and public life should be condemned by all political parties and leaders.

I had suggested last Thursday that the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, the Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and the Cabinet should come forward to speak loud and clear their condemnation of “uncivilised” acts and to set the tone and example for decency and civility in politics and public life in Malaysia.

There had been no response from the Prime Minister although such an action by him would be fully in line with his call in international forums and recently in the country urging moderates to unite and to marginalise the extremists.

The restoration of decency and civility to politics and public life should be given top priority at the Cabinet meeting this Wednesday, or all the sloganeering about Malaysia as the best democracy in the world and calling on moderates of the world to unite to marginalize the extremists would prove to be utterly hollow and meaningless words.

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



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