Censure motion in Parliament against Zahid for “migrate elsewhere” statement

It is just not good enough for the newly-minted Minister for Sports and Youth Minister Khairy Jamaluddin to evade the issue by claiming that the new Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s call for critics of the 13th general election to leave the country was merely the latter’s “personal opinion” and does not reflect the government’s position.

How does Khairy know that Zahid’s disgraceful statement does not reflect the Barisan Nasional Goverment’s position?

Has Khairy been assured by the Prime Minister or the Deputy Prime Minister that the new Cabinet would repudiate Zahid’s statement with a formal announcement?

It is sad that in a matter of 24 hours after being sworn in as Cabinet Minister, Khairy has already started to compromise his principles and begun to behave like old-time Ministers who are more interested in protecting their own Ministerial turfs instead of taking principled stand against gross abuses of power and blatant injustices like Zahid’s outburst.

Will Khairy take the initiative at his first Cabinet meeting to propose that the Cabinet should distance itself and repudiate Zahid’s statement?

In my early years in Parliament in the seventies, a very powerful UMNO Minister interjected in one of my speeches and told me that if I did not like the policies of UMNO/Barisan Nasional governments, I could leave the country.

My immediate riposte to him was that I was speaking on behalf of Malaysians in Parliament, and if he did not like what I said, he could leave the country!

Since then, no UMNO MP or Minister had repeated that approach with me in Parliament.

One rejoinder to Zahid’s outburst that Malaysians who do not like the country’s electoral system could leave the country was to give him a similar treatment – to tell Zahid and others like-minded that if they do not like Malaysians demanding for a change to a clean, free and just electoral system, it is they who could leave Malaysia!

But what should be of concern is the arrogance and contempt for public opionion of a Minister in a government whose legitimacy is under a cloud for the first time in the nation’s history.

When the legitimacy of the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who has only secured 47% of popular votes as compared to Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Pakatan Rakyat, who won 51% of the popular vote, is under question, then the legitimacy of his Cabinet sworn in yesterday is also under question.

One would have thought that in such circumstances of swirling clouds about their legitimacy, the Ministers would be humble, approachable and sensitive to the aspirations of Malaysians.

Instead, we see the arrogance and contempt of public opinion displayed by Zahid, one of the senior ministers of Najib’s Cabinet after the 13GE.

Zahid deserves universal condemnation for his arrogant outburst, which is completely at variance with Najib’s signature policy of 1Malaysia and “People First” (as Zahid’s outburst could only mean “Zahid or UMNO First”) and against the grain of over five decades of nation-building of a plural Malaysia.

I will move a motion when the new Parliament convenes probably in mid-June to censure Zahid for his arrogant and insufferable outburst, telling Malaysians not happy with the 13GE results to leave the country.

In view of the subject-matter which affects all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion or region, I invite MPs who wish to join me in co-sponsoring the censure motion against Zahid to email me their agreement (to [email protected]) so that a censure motion carrying the most number of signatures of MPs in Malaysian parliamentary history could be submitted once parliamentary notice for the first meeting of the 13th Parliament is issued.

I also invite them to suggest a draft of the censure motion against Zahid, which I would put in the public domain to invite public views and feeback.

Of course, I welcome MPs from the Barisan Nasional who have the principles and courage of conviction to co-sponsor the censure motion against Zahid, as the deplorable sentiments expressed by the Home Minister must be condemned by all MPs as well as citizens, regardless of party affiliation.

I do not know whether there would be anyone from Barisan Nasional who will be prepared to cross party lines to take a common stand in the interests of the Malaysian people and nation.

I wait their response at the email above.

Lim Kit Siang MP for Gelang Patah