What happened in the Cabinet yesterday?

What happened in the Cabinet yesterday?

Firstly, was yesterday’s Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak or had the Prime Minister already secretly left abroad for his overseas trip as suggested by some media?

Secondly, did the Cabinet discuss the highly-charged racist and incendiary Sept. 16 Red Shirts Perhimpunan Maruah Melayu rally in Kuala Lumpur, now admitted by the MARA Chairman, Tan Sri Annuar Musa as the handiwork of UMNO, whose divisions throughout the country bused the some 45,000 people who were at the rally, and paid them with pocket monies and gave them the Red T-shirts?

Did any Minister raise at the Cabinet meeting the subject that the Prime Minister and the Cabinet should make a fulsome apology for their failure of leadership and responsibility in allowing the racially-charged and provocative Red Shirts Malay rally to be held which desecrated Malaysia Day on 16th September and undermined racial harmony, social peace and national unity?

Did any Minister suggest that the Cabinet should take pro-active steps to initiate a series of remedial measures akin to the formation of the National Goodwill Committee after the May 13 riots in 1969 (this time under the leadership of former Minister Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz) to repair the damage done to racial harmony, social peace and national unity?

Did any Minister referred to the Suhakam finding and the statement by the Suhakam Chairman Tan Sri Hasmy Agam who said the commission was “perturbed” by the “irresponsible and confrontational actions of several participants for inciting lawless and disorderly behaviour by flaunting racially-charged placards and for uttering slogans that promoted racial or religious hatred in our multi-religious and secular society”, and stressed that “such behaviour cannot be condoned and must be appropriately dealt with”?

Or did everybody in the Cabinet avoided the elephant in the room and pretended that the Sept. 16 Red Shirts Perhimpunan Maruah Melayu with all the racial slurs, insults, threats with the Chinese being called “babi” (pigs) and told to “balik China” (Go back to China”) and even intimidation of a “bloodbath” whether before or during rally never happened?

Did any Minister pluck up the courage to say that if the Cabinet would not apologise for its shameful abdication of responsibility in giving “green light” for the divisive and racist September 16 Red Shirts rally, he or she will answer not only the call of conscience but duty to the nation to step forward to publicly tender his or her individual apology?

Finally, did the Cabinet touch on two items which occurred after the previous Cabinet meeting on 9th Sept (as Sept. 16 was public holiday being Malaysia Day):

*Firstly, the Al Jazeera current affairs programme 101 East Asia journalist “Murder in Malaysia” on new evidence on the brutal murder of Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu, especially the lack of motive for Altantuya’s murder although two former special police commandos Azila Hadri and Sirul Azhir Umar had been convicted for the physical act of the murder, raising anew the question whether and who was the mastermind of the Mongolian’s murder; and

*secondly, the New York Times report that a US federal grand jury is examining allegations of corruption and money laundering involving Najib and people close to him under the Department of Justice’s Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative, which is a great slur on Malaysia’s good name and international repute as it raised the question whether the Malaysian Prime Minister is a kleptocrat, and the actions which the Malaysian Cabinet and Government are taking to restore Malaysia’s good name both nationally and internationally.

Can Malaysians get answers to the above questions or do we have, to borrow Tun Mahathir’s description, a “worse than half-past six” Ministers in the Cabinet?

Lim Kit Siang DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Gelang Patah