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Abdullah cannot rid the government of ´┐ŻLittle Napoleons´┐Ż when ´┐Żfull-blown Napoleons´┐Ż like IGP Bakri is  allowed scot-free to set the bad example of open insubordination subverting the  civilian authority of the Prime Minister,  Cabinet and Parliament  by publicly opposing the IPCMC


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Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang  
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(Ipoh
, Sunday) : The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, touched another popular nerve when he lambasted the ´┐ŻLittle Napoleons´┐Ż in the public service who lorded over the citizenry, in utter contempt  and denial of  the fundamental principle of  democratic governance where the people are the masters in a system of parliamentary democracy.

´┐ŻLittle Napoleons´┐Ż are civil servants who have not only forgotten the meaning of ´┐Żcivil´┐Ż  but also  that they are the paid ´┐Żservants´┐Ż of the people.

Bernama (14.4.06) quoted Abdullah at the Finance Ministry monthly assembly on Thursday warning ´┐Ża small group of civil servants who were trying to show power by delaying implementation of the country's development projects´┐Ż, saying:

"There is no need to show how powerful you are by delaying things. There are people who held back files and there are people who held back decisions.

"We don't want to have 'Little Napoleon' in the civil service showing power by delaying things, for example, just to teach that person a lesson."

Bernama tried to be helpful by providing the following definition ´┐Ż ´┐ŻLittle Napoleon is often described as one who is pugnacious, arrogant and abrasive, especially a person in power, having features like Napoleon Bonaparte, an absolute ruler in France during the late 18th century.´┐Ż

Abdullah´┐Żs castigation of ´┐ŻLittle Napoleons´┐Ż in the public service evoked popular response from Malaysians who had long  suffered in silence from their strutting, insensitivities and inefficiencies so much so that they have come to regard a visit to a government department as a worse ordeal than seeing  the dentist.

Abdullah´┐Żs stricture of the ´┐ŻLittle Napoleons´┐Ż is therefore in the mould of his earlier populist  calls:

  • Eradicate ´┐ŻFirst-World infrastructure, Third-World Mentality´┐Ż malaise;
  • Commitment to lead a ´┐Żclean, incorruptible, modest and beyond suspicion´┐Ż administration;
  •  ´┐ŻWork with me, not for me´┐Ż.
  • Urging  the people to tell him the truth.

There is however a great  difference this time in the public response as compared to Abdullah´┐Żs earlier calls ´┐Ż great cynicism and skepticism that anything concrete will come out it, as virtually nothing had been achieved in delivering his earlier pledges and promises of good governance.

No political scientist is required for ordinary Malaysians to know that Abdullah cannot rid the government of ´┐ŻLittle Napoleons´┐Ż when ´┐Żfull-blown Napoleons´┐Ż like the Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Mohamad  Bakri Omar is  allowed scot-free to set the bad example of open insubordination subverting the  civilian authority of the Prime Minister, Cabinet and Parliament  by publicly opposing the establishment of the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC).

The failure of Abdullah to establish the IPCMC ´┐Ż the most important of the 125 recommendations of the Royal Police Commission ´┐Ż will mark the formal end of public hopes that the Prime Minister has the political will to deliver on his many reform pledges and promises.

The biggest challenge now  facing Abdullah 30 months after becoming the fifth Prime Minister is to restore public confidence and credibility that he is the undisputed leader of the Malaysian government, and not heading a rudderless administration where ´┐Żfull blown Napoleons´┐Ż and ´┐ŻLittle Napoleons´┐Ż flourish and multiply in the public service who are even allowed to trespass into policy-making jurisdictions of the Prime Minister, Cabinet and Parliament.

This he can do by announcing in categorical and no uncertain terms that his public pledge to accept the Royal Police Commission recommendation to establish the IPCMC to create a clean, incorruptible, efficient, professional, human rights-sensitive world-class police service will brook no opposition or sabotage and that the May deadline for its establishment would be met.


(16/04/2006)     
                                                      


*  Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman

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