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TV3 interview to break �inelegant silence� - Abdullah has  more to fear from his sycophants than his critics


Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang  

, Wednesday) When after the Prime Minister�s recorded and tame 40-minute TV3 interview on Monday night to break his two-month �elegant silence�, Cabinet Ministers have one after another to convince the Malaysian public that �everything has been explained� and urge Malaysians to  accept Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi�s explanations, there is no more eloquent proof of the  grave credibility gap that has begun to  haunt  the Abdullah premiership.


Abdullah has more to fear from his sycophants than this critics, and that includes his predecessor, former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad.


Those who had advised Abdullah  for two months to keep to his �elegant silence� when it was no more sustainable after a few days, and those who are telling him that he had  fully and satisfactorily explained all that that needs to be explained in his TV3 interview, are doing the Prime Minister  a great disservice.


The football analogy which Abdullah had used is a most inappropriate one and reflects poorly on his coterie of advisers.


In the interview, Abdullah asked the public not to judge him too early, noting: �If I take the field in a football game, and after 10 minutes, I am judged for my performance, how can that be?�


Is Abdullah seriously suggesting that  Malaysians should suspend their judgment of him as Prime Minister although he is about to complete his third year of office on the ground that it  is too short and therefore  premature and unfair to pass any such judgment?


Going by the football analogy, is Abdullah seriously suggesting that he should only be judged when the full 90 minutes of the football game had been played, which means waiting for  another 80 minutes or eigth-ninth of the �Prime Ministerial football game�, which is  another 272 months or 22 years 8 months?


I am shocked that Abdullah had been so ill-advised as to use this football analogy, which could only be interpreted as an attempt  to evade scrutiny and  accountability for his 34th month as the fifth Prime Minister as if his advisers had never heard of the First Hundred Days, the First Year and the First Three Years of a new head of government, whether Prime Minister or President � common timelines to evaluate their KPIs (Key Performance Indicators).


Abdullah�s advisers do not seem to know  that the full term of a Prime Minister in Australia is three years as general elections are held at least once every three years and no Australian Prime Minister can claim after three years that he had only been �10 minutes in a football game�!


Compared to the second and third Prime Ministers, Tun Razak and Tun Hussein Onn, Abdullah had already passed the half-time mark, as Razak served as Prime Minister for 5 years 5 months from September 1970 to January 1976 when he died of leukaemia, and Hussein served for 5 years 7 months from January 1976 to July 1981 after a coronary bypass in early 1981.


Abdullah cannot therefore credibly argue that it is too early for  his premiership to be subject to scrutiny or to be judged  as  he had only been �10 minutes in a football game� unless he is claiming that he should be judged on a basis of a premiership which is even longer than Mahathir�s 22 years 3 months!


Abdullah should be answering, not just the issues  raised by Mahathir, but even more important, the people�s questions why  he has failed to deliver  his reform pledges of a clean, incorruptible, efficient, open, accountable and just government which had been responsible for his   unprecedented 2004 landslide electoral  victory of 92 per cent of the parliamentary seats � a feat which had eluded Mahathir, Hussein, Razak or the first Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman.



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

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