Is Zam as Information Minister
a frog under the coconut shell blissfully unaware that we are in the era of
globalization and international competitiveness or is he making a bid to be
a Godfather of Mat Rempits in the run-up to the Umno annual general assembly
by Lim Kit Siang
Datuk Seri Zainuddin Maidin has
provided proof that he runs the Information Ministry like a frog under the
coconut shell blissfully unaware that in the era of globalization and
international competitiveness Malaysia cannot turn a blind eye to
complaints, whether by Malaysians or foreigners, about misgovernance.
I am astounded that the former veteran journalist could be as mischievous
and irresponsible as to issue a formal statement yesterday accusing me of
acts akin to being “anti-national” for bringing a foreigner to Parliament
“to express his views on the democratic and security system in the
He said such things would not have happened in any other country,
especially when the case mentioned was still under police investigation.
Zainuddin cannot be more wrong. I have no doubt that in developed
countries which Malaysia aspires to become in 2020, using the Parliament
to ventilate the grievances of nationals and foreigners in the country
would be common occurrence and would not be the subject of any official
What would be eye-raising is having the Information Minister of the
country disgracing him, Parliament and the nation by making myopic and
xenophobic statements as if foreigners have no rights in the country and
Malaysia has no duty and responsibility to protect the safety and security
of foreign tourists, visitors and professionals working as consultants in
Let me clarify from the outset that the Canadian consultant, Manjit Sokhai
did not come to Parliament on Wednesday “to express his views on the
democratic and security system in the country” but to complain to the
Parliamentary Caucus on Human Rights and Good Governance about the menace
of Mat Rempitism, of which he was the most recent victim.
Manjit, 43, from Montreal visits Malaysia three to four times a year in
connection with his work. He was driving his four-wheel drive along Jalan
Rasah, Seremban at about 11pm on Saturday Oct 20, with three friends from
India when he was confronted by some 40 Mat Rempits on motorcycles, who
assaulted him and went on to damage his vehicle, smashing the rear lights,
wipers and number plate.
The purpose of Wednesday media conference in Parliament was for Manjit to
recount to the media his traumatic experience with the Mat Rempits, a
menace to the safety and security not only of Malaysians but also foreign
visitors and tourists.
I cited the recent crimes of Mat Rempitism, including murder, where even
police and road transport officials had become victims, and called on the
Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to give his personal
attention to wipe out the Mat Rempit menace subverting law and order,
creating fear among Malaysians and visitors about their personal safety,
giving the country a bad name internationally and undermining Malaysia’s
It is most shocking that instead of giving support, Zainuddin has chosen
to take the side of the Mat Rempits.
Is Zainuddin as Information Minister a frog under the coconut shell
blissfully unaware that we are in the era of globalization and
international competitiveness or is he making a bid to be a Godfather of
Mat Rempits in the run-up to the Umno annual general assembly next month?
In his statement yesterday, Zainuddin was again guilty of “misinformation”
when he made baseless allegations against DAP MPs. He said:
“Previously, they had brought two Chinese nationals who claimed that they
were victims of the police in one case, but it was later proven that they
had cheated the people of this country. They were not linked to the case
as claimed and they had used the opposition to exaggerate the case.”
I challenge Zainuddin to
substantiate this allegation, and if he cannot do so, to retract his
statement and tender a public apology.
Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic
Planning Commission Chairman