Speech by Lim Kit Siang at the
launching of the DAP Pasir Pinji Election Operation Centre in Ipoh on
Thursday, 31st January 2008 at 1 pm:
3-hr Cabinet meeting yesterday on next general election the latest
example of gross abuse of power, lack of integrity and rapid
degeneration of ethical quality of Abdullah premiership, which is
quickly losing the ability to understand the difference between right
New Straits Times today carried an exclusive about the three-hour
Cabinet meeting yesterday on preparations for impending general election
under the heading “Get ready to face election, ministers told”,
On your marks,
get set, go.
Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi told ministers yesterday to get ready
to face the general election.
The prime minister touched extensively on the subject during the cabinet
A minister said Abdullah reminded them in a three-hour discussion on
election preparations to be fully prepared to go out on the hustings.
He said the prime minister, who is also Barisan Nasional chairman, did
not indicate a date for the election.
"We are ready to face the general election and this is the commitment we
gave the prime minister. We also gave him an assurance that preparations
were in third gear."
The minister said Abdullah was also informed that all BN election
operations rooms were ready for the polls.
Another minister said the session also saw ministers reporting the
economic situation in their constituencies.
It is sad and even tragic that very
few Malaysians seem to realize that this report highlights a very
decadent political culture unparalleled in the 50-year history of
Malaysia, of further degeneration of the ethical standards of the
government-of-the-day to the extent that the Abdullah premiership has
quickly lost the ability to understand the difference between right and
The Cabinet is not a Barisan Nasional outfit but the highest
decision-making body of the executive in the country. It has no business
to waste its whole morning of three hours to discuss the individual or
collective electoral prospects of the Barisan Nasional Ministers.
Why should the Cabinet be discussing the “economic situation” of the
individual constituencies of the Ministers, when they should be
concerned about the “economic situation” of the whole country and all
The three-hour Cabinet meeting yesterday on next general election is the
latest example of gross abuse of power, lack of integrity and rapid
degeneration of ethical quality of Abdullah premiership, which makes a
total mockery of the National Integrity Plan launched by Abdullah in his
first year of premiership.
It is not that there weren’t important national issues for the Cabinet
to address yesterday, for instance:
• The latest instance of
“body-snatching” aggravating racial and religious polarization in the
country, involving 74-year-old Gan Eng Gor of Seremban.
• The jailing of Dr. Basmullah Yusom, the first doctor to be jailed
under a technicality under the Private Health Facilities and Services
Act (PHFSA) 1998 despite assurances of the former Health Minister and
Director-General of Health Services that the PHFSA would be amended and
that no doctor would be criminalized or jailed over a technicality.
• The endemic crime in the country as illustrated by the failure to
locate 5-yr-old Sharlinie Nashar, who had been missing for more than
three weeks. The one-week deadline given by bomohs that Sharlinie would
be found has come and gone. Clearly, both the terrestrial and
supernatural police are of no help to locate and rescue Sharlinie.
Sadly, the issues and concerns of the
people were completely sidelined at the Cabinet meeting yesterday.
Abdullah and all Cabinet Ministers should apologise for their most
unethical conduct in spending a whole Cabinet meeting yesterday
discussing the general election preparations which should rightly be
held in Barisan Nasional meetings – when they should be proving their
Ministerial worth by addressing the problems of the people!
No wonder former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad has dismissed
this Cabinet as a “half-past six Cabinet”!
Kit Siang, Parliamentary
Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic
Planning Commission Chairman