Speech by Lim Kit Siang at the 2,000-People DAP
Batu Pahat dinner in Batu Pahat, Johore on Friday, 4th July
2008 at 10 pm:
Abdullah should give categorical assurance that he will
not launch another Ops Lalang with mass ISA arrests of Opposition
leaders to seek an “easy” but short-sighted way out of his political
siege to consolidate his power position
In Parliament last evening (Thursday), the Prime Minister Datuk
Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi told reporters that the people should not to
listen to rumours of an impending emergency rule.
He said: “The government was stable. The security is under control.
Everything is under control. Don't believe anything you hear.
“I don't think anybody should be worry. There are too many rumours.”
Rumours have indeed become very rife in recent times, with Abdullah as
Prime Minister under siege since the March general election 125 days ago
– from both inside Umno, Barisan Nasional and outside.
In practice, rumours should not be given much credibility. However, in
Malaysia’s political culture and tight mainstream media control, rumours
have greater credibility than other countries as many rumours had
subsequently proven true than the many official denials issued by
purported authoritative sources.
The latest rumour is that there is mounting pressure in the corridors of
power for strong-armed measures to invoke draconian and undemocratic
laws to deal with dissent, raising questions whether the country is on
the threshold of a major clampdown against dissent – with the Abdullah
government facing deepening public crisis of confidence, whether from
the failure to deliver belated reforms in the past four months,
inability to deal with a worsening economic scenario, public protests at
the unconscionable increase in oil prices sparking all-round inflation
or the mishandling of the political crisis like the high-profile C4
murder of the Mongolian national Altantuya Shaariibuu.
I call on the Prime Minister to give categorical assurance that he will
stay true to his pledges of democratic and human rights reforms and not
launch another Ops Lalang with mass Internal Security Act (ISA) arrests
of Opposition leaders to seek an ”easy” but short-sighted way out of his
“political siege” to consolidate his power position.
Kit Siang, DAP
Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor