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  Media Statement by Lim Kit Siang in Petaling Jaya on Thursday, 27th March 2008: 

Disappointment all round with no reformist signs that second Abdullah Cabinet had heard the message of the people in the March 8 general election, that “Point made and point taken”

The second Abdullah Cabinet is a disappointment all round with no signs from its first meeting yesterday that it will be reformist and get cracking to make up for the past four years of broken pledges of reform.

Even the promise of judicial reform which was the rationale for the surprise appointment of Datuk Zaid Ibrahim as the de facto Law Minister to undertake judicial and legal reforms to restore national and international confidence in the independence, integrity and quality of the judiciary after two decades of ravages of the cardinal principles of a truly independent judiciary and just rule of law has come out against a stonewall.

Zaid’s proposal that the government should apologise to the victims of the 1988 judicial crisis, which many have regarded as grossly inadequate to address the series of judicial crisis of confidence in the past two decades, could not find support in the Cabinet yesterday, with Zaid making the revealing comment after saying that he had presented his view that the government should apologise to Tun Salleh Abas, Datuk George Seah and the late Tan Sri Wan Suleiman Pawanteh:

“Well, I am afraid the view has yet to be considered.

“There are many people who are more experienced and who are wiser than me. So we have to wait.”

What Zaid meant is clear and simple - he has not received any support in the Cabinet to take the first step for meaningful judicial reforms, to rectify the wrongs and injustices which had caused the plunge of Malaysia’s judicial system from internationally-acknowledged as world-class two decades ago to its parlous state today.

It is also disappointing that the first meeting of the second Abdullah Cabinet yesterday gave no signs that it has heard the people’s voice in the March 8 general election and is seized of the urgency to make up for four years’ of failure to deliver the reform pledges made by Abdullah when he became Prime Minister, particularly:

1. Immediate and unconditional release of the five Hindraf leaders, P. Uthayakumar, newly-elected DAP Selangor State Assemblyman for Kota Alam Shah M. Manoharan, V. Ganabatirau, R. Kenghadharan and T. Vasantha Kumar from Internal Security Act (ISA) detention.

2. Full commitment to establish First-World Parliament.

3. All-out drive to eradicate corruption with the elevation of the Anti-Corruption Agency as an autonomous agency answerable only to Parliament.

4. Full implementation of the 125 recommendations of the Royal Police Commission to create an efficient, incorruptible, professional world-class police service to reduce crime, eradicate corruption and uphold human rights, particularly the establishment of an Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC).

5. All-party inquiry to enhance Malaysia’s international competitiveness including having a world-class education system to enable the country to successfully face the challenges of globalization.

All in all, it is a bad start for the second Abdullah Cabinet despite the claim of the Prime Minister that he has heard the “message” of the people in the March 8 political tsunami - which “Point made and point taken”. Clearly, the point made by Malaysian voters in the March 8 general election has still to be “taken” by the Prime Minister and his Cabinet.

* Lim Kit Siang, MP for Ipoh Timor & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman


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