Media Statement by Lim Kit Siang in Petaling
Jaya on Saturday, 20th September 2008:
Abdullah should reconsider and secure
Cabinet approval on Wednesday to convene an emergency Parliament on
September 29 to end the six-month political impasse to decide whether
Barisan Nasional or Pakatan Rakyat has the parliamentary majority to
The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad
Badawi should reconsider his rejection of the request by the
Parliamentary Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim for an
emergency session of Parliament to debate a “no confidence” motion
latest by Tuesday, September 23.
He should table Anwar’s request at the Cabinet meeting on Wednesday to
secure Cabinet approval to convene an emergency Parliament to end the
six-month political impasse – resulting in the deepening and aggravation
of the multiple crisis of confidence whether political, economic,
nation-building, international competitiveness or good governance – by
getting the country moving forward again with a clear-cut parliamentary
vote as to who has the parliamentary majority to govern Malaysia.
Abdullah has said that Anwar’s ”916” plan to secure the support of the
majority of the 222 MPs to move the country forward to address and
overcome the manifold crisis and challenges confronting Malaysia is “a
mirage” and “a lie”.
But the actions of the Barisan Nasional government belie these claims,
whether it be the sodomy II charge against Anwar, the last-minute
panicky “blur blur” agricultural study tour to Taiwan to sequester some
50 MPs from any possible defection, the spate of ISA arrests
particularly against DAP MP for Seputeh Teresa Kok – all pointing to a
government unsure of its parliamentary majority and even raising the
question whether it is a government in its last throes?
If Abdullah is convinced and confident that he still has the support of
the majority of the 222 MPs, why is he running away from the opportunity
to prove Anwar wrong by convening the emergency Parliament session for a
clear-cut vote to be taken on Anwar’s “no confidence” motion?
If Abdullah has the support of the majority of the 222 MPs, Pakatan
Rakyat will accept the outcome of the Parliamentary vote and Abdullah
can end the drift and the total lack of direction in the past six months
to decide on what legacy he is going to leave behind as the fifth Prime
Minister of Malaysia.
If Anwar succeeds in demonstrating that he has the support of the
majority of the 222 MPs, Abdullah should accept the verdict and
gracefully, peacefully, orderly and democratically effect a transition
of power to usher in a new Pakatan Rakyat Federal Government - creating
new political history in the nation’s 51-year history.
As the Cabinet would only meet on Wednesday, 24th September 2008, a
suitable date for the emergency Parliament session to decide whether
Barisan Nasional or Pakatan Rakyat commands the support of the majority
of the 222 MPs would be Monday, September 29 – which will end the
political impasse before the Hari Raya Puasa holidays!
It is in the national interest that the political impasse, the national
drift and the deepening multiple crisis of confidence afflicting
Malaysia for over half a year is immediately ended with a definitive
confidence vote in Parliament, as they do not permit any further
procrastination such as waiting for Parliament to be reconvened on
Let Parliament be recalled in emergency session on Sept. 29 for probably
its most important vote in the nation’s 51-year history!
Why is Abdullah shying away from the historic opportunity that is
presented by Anwar to prove that he is still Prime Minister with
majority parliamentary support, especially if he is convinced that “916”
is just Anwar’s “mirage”?
Could it be that Abdullah is not absolutely certain and confident that
he could command the support of a majority of 222 MPs in Parliament if a
no confidence motion is put to a vote?
Or could it be that Abdullah felt that no purpose would be served in
securing a ringing endorsement of parliamentary majority support when
his days as Prime Minister are numbered?
It is open secret that at the “918” Umno Supreme Council meeting two
days ago, Abdullah came under intense pressure that he should step down
as Prime Minister much earlier than the June 2010 timeline he envisaged
in his power transition plan.
The pressures for Abdullah to bring forward his transition plan was
spearheaded by Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal and had the support of UMNO
heavyweights like Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Datuk Seri Hishammuddin
Hussein. Wanita Chief Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz even said that Abdullah would
not be able to secure the minimum 58 nominations required to defend his
presidency when the UMNO Division nomination process begins on October
Have the Umno war-lords shortened Abdullah’s tenure as Prime Minister to
October 9 – a matter of less than three weeks?
If so, what is going to happen to Khairy Jamaluddin?
Abdullah’s “magic” when he became Prime Minister five years ago and
which created the greatest Barisan Nasional electoral victory in the
2004 general election, winning over 91 per cent parliamentary seats,
have turned to ashes in a matter of less than five years.
Five years ago, there was nothing wrong Abdullah could do. Today, there
is nothing right the Prime Minister could do.
Has he become a lame-duck Prime Minister, Umno President and Barisan
Kit Siang, DAP
Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor