Media Statement (2) by Lim Kit Siang in Petaling Jaya on Wednesday, 1st April 2009:
“Altantunya Ban” shatters Najib’s 100-day political honeymoon as new Prime Minister
Confirmed – there is going to be no 100-day political honeymoon for Datuk Seri Najib Razak when he takes over as the sixth Prime Minister of Malaysia.
The outrageous, arbitrary, high-handed and indefensible ban on mention of the C4 murder victim, Mongolian woman Altantuya Shariibuu in the three by-elections of Bukit Gantang, Bukit Selambau and Batang Ai has shattered whatever political honeymoon Najib might have enjoyed as the new Prime Minister – however shortened and truncated from the conventional first 100 days normally extended to all new office holders.
Even before his ascension as the next Prime Minister, Najib is already blamed for quickly transforming political atmosphere in the country – from a sunny one five years five months ago when Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi took over the premiership, promising an era of openness, greater democracy, accountability and integrity (unfortunately remaining unfulfilled) to an increasingly gloomy and darkening political landscape day-by-day with the impending Najib takeover, coupled with grave concerns about his suitability, integrity and legitimacy as Prime Minister.
At the media conference at the end of the Umno General Assembly where he was elected Umno President uncontested, in response to a press question about concerns that he would crack down on media and civil liberties, Najib said:
“Why did you form such a judgment about me? This is not fair. You are pre-judging me even before I take office. Please judge me by my actions. Give me the chance to take office.”
Although Najib has not officially taken over as the new Prime Minister, he had effectively exercised the powers of the Prime Minister in the past two months, with Abdullah increasingly a PM only in name but not in fact.
This was why it was Najib and not Abdullah who was blamed for the spate of repression in the past two months, whether the unethical, undemocratic, illegal and unconstitutional power grab in Perak orchestrated by Najib; the DAP National Chairman Karpal Singh charged in court with sedition; the one-year suspension of DAP MP for Puchong, Gobind Singh Deo without parliamentary pay and privileges; the three-month suspension of Harakah and Suara Keadilan; Police and MACC harassing the Perak State Assembly Speaker and Perak State Assembly members; the arrest of DAP Perak State Assemblyman for Tebing Tinggi Ong Boon Piaw for producing the “Democracy Tree” DVD; and now the Home Minister, Datuk Seri Hamid Albar’s ban on bringing up the Altantuya case and Perak Sultan decision on the Perak constitutional crisis in the three by-elections.
However, Najib and Hamid could not have made a bigger mistake – for by banning the mention of “Altantuya Shariibuu” in the three by-elections, they have created a hurricane of outrage which is giving the serious allegations hounding and haunting Najib about his role in the murder case of the Mongolian woman even greater publicity, currency and potency.
If the enemies of Najib want to find a way to further electrify the issue by securing an even higher national and international profile to the serious allegations about Najib’s role in the Altantuya Sharriibuu C4 murder case, it will be difficult to think of another more successful gambit as to impose a police ban to prohibit and outlaw any mention of “Altantuya Shariibuu” – as public outrage at the ban will guarantee that it become a really incandescent issue!
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor