Media Statement by Lim Kit Siang in Petaling Jaya on Saturday, 28th February 2009:
Abdullah/Najib – why their thundering silence on the Selangor Umno Youth mob in Parliament on Thursday obstructing/menacing Karpal and PR MPs from carrying out their duties?
The outgoing UMNO Youth leader and contender for one of the Umno Vice President slots next month, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein has proved it once again – that he has no qualms in subordinating parliamentary and national interests to personal and political interests in the upcoming Umno party elections.
In declaring his public support for the Selangor Umno Youth mob on Thursday which obstructed and menaced wheelchair-confined DAP National Chairman and MP for Bukit Gelugor Karpal Singh in the discharge of his parliamentary duties in the very precincts and sanctity of Parliament and manhandled Pakatan Rakyat MPs Lim Lip Eng (DAP – Segambut), Fong Kui Lun (DAP - Bukit Bintang), Chong Chieng Jen (Bandar Kuching) and N. Gobalakrishnan (PKR – Padang Serai), Hishammuddin has shown that he is incapable of differentiating between right and wrong – in great contrast to the forthright denunciation of the Dewan Negara President Tan Sri Dr. Abdul Hamid Pawanteh of the incident as a national embarrassment caused by “hooligans” obstructing parliamentarians from doing their duty.
But Hishammuddin, Education Minister and aspirant to even higher office, has become a protector and defender of “hooligans” who subverted the parliamentary process by violating the sanctity of Parliament to obstruct and menace parliamentarians from discharging their duty.
Hishammuddin can disagree with what Karpal said in Parliament in as strong and vigorous a manner as allowed by parliamentary Standing Orders, but he was acting most irresponsibly in not only condoning, but given full backing, for the Selangor Umno Youth mob action in the parliamentary precincts against Karpal and other Pakatan Rakyat MPs on Thursday.
The Minister for Rural and Regional Development, Tan Sri Muhammad Muhammad Taib,who is also Umno Information Chief, must also be censured for support of the Selangor Umno Youth mob action in Parliament on Thursday allegedly on the ground that Umno Youth had acted out of frustration after being “provoked and unfairly accused”.
Pakatan Rakyat parties have often been at the receiving end of provocation and unfair accusation by Umno and Barisan Nasional Ministers and MPs. Would this be justification enough for Pakatan Rakyat to stage similar mobs in Parliament to violate the sanctity of Parliament and obstruct and menace UMNO/BN parliamentarians from carrying out their duties?
UMNO/BN Ministers and leaders should stop defending the indefensible and show their commitment to the system of parliamentary democracy by denouncing in categorical and unreserved terms the UMNO Youth Selangor mob action in the precincts of Parliament as grave parliamentary contempt which was completely unacceptable and could not be justified, condoned or mitigated in any manner.
Why is the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and the Prime Minister-in-waiting Datuk Seri Najib Razak keeping so quiet on this shame and blot in the 51-year history of Parliament? Why their thundering silence?
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor