Media Conference Statement (3) by Lim Kit Siang in DAP Cheras Service Centre, Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday, 2nd June 2009 at 12 noon:
Najib should seek a vote of confidence as the first item of June meeting of Parliament starting on June 15
The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak said Parti Keadilan Rakyat's win in the Penanti by-election is nothing to boast about as it cannot be used as a yardstick to gauge the popularity of any political parties.
He told reporters at the 20th Asean-Republic of Korea Commemorative Summit on Jeju Island that Mansor Othman’s win was “not exciting” as the voter turnout was less than 50 per cent and “a win against independent candidates is not an absolute win…something that one can be proud of”.
This is really sour grapes by Najib, who should be ashamed of himself that the UMNO and Barisan Nasional that he leads dare not contest in Penanti, for fear that it would be his third consecutive by-election defeat in the Peninsular since becoming Prime Minister and the Barisan Nasional’s fifth consecutive defeat since the March 8 political tsunami in last year’s general election.
The Penanti by-election results are very telling. Although Umno sponsored one independent candidate and Gerakan sponsored another independent candidate, all three independent candidates lost their deposits – although the Gerakan-sponsored candidate beat the Umno-sponsored candidate by 102 votes!
Mansor Othman garnered 6,052 votes to win the Sunday by-election against the three independent candidates -- Aminah Abdullah (392 votes), Nai Khan Ari Nai Keow (494 notes) and Kamarul Ramizu Idris (56 votes).
Many Pakatan Rakyat voters did not come out to vote, especially those working outside the constituency who did not take the trouble to return to the constituency to cast their votes as they regard it as a certain victory for PKR.
If Barisan Nasional had contested, the Umno candidate would have got a thrashing even worse than in last year’s general election.
As it is, the one-sided by-election result was a clear repudiation of Najib’s premiership.
Coming together with the latest opinion poll which showed that he is the most unpopular Prime Minister in the first two months in office in the nation’s 52-year history of six Prime Ministers, it is Najib who should feel the heat that his record is nothing to be proud about.
It is indeed shocking that less than two months into his administration, Najib could only muster the approval of 45 per cent of Malaysians polled recently a Merdeka Centre survey.
It is clear that Najib is still in the very throes of a crisis of confidence in the credibility, integrity and legitimacy of his premiership, compounded by his refusal to dissolve the Perak State Assembly to hold general elections in the state to allow Perakians to elect the government of their choice – the only fair, democratic and honourable solution to the Perak political and constitutional crisis for which Najib must bear the greatest responsibility.
Najib should seek a vote of confidence as the first item of parliamentary business when Parliament reconvenes on June 15 for the next meeting, or is Najib afraid that he would not be able to get 100 per cent support from UMNO and Barisan Nasional MPs?
Both Tun Hussein Onn and Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi sought a vote of confidence from Parliament in their first month in office as Prime Minister. Why is Najib afraid to follow in their footsteps?
To Kuala Lumpur was name among the 10 riskiest locations in the world for outsourcing by the “Black Book of Outsourcing”. Kuala Lumpur was named the 4th riskiest location, while Singapore tops the list of the world’s safest location in the world for outsourching.
This is an indication of the continuous erosion of national and international confidence in Malaysia under Najib’s premiership, an added reason why Najib should be brave enough to seek a vote of confidence in Parliament on June 15.
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor