Media Statement (2) by Lim Kit Siang in Petaling Jaya on Thursday, 4th June 2009:
Signs of Malaysia on the verge of vicious cycle of a failed state spreading to more aspects of national life
Yesterday, I said that the collapse of the roof of the RM300 million 50,000-capacity Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin Stadium in Gong Badak within a year of completion is symptomatic of a society in serious disrepair and Malaysia at the verge of a vicious cycle of a failed state.
Five years ago, when Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi became Prime Minister, he struck a national chord of resonance when he spoke of the goal to transform Malaysia from a nation of “first-world infrastructure, third-world mentality” to one which is “first-world infrastructure, first-world mentality”.
Under another Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, Malaysia is now in danger of regressing to become a nation of “Third-World Infrastructure, Fourth-World Mentality”!
Such signs of a grave breakdown of Malaysia threatening to reduce the country to a fourth-world status instead of the Vision 2020 aspiration of a fully developed nation is everywhere to be seen, almost every day, not only in the maintenance culture but in the attitudes and commitments to the fundamental principles and values which distinguishes a country from a fully-developed one and from those that are not.
In Ipoh today, 64 people arrested during the May 7 “Day of Infamy” in the ongoing and protracted Perak political and constitutional crisis - which witnessed the shameful episode of the lawful and legitimate Perak Speaker, V. Sivakumar physically dragged out of the Assembly in Speaker robes and in the Speaker’s chair – reported to the Ipoh police headquarters as required by their police bail.
They came from far and near, Penang, Kuala Lumpur, Seremban and Malacca, only to be told at the Ipoh police headquarters that their police bail had been cancelled pending completion of police investigations, instructions from the Attorney-General’s Chambers and further notification.
If the police had decided to cancel the police bail of the 64 arrested (the police had announced 69 arrests on May 7 “Day of Infamy”), couldn’t the police inform them by phone, especially those who are from out-of-state so that they need not make the long journey to Ipoh, even having to spend overnight in the Perak capital.
Or are the police still living in the dinosaur age quite uncomfortable with the modern gadgets of communication, or just oblivious of their role as servants of the people who should minimize inconvenience to the public or is this part of the police harassment campaign?
And why continue to hang the Sword of Damocles over the 64 Malaysian nationalists committed to democracy, justice and peaceful change, instead of an outright announcement that no charges would be preferred against them?
What happened in Ipoh today are triple black-eyes for the Police – for incompetence, incivility and contempt for citizen rights.
A second instance is the police double standards in the speed with which it acted, lodging a police report against me as well as taking a police statement from me, on charges of sedition and criminal defamation against the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak the very next day of my speech at the Penanti by-election ceramah on May 24, 2009.
What was my crime? For speaking the truth that Najib was responsible for the Perak political and constitutional crisis because of an unethical, undemocratic, illegal and unconstitutional power grab, resulting in the expansion of the crisis of confidence, with one national institution after another, such as the Police, Election Commission, MACC, civil service, judiciary compromising their credibility and legitimacy as they just serve Najib’s political agenda.
But in a clear case of rank sedition and unadulterated communal poison by Umno-owned Mingguan Malaysia, trying to fuel racial discord by referring to non-Malays as “Kaum Pendatang” or immigrants, the Police had been conspicuously silent and inactive in the past five days.
DAP National Publicity Secretary and MP for PJ Utara, Tony Pua had slammed Mingguan Malaysia for its racist line dividing Malaysians.
MIC President, Datuk Seri Samy Vellu has gone one step further, demanding that the writer of the offensive article on Sunday should be charged with sedition for the “racial slur” against the Chinese and Indians in Malaysia which is totally against Najib’s 1Malaysia concept.
Deepening crisis of confidence over the credibility, integrity and legitimacy of key national institutions, whether the police, the civil service or the judiciary are sure signs of a nation in distress caught in the vice hurtling down the slippery slope towards a failed state.
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor