Media Statement by Lim Kit Siang in Petaling Jaya on Saturday, 6th June 2009:
Confidence motion in Parliament – Is Najib afraid that he will not get 100% support from Umno/BN MPs?
The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak said in Beijing yesterday he would not emulate his father Tun Razak and dissolve Parliament on his return to Malaysia after his China visit.
Tun Razak returned from his historic six-day visit to China in 1974 and dissolved Parliament the next month and the fourth general elections were held on 24.8.1974.
The climax of Tun Razak’s visit to China was the establishment of diplomatic relations between Malaysia and China on 31st May 1974, an objective the DAP had been advocating for eight years since the founding of the party in 1966.
For instance, I just came across a speech I made at the National Day reception of the Muar DAP Branch on 2nd Sept. 1973, where the subject of my speech was: “DAP calls for full diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China”.
In saying that he would not follow his father’s example 35 years ago and return home to dissolve Parliament, Najib was fully aware that he is in a completely different political position from that of his father.
Tun Razak and the Barisan Nasional that he had just formed were at the height of their political power and influence in 1974, while Najib and the Barisan Nasional are now in the opposite polar position, struggling with lowest popularity ratings and to avoid the fate of United Kingdom Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Labour Party which suffered a complete wipe-out in yesterday’s local council elections.
Although Najib said there will be no dissolution of Parliament after his China trip as he has many “uncompleted things to do”, is Najib prepared to do what is right and proper, to seek a motion of confidence when Parliament reconvenes on June 15 to secure a clear mandate and establish his credibility, integrity and legitimacy as Prime Minister?
This is what his immediate predecessor Tun Abdullah did in his first week as Prime Minister on Nov. 3, 2003, and what the third Prime Minister, Tun Hussein did in the first fortnight as Prime Minister in an emergency session of Parliament in Jan 1976.
Najib has enough questions and doubts dogging him and casting a dark cloud on his ascent as Prime Minister without acquiring another serious one, that he dare not seek a clear mandate through a motion of confidence in Parliament, as if he has doubts about the total allegiance of the Umno and Barisan Nasional MPs and do not trust them to vote solidly for him in a parliamentary motion of confidence.
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor