Media Statement by Lim Kit Siang in Petaling Jaya on Monday, 28th September 2009:
Mahathir right on Isa but wrong on PR
Umno’s choice for Tan Sri Mohd Isa Abdul Samad as the Barisan Nasional candidate for the Bagan Pinang by-election appears quite set – and the latest indication is the “advice” by Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, asking former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad not to “interfere” and “embarrass” the Umno leadership with any more public statements on the question of by-election candidature. (Sin Chew)
Mahathir is right on Isa when he said that the issue is not just Bagan Pinang by-election but the next 13th general elections.
As Mahathir conceded, if Umno fields a candidate who is not clean, it might win in Bagan Pinang but would lose in other constituencies as the people throughout Malaysia want to know whether Umno is serious about eradicating money politics and corruption.
However, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak seems so desperate for a by-election victory in Peninsular Malaysia after seven consecutive by-election defeats after the political tsunami of the March 8 general elections last year that he is prepared to face the hazards warned by Mahathir.
But Mahathir is wrong when he painted a picture of disaster if Pakatan Rakyat wins the next general elections, claiming that it will not be administering the country but that DAP, PAS and Keadilan will be fighting each other.
However, the latest Pakatan Rakyat controversy in Selangor over Selangor PAS Commissioner Datuk Dr. Hasan Mohamed Ali’s public attack on the Select Committee for Competency, Accountability and Transparency (Selcat) and the Speaker Teng Chang Khim has placed Pakatan Rakyat under a new stress and provided ammunition for Mahathir’s forecast of doom for PR.
The establishment and public hearings of Selcat are major and laudable steps in the campaign for public accountability, transparency and good governance although there is room for improvement in its functioning and operations.
What is unacceptable is that guidelines agreed by the Pakatan Rakyat leadership to deal with internal PR problems are not given serious attention, as this can only result in greater loss in public confidence in PR cohesion, sustainability and viability unless these problems are properly addressed and resolved.
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor