Media statement by Lim Kit Siang in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday, 22nd June 2011:
Federal Govt spending RM1.18 billion, Cabinet campaing in Sarawak and RM500 mil BN election outlay reasons for Bersih 2.0 rally
FACT 1: In Parliament yesterday, in written answer to the DAP MP for Seputeh Teresa Kok, the Prime Minister’s Department revealed that the Federal Government had announced a total of 62 programmes and projects worth a total of RM1.18 billion in Sarawak during the just-concluded Sarawak state polls.
The RM1.18 billion was divided between 10 ministries, namely the Prime Minister’s Department; Rural and Regional Development Ministry; Natural Resources and Environment Ministry; Defence Ministry; Health Ministry; Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry Ministry; Education Ministry; Energy, Green Technology and Water Ministry; Works Ministry; and Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry.
The projects include upgrading work for suraus, mosques and other places of worship; community halls, schools and roads; longhouse repairs; electricity supply; the construction of jetties and bridges; the renovation of hospitals and clinics; flood mitigation work; and contributions and welfare aid, among others.
It was not just Sarawak Barisan Nasional but the entire Federal Government campaigning in the Sarawak elections – making a complete mockery of the principle of free and fair elections!
FACT 2: The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, cancelled the Cabinet meeting during the Sarawak election period, dragooning all Federal Ministers to campaign in Sarawak – leaving Putrajaya as an empty seat of Federal power!
Another irrefutable proof of the gross abuses of power which marred the recent Sarawak state polls.
FACT 3: Barisan Nasional spent over RM500 million in the Sarawak elections, breaking all election laws limiting election expenditures for state assembly candidates to RM100,000 per candidate – or at most RM71 million for the 71 State Assembly seats.
It has been estimated that in the forthcoming 13th General Elections, Barisan Nasional would be spending RM4 to RM5 billion!
The Federal Government spending RM1.18 billion during Sarawak general elections, the whole Federal Cabinet camping and campaigning in Sarawak and Barisan Nasional splurging some RM500 million are among the reasons for July 9 Bersih 2.0 rally for free and fair elections.
In fact,these three FACTS are among the mountain of potent reasons why the July 9 Bersih 2.0 rally for free and fair elections needs to be held if Malaysia is to join the rank of developed democracies where elections result in credible and legitimate goverments unlike many failed African states where elections are used to give the fig-leaf of legality to illegitimate governments.
Rational and patriotic Malaysians are puzzled how anyone, any political party or movement speaking in the name of genuine democracy could oppose or seek to sabotage the successful holding of a peaceful Bersih 2.0 rally for free and fair elections.
The speeches and statements made by Barisan Nasional leaders, whether UMNO, MCA, Gerakan or other BN component parties, are pathetic examples of how disconnected and irrelevant they have become with regard to the deep-seated aspirations of Malaysians regardless of race, religion, gender or political affiliation for change to see Malaysia regain her rightful place as an united, progressive, prosperous and competitive nation.
The latest example comes from the MCA President, Datuk Seri Dr. Chua Soi Lek alleging “Bersih being used by the opposition for their agenda” (Star), quoting him as saying:
“Bersih started out as a non-governmental organisation to express concerns over irregularities in the electoral process.
“However, it is now being infiltrated and influenced by opposition leaders to gain political mileage.
“They are trying to stoke the emotions of the people and create feelings of hatred against the Government.”
Such garbage does not deserve notice or response. Any Malaysian, whether Malay, Chinese, Indian, Kadazan, Iban or Orang Asli who are not “slaves of MSM” depending solely on the subservient mainstream media for their sources of information but keep abreast with national developments through the online portals and social media will know that the MCA President is talking rubbish.
But does Chua know he is talking rubbish? Are MCA Ministers and national leadership less “blind, deaf and dumb” than the MCA President?
The Bersih 2.0 movement had always been conceived as a campaign transcending political parties and political interests, committed to the one and only goal of ensuring free, fair and clean elections in Malaysia.
Yesterday, I invited the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Cabinet Ministers and leaders of all Barisan Nasional component parties to come forward to join in the Bersih 2.0 rally on July 9 to support the civil society initiative for free and fair elections.
Has Chua the idealism, independence and integrity to support this call without having to wait for approval from the UMNO leadership?
Dare he ask for an emergency meeting of the Barisan Nasional Supreme Council to urgently discuss the proposal that BN political parties and leaders support the July 9 Bersih 2.0 rally for free and fair elections?
I do not hide the fact that I have no such confidernce that the MCA President would have the idealism, independence and integrity to propose that BN parties and leaders support the Bersih 2.0 rally – when MCA Ministers and leaders dare not breathe any dissent about the supine inaction of the Home Minister, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein to the latest irresponsible, reckless and treasonous incitement by Ibrahim Ali.
I have not discussed with any Bersih 2.0 steering committee member, but I dare say that if BN parties are prepared to support the peaceful July 9 rally, all the BN component parties would be most welcome to serve in the Bersih 2.0 Steering Committee to join in the decision-making process about all aspects of the July 9 rally.
Over to Chua Soi Lek.
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Ipoh Timor