Mahathir should appoint an Eminent Persons Group to report within a month on how he  could rectify  the flaws  and weaknesses of his over two-decade administration in his last 15 months as the fourth Prime Minister of Malaysia

Speech (2)
- Perak DAP Dinner protesting his arrest  at the Pasir Pinji market on 6th June 2002 for distributing  “No to 911, No to 929, Yes to 1957” pamphletby Lim Kit Siang

(Ipoh,  Tuesday): The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad is returning home from his 10-day Mediterranean leave to a 10,000-people welcome organized by UMNO at the old Subang airport tomorrow morning. 

Malaysians should be able to learn what resignations he had intended to announce at the close of the 56th UMNO General Assembly on 22nd June 2002 before he was stopped and mobbed by hysterical UMNO leaders and members, and the reasons for his decision. 

However, with the announcement of the 16-month power transition time-table for Mahathir to fully hand the office of Prime Minister to Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi after the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) Summit in Kuala Lumpur in October next year, national attention should be focused on what he could and should do in the last 16 months of his 22 years and 3 months as the fourth Prime Minister of Malaysia. 

Nobody can deny Mahathir his achievements as Prime Minister of Malaysia, but Mahathir and his most fervent and loyal supporters cannot deny that his administration of over two decades has fundamental flaws and weaknesses. 

I believe one of Mahathir’s greatest challenges in his last 16 months in office is the courage to try to undo the fundamental flaws and weaknesses of his administration of over two decades, and he should appoint an Eminent Persons Group to report within a month what he could do  in the next 15 months before he finally steps down as Prime Minister to rectify these flaws and weaknesses to leave behind a healthier and more solid  foundation for Malaysia to face the challenges of the new century. 

The areas which such an Eminent Persons Group, which should be a blue-ribbon commission of eminent Malaysians who would not flinch from telling unpalatable truths about the flaws and weaknesses of the Mahathir administration, should include: 

  1. International competitiveness and a revisit of the New Economic Policy; 

  2. A world-class education system. 

  3. A just rule of law and truly independent judiciary. 

  4. Upholding the 1957 Merdeka Constitution, “social contract” and 1963 Malaysia Agreement that Islam is the official religion but Malaysia is not an Islamic State. 

  5. Parliamentary Reforms to restore Parliament’s role to legislate, deliberate and hold the government to account and not be a rubber-stamp of the Executive. 

  6. Human rights – in particular the fundamental liberties of freedoms of speech, press, assembly, association and the rights to information and  development. 

  7. Corruption. 

  8. Information Technology – how (i) to close the digital divide and (ii) bridge the gap between the rhetoric and reality  to position Malaysia in the very forefront of the  Information Age. 

  9. A world  model of inter-religious and inter-civilisational dialogue and understanding; and 

  10. World-standard sports achievements –  a serious lag highlighted by the recently-concluded World Cup, where the football standards of  South Korea, Japan and China have improved by leaps and bounds with  South Korea qualifying for  the World Cup semi-finals when not so long in the past, these nations  were regularly defeated by Malaysia in soccer tournaments!



*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman