DAP supports tabling of government motion on Palestine and on Arafat and proposes a two-day extension of Parliament on Dec. 15-16 to do justice to many important parliamentary business
Media Statement (2)
by Lim Kit Siang
(Petaling Jaya, Saturday): Foreign Minister, Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Syed Albar told reporters on Thursday that the government will table a motion at the current meeting of the Dewan Rakyat to discuss the issue of Palestine and to convey the condolences of Parliament on the death of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat to the new president of Palestine.
DAP supports the tabling of a government motion on Palestine and on Arafat, which is most proper and appropriate, especially as Malaysia currently assumes unprecedented international responsibilities as the ‘”triple Chair” of Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) as well as ASEAN, taking over the ASEAN Chair from Laos after the Vientiane ASEAN Summit last week.
It will be a very long time – probably never again - before Malaysia will be “triple Chair” of international organizations like NAM, OIC and ASEAN, and it is bounden on the Malaysian Parliament to rise up to the occasion to be in the international forefront to articulate world concerns about the leading issues of humanity, be it the Middle East, South Thailand or Burma.
It is more than 21 months since Malaysia assumed the Chair of NAM and more than a year since assuming the Chair of OIC, but Malaysia has not made the impact we should have on the international scene in these two international roles.
With the added third responsibility of Malaysia as Chair of ASEAN, Parliament should establish an all-party Parliamentary Select Committee on Foreign Affairs before the end of the current meeting of Parliament to enable Members of Parliament, both government and opposition, to begin to play a more active role in the formulation and articulation of policies and positions on international questions.
A motion for the establishment of a Parliamentary Select Committee on Foreign Affairs will also be an excellent occasion for a wide-ranging debate by MPs on all leading international issues.
As the current budget meeting is scheduled to adjourn on December 14, there should be a two-day extension of Parliament on Dec. 15-16 not only to debate the motions on Palestine and to set up a Parliamentary Select Committee on Foreign Affairs, but also to do justice to many important parliamentary business, including:
There is another outstanding parliamentary item to be transacted before the end of the current parliamentary meeting, to formally pass a motion of condolence on the death of Tun Mohamad Zahir Ismail who had been Speaker of Parliament for 22 years from 1982-2004.
* Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman