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Kata dikota? You have yet to walk the talk, Mr Prime Minister!


Media Comment
by Ronnie Liu


(Parliament, Wednesday) :  "In fact, I'm more prepared to see disputes being spread over the front pages of newspapers, rather than riots being spread to everywhere." That's why he said when he spoke on the subject of religion. We are afraid this is just another nice-sounding phrase created by the spin doctors working for PM Datuk Seri  Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

If he really honours his words, he should stop coming out with more nice-sounding phrases but work on those promises and pledges he made before and after the last general elections, such as "work with me, don't work for me", "tell me the truth", " PM for all Malaysians"...

In his opening address to the Umno Assembly this morning, he has touched on 12 important points but all these sound very hollow and "pointless" as long as he is not ready to walk the talk. From the body language of the delegates, we can see that not many of them were really interested in his speech. Many of them were seen munching away or talking to each other.

He was trying very hard to stick to his usual image of moderation but such posturing was destroyed whenever he raised his voice to dish out some warnings tainted with racial and religious tones and biasedness.

He too, like Najib, subscribes to the "never ending policy". His defence for the so-called 18.9% bumi equity and its methodology was nothing but 'rubbish' (borrowing the word from Muhyiddin Yasin). What a big disappointment to those who believe that he's the PM for all Malaysians!

He spoke about freedom of press but we Malaysians know that there were really not much freedom out there. He did not allow Parti Keadilan Rakyat to have a permit to print to print its newspaper and the request from Harakah was not even entertained at all. The Rocket of DAP is still being barred from distribution at the newsstands like before. The mainstream newspapers controlled by various BN parties continue to print only things they want you to know.

He warned about religious extremism but we have not forgotten that he was the one who ordered all discussions on freedom of religion be stopped, whether it's organised by Article 11 or InterFaith Commission (IFC) , and at the same time did nothing to stop those overzealous individuals and groups to promote and display "supremacy" of their religion. He should know that such supremacy of religion is both divisive and explosive as the prime Minister of this country. He should allow dialogue between the different religious groups under the IFC platform.

He has said that whatever decisions he made were in line with national interest. But he has failed to answer questions and arguments put forward by his former boss Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. He also did not make any effort to dismiss those corruption, favouritism and nepotism charges leveled against him by Mahathir. He has won 92% of the Parliamentary seats with his anti-corruption stance. Why can't he make all Cabinet ministers, MPs and SAs and creatures like Zakaria Mat Deros to declare their assets for all to see?

Under his administration, even police and special action unit officers could be turned into hired killers (the Mongolian beauty gruesome death). But he has yet to push for real reform; has he forgotten about IPCMC?

At the end of his speech, he once again invited Malaysians to forward suggestions and criticisms to him. And that's  the reason I am writing this comment. But would he really listen to what he called constructive criticism? I doubt very much.


*  Ronnie Liu Tian Khiew, DAP CEC member and NGO bureau chief

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