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MCA leaders should grow up and stop acting like a political secretary: only institutionalizing democracy and Bangsa Malaysia can better protect the political rights, ensure equal economic opportunities and socio-economic justice for all than fighting for each racial community’s respective rights


Press Statement

by Lim Guan Eng



(Petaling Jaya, Sunday): MCA leaders should grow up and stop acting like a political secretary they once were and realize that only institutionalizing democracy and Bangsa Malaysia can better protect the political rights, ensure equal economic opportunities and socio-economic justice for all than fighting for each racial community’s respective rights. DAP is sad that MCA leaders and Ministers whether Ong Ka Ting, Dr Fong Chan Onn and Dr Chua Soi Lek continues their self-pitying play-acting that they are sandwiched between fighting for Chinese rights and avoiding racial tensions.

Chua said today that the Chinese are unhappy at not being treated fairly with policies such as Malay special rights and Malays feelings that these special rights are enshrined in the Federal Constitution have not made it easy for MCA to play out its role. MCA leaders should not behave like political secretaries to UMNO but as national leaders in their own right, with a national vision of looking at problems not from an individual or racial perspective but from a Malaysian perspective and using democracy as a guide to problem-solving.

MCA leaders have got it all wrong by using racial perspective and individual interests when it should be Malaysian perspective and democratic interests that benefits all Malaysians regardless of race and religion as a framework of governance. Only democracy can ensure good governance, justice for all, and rule of law, accountability and transparency.

Failure of good governance has caused economic hardships, sleaze and incompetence. But it has also engendered unlawful actions and abuses of power and violation of basic human rights. Rising inflation and higher cost of living has reduced the ability of many families to continue to provide for their families and yet the government still refuses to share Petronas huge profits with ordinary Malaysians.

We know how sleaze is prevalent in government administration when the yearly Auditor-General’s Report continues its horrifying ritual of detailing government waste and corruption that goes unpunished. The litany of sad cases of abuse of public trust and cheating the public ranges from the small such as the National Youth Skills Institute (NYSI) buying 2 units of two-tonne car jack for RM 5,471 per unit when the market price is only RM 50 per unit; to the huge expected loss of RM 6.75 billion in the Defense Ministry following the purchase of 6 off-shore naval patrol vessels (OPVs) that were either delivered but not operational (2) or still not delivered (4).

Datuk Hishamuddin Tun Hussein Onn must come clean and explain how he allowed the abuse, misuse and mismanagement of public funds in 2002 when as Minister of Youth and Sports equipment in the NYSI was purchased without open tender and had exceeded the original estimate by RM 385 million to RM 785 million from RM 400 million. However how can Hishamuddin come clean when the Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has refused to set a good example in explaining the gigantic RM 6.75 billion OPV scandal?

Incompetence and failure of delivery system is part of Malaysian culture with rampant crime threatening public security, newly-built government buildings and bridges leaking, cracking and collapsing. The crime index has continued to increase, especially sexual crimes on defenseless women and children where nearly 9 women get raped every day in Malaysia. Lives have even been lost due to poor enforcement when ferries sink and express buses overturn. Even air travel is not safe when foreigners can smuggle themselves in tightly guarded airports and become stowaways under the wheels of aircrafts.

But the latest High Court decision only reinforces impressions that a government built on the foundation of rule of law is the biggest culprit of lawlessness. Malaysians were previously shocked at the murder of a Mongolian model by a close aide and members of a special elite police unit guarding the Deputy Prime Minister using plastic C4 explosives only available in government security agencies. High Court Judge Justice Datuk Mohd Hishamudin Mohd Yunus made an unprecedented ruling on 18.10.2007 in awarding RM 2.5 million to Abdul Malek Hussin, an ex-ISA detainee, for having been wrongfully detained by the police.

The government had claimed that the ISA was necessary to deal with the communist threat. With the end of the communist armed struggle following the signing of the peace treaty with the Communist Party of Malaya on 2.12.1989, the government can no longer justify the ISA existence. The High Court have finally ruled that the BN government has unlawfully abused such laws for its own political benefits illegally by detaining peaceful political opponents without trial and torturing them.

Even though the Attorney-General would appeal and is likely to win at the higher courts, this unprecedented ruling by the High Court has focused on the broken promises, political immorality and abuses of power inherent in the ISA. When courts can not even stomach the subjective interpretation by Ministers of what constitutes a threat to national security according to their on whims and fancies, and then the time has come for the ISA to be abolished.

Failure to address crime, economic hardships of the poor and middle-class, incompetence, sleaze in government and unlawful actions or laws such as the ISA would only cost the administration of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi political legitimacy, personal integrity and public credibility and moral authority. Should Abdullah not fulfill the people’s trust, then the people must have the courage to choose a different alternative to BN for a solution.



* Lim Guan Eng, Secretary-General of DAP

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