Speech by Lim Kit Siang at the DAP Balakong
Branch’s 1,700-people dinner at Balakong, Selangor on
Saturday, 6th December 2008:
Let Najib and the 11 candidates for top
Umno party posts individually declare their commitment to reform
legislation for anti-corruption and independent judiciary
Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad
has utter contempt for his successor Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi,
pouring scorn on Abdullah’s promises to push through reform before he
steps down in March next year – particularly the bills to establish the
Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MCAC), reputedly patterned after
Hong Kong’s Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), and the
Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC).
Writing in his blog, Mahathir noted sarcastically that “after failing to
implement any of the promises made in the 2004 or 2008 elections, it
looks like nothing is being done either with regard to the promise to
carry out a variety of so-called reforms” before Abdullah steps down as
Prime Minister in March 2009.
It would appear that Mahathir is privy to information not generally
known to the Malaysian public, that forces are at work to frustrate and
roll back any reform legislation on anti-corruption and an independent
judiciary which Abdullah had promised to present to Parliament next
I will not be surprised if Mahathir is hands-in-glove with these
reactionary UMNO forces to undermine and even roll back any reform
legislation to be proposed by Abdullah in Parliament next week.
Will Abdullah’s bills to establish MCAC and JAC run into opposition from
UMNO Ministers and MPs themselves and would Abdullah have to depend on
Pakatan Rakyat MPs to ensure that these Bills are enacted by Parliament
despite their many weaknesses and drawbacks?
Although there are growing vibrations of intensifying criticisms and
opposition by powerful Umno warlords against Abdullah’s reform
legislation on anti-corruption and an independent judiciary, I do not
think they are yet prepared for a public showdown with UMNO Ministers
and MPs in open revolt by voting against the bills in Parliament.
However, there may be a high rate of absence of UMNO Ministers and MPs
to illustrate their displeasure and demonstrate their opposition to the
If this is the case, what hope is there that the reform legislation
would be implemented fully when Abdullah steps down as Prime Minister
and is replaced by Datuk Seri Najib Razak?
Would the reform legislation become “dead ducks” the moment by are
passed by Parliament, as with Abdullah stepping down as Prime Minister
in three months’ time, will the new Umno top leadership be in the very
forefront to roll back the proposals to give more bite to
anti-corruption campaign and to restore the independence, impartiality
and integrity of the judiciary?
As there are reports that major contenders for the top party posts in
March Umno general assembly are strongly critical and even opposed to
the reform legislation to be presented to Parliament, Najib, the three
candidates for the Umno Deputy President and eight candidates for the
Umno Vice President contests should individually declare their stand on
the bills concerned and whether they are fully committed to support an
all-out war against corruption and the restoration of an independent and
Let Najib, as well as the three Umno Deputy President candidates (Tan
Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam and Tan Sri Muhammad
Muhammad Taib) and the eight Umno Vice President candidates (Datuk Seri
Hishammuddin Hussein, Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi, Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal,
Datuk Seri Khaled Nordin, Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar, Tan Sri Mohd Isa
Samad, Datuk Seri Jamaluddin Jajis and Datuk Seri Rais Yatim) speak up
on whether they endorse Abdullah on the MCAC and JAC bills and would
help to rally support both inside and outside UMNO for the proposals.
Kit Siang, DAP
Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor