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Press Statement by Lim Guan Eng in Petaling Jaya on Wednesday, 8th April 2009: 

6 reform measures that new Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak must adopt to make “1 Malaysia” work following the sensational victories by Pakatan Rakyat (PR) with increased majorities in Bukit Gantang and Bukit Selambau by-elections 

New Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak must adopt 6 reform measures to make “1 Malaysia, People First & Performance Now” works following the sensational victories by PR with increased majorities in Bukit Gantang and Bukit Selambau by-elections. New UMNO Deputy President Datuk Seri Muhyiddin Yassin had said that a post-mortem will be carried out to determine why PR increased its majority in Bukit Gantang from 1,566 votes to 2,789 votes and from 2,362 to 2,403 votes in Bukit Selambau.

The increased majority of 1,223 extra votes obtained by Datuk Seri Mohamad Nizar Jamaluddin in Bukit Gantang is unexpected when by-elections always favour governing parties, especially when both the Federal and state governments in Perak are BN. This can be seen in Batang Ai by-election where the powers of incumbency enjoyed by the BN state and federal governments allowed BN to double its majority from 806 votes to 1,854 votes, an increased majority of 1,048 votes.

There is no necessity to carry out a post-mortem of BN’s huge losses if Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had taken 6 reform measures. First, practising “1 Malaysia” concept by banning racially-based political parties that restrict membership to one race. There is no point talking about “1 Malaysia” so long as UMNO is open only for Malays, MCA for Chinese and MIC only for Indians. Political parties must be open to all.

Two, the need to walk the talk on human rights and liberties by abolishing and not review the Internal Security Act(ISA) , unconditionally releasing ISA and not conditional releases with heavily restrictive conditions. Third, abolish the Sedition Act and the Printing Presses & Publications Act to build an independent press, establish freedom of information and build a democracy responsive to the people’s needs, empowered to responsibly report without fear of consequences, and hold government and public officials accountable.

Fourth, show a renewed commitment to fighting corruption by investigating and taking action against Melaka Chief Minister Datuk Mohd Ali Rustam for money politics in UMNO that disqualified him from contesting the Deputy Presidency of UMNO. The failure of Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to even investigate Datuk Mohd Ali Rustam when quick action was taken against PR state governments. Worse by claiming that Datuk Mohd Ali Rustam had only committed an ethical breach without even investigating has given an unhealthy impression of double-standards, prejudicial investigation and selective prosecution to the public. Further there should be an open tender of all companies and not an “open tender” limited to only companies registered with the Ministry.

Fifthly helping ordinary Malaysians by reducing electricity tariffs, stopping gas subsidies to Independent Power Producers and stop toll increases by buying over our highways. Further the policy of the Penang PR government of wiping out hard-core poverty by giving cash aid to ensure that every family should obtain a total income of R M 500 a month should be adopted.

The final reform measure is to institutionalise democracy and return power back to the people by agreeing to a dissolution of the Perak state assembly. The Prime Minister must boldly admit that it was wrong to effect a change in the state government through unconstitutional methods and not through elections. The people have the right to decide who is their government and it is a travesty of justice and a mockery of democracy that BN with 45% popular support in the last general elections is ruling with PR obtaining 54% popular support in opposition.

Bukit Gantang voters have endorsed calls for fresh elections by giving the rightful Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Muhammad Nizar a bigger majority. The voters in Bukit Gantang and Bukit Selambau should be commended for their courage and love for democracy by supporting PR’s inclusive multi-racial approach of freedom, justice, equal opportunity and truth.

* Lim Guan Eng, DAP Secretary-General & Penang Chief Minister; Member of Parliament for Bagan



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