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Media Statement by Lim Kit Siang in Petaling Jaya on Friday, 27th February 2009: 

“Foul is fair, fair is foul” – Malaysian politics getting uglier by the day with the end of Abdullah premiership and approach of Najib’s take-over as PM

With the Abdullah premiership nearing its end and the daily countdown for Datuk Seri Najib Razak to take over as the sixth Prime Minister in the first week of April, Malaysian politics is also getting uglier by the day – where “foul is fair and foul is fair”!

The shameful, shocking and outrageous violation of Parliament’s sanctity yesterday, where Selangor UMNO Youth leaders mobbed DAP National Chairman and MP for Bukit Gelugor, Karpal Singh in the precincts of Parliament, obstructing and menacing Karpal in the discharge of his parliamentary duties, as well as manhandling Pakatan Rakyat MPs Lim Lip Eng (DAP – Segambut), Fong Kui Lun (DAP - Bukit Bintang), Chong Chieng Jen (Bandar Kuching) and N. Gobalakrishnan (PKR – Padang Serai) who had gone to the aid of Karpal to protect him, is a blot in the 51-year history of Parliament marking a new low in Malaysian politics.

What was doubly shameful, shocking and outrageous was that the administration and security of Parliament were fully aware of the criminal intent of the Selangor UMNO Youth mob to commit the crime of parliamentary contempt under the Houses of Parliament (Privileges and Powers) Act 1952 in “assaulting, obstructing or insulting any member coming to or going from the House or on account of his conduct in the House or endeavouring to compel any member by force, insult, or menace to declare himself in favour of or against any proposition or matter pending or expected to be brought before the House” [Section 9 (e)], but they did not lift any finger to protect the safety and security of MPs in the parliamentary precincts from the Selangor UMNO Youth mob although they could alert MPs and the media to the crime of parliamentary contempt being committed against Karpal.

What was trebly shameful, shocking and outrageous was the failure of Parliament to take immediate action to summarily punish by fine and/or imprisonment as provided by the Houses of Parliament (Privileges and Powers) Act 1952 to protect parliamentary powers and privileges with regard to freedom of speech, debate and parliamentary proceedings to send a powerful message that such subversion of the parliamentary process, violation of the sanctity of Parliament and the privileges and security of MPs is completely unacceptable and must be visited with the swiftest and most severe penalty!

For this reason, I will not take part in the proceedings of the Committee of Privileges although I was named a member of the Committee in the motion passed by Parliament yesterday.

At a time when Malaysians, regardless of race, religion or political affiliation, should unite to face the worst global economic crisis in 80 years, it is a matter of grave concern that Najib’s pre-100 Days as the next Prime Minister is being marked by the dirtiest, most unethical and divisive politics in the nation’s history.

I fully sympathise with the sentiments of a businessman who has taken a full-page advertisement in a major daily newspaper asking warring political parties to call a truce and focus on the shaky economy and jobs.

But where is the basis for such a political moratorium when the greatest priority and pride of the Prime Minister-in-waiting is not how to unite Malaysians to shepherd the country through the worst global economic crisis in 80 years, but to orchestrate the “Greatest Political Robbery” in Malaysian politics with the illegal, immoral, unethical, undemocratic and unconstitutional power grab in Perak creating the scandal of two Perak Mentris Besar with far-reaching consequences to integrity, democracy, national unity or competitiveness whether in the state or country.

The illegal, unethical, immoral, undemocratic and unconstitutional power grab in Perak, orchestrated personally by Najib, has also seen Malaysian politics plunging to a new low with independent institutions dragooned to play Umno and Barisan Nasional politics instead of upholding the rule of law, illustrated by the violation of the privileges and immunities of the Perak State Assemby Speaker, V. Sivakumar by both the police and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) which abused their powers by subjecting the Speaker to hours of interrogation.

Even the MACC Chief Commissioner, Datuk Seri Ahmad Said Hamdan and the Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan have openly “played politics”, when the former announced that there was strong evidence that the Pakatan Rakyat Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim was guilty of abuse of power and therefore corruption in the “car and cows” allegation and the latter said that the police had completed investigations into the 97 police reports lodged against Karpal and have recommended that Karpal be charged under the Sedition Act 1948 – when the final decision has to be made by the Attorney-General!

Yesterday, the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department and Perak UMNO Deputy Chairman Datuk Seri Dr. Ahmad Zahid Hamidi threw discretion and propriety to the winds when he upped the ante in Karpal’s case, stating that the credibility of the Attorney-General would begin to be questioned by the public if Karpal is not prosecuted for sedition.

Zahid is acting most irresponsibly as a Cabinet Minister in applying public pressure to force the Attorney-General to prosecute Karpal, when the law is very clear that Karpal had committed no crime.

As Dr. Shad Faruqi, Professor of Law at UiTM had said in his article “Legal turmoil over Perak defections”:

Treason: Opinions are being expressed that to defy the Sultan and to threaten to go to court for defence of one’s legal rights amount to treason and a ground for deprivation of citizenship. There are fundamental misunderstandings here.

From day one of Merdeka, the King and the Sultans were open to civil suit for their official actions. They were only immune personally. In 1993 even the personal immunity was taken away.

In sum it is not a violation of the Constitution to resort to the courts to seek an authoritative opinion on one’s rights and duties. Where else does one go, what else does one do, if one has a claim?

Can Najib explain why his pre-100 days as the sixth Prime Minister is marred by the ugliest, dirtiest, most unethical and divisive politics ever in the nation-s history, to the extent that “Foul is fair, fair is foul” when he should be uniting Malaysians to better face the worst global economic crisis in 80 years?

*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor



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