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Media Statement by Lim Kit Siang in Petaling Jaya on Saturday, 6th February 2010: 


If Najib is serious about Malaysia 2.0 new economic model to restore Malaysia’s worsening competitiveness, stop Anwar Sodomy2 trial which has put Malaysia on international trial

In his 2010 New Year Message issued on 31st December 2009, the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak forecast that Malaysia will emerge stronger in 2010 with the long-term as well as short and medium-term initiatives taken by the Government.

However, Malaysia has becoming weaker instead of stronger whether in terms of national unity or in international competitiveness since the first day of the new year.

The first month of the new year was marred by irresponsible mischief to create inter-religious discord over the Dec. 31 judgment of the Kuala Lumpur High Court judge Datuk Lau Bee Lan lifting the 2007 Home Ministry ban on the Catholic Church weekly Herald and allowing the use of the word “Allah” in its Bahasa Malaysia version – with a spate of desecration of churches, mosques, surau and Sikh Gurdwara.

As a result, Malaysia’s international image and standing suffered unprecedented battering in the first month of the year, aggravating Malaysia’s crisis of confidence, undermining Malaysia’s international competitiveness and tarnishing Malaysia as a safe and secure haven for FDIs and as an ideal location for tourists and students.

Malaysians hoping for a surcease to such damning adverse international publicity for Malaysia in February are in for grave disappointment - for Malaysians already cannot hold their heads high in the past week because of the shame and indignity the Malaysian government has brought to the nation and people with the Anwar Ibrahim Sodomy2 trial, with worse to come for the rest of the month.

Malaysia’s senior statesman Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah cannot be more right when he gave three reasons why Anwar’s ongoing sodomy trial is “posing a serious challenge to public confidence in the government”, viz:

  • “The trial is being conducted in an overwhelmingly politicized environment. Part of its context is the earlier trial of Anwar on the same charge, a trial which was perceived worldwide as politically motivated. We do not longer live in an insulated world.”

  • “Pre-trial publicity by the local mainstream media has been so blatantly unbalanced as to convey the impression that the media are pursuing a political agenda. Since the local mainstream media is either government owned or tightly controlled, this translates into the impression that the government itself has an interest in its outcome.”

  • “Many Malaysians believe that sections of the executive and political establishment have an interest in this trial. There does not seem to have been any attempt to remove this suspicion.”

Malaysia suffered a three-place drop in the World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Competitiveness Report (GCR) 2009-2010 falling to 24th from 21st spot the previous year because of much poorer assessment of its institutional framework and governance - with every indicator in the area exhibiting a downward trend from judicial independence to security since 2007.

With Anwar’s Sodomy2 trial, Malaysia is again in the dock of international opinion with far-reaching repercussions in terms of Malaysia’s attractiveness as a haven for FDIs, tourists and international students.

Najib has promised an important initiative in 2010 to lay a strong foundation for the nation’s prosperity in the future – a new economic model, whose announcement had been repeatedly delayed since last year.

If Najib is serious about Malaysia 2.0 new economic model to restore Malaysia’s worsening competitiveness, the Umno/Barisan Nasional government should stop Anwar Sodomy2 trial which has not only put Malaysia on international trial but reminded Malaysians that they cannot expect much from Najib’s Malaysia.2 new economic model when the Najib governance is so modelled on the old Mahathir script which had produced the Anwar Sodomy1 travesty of justice.

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



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