Is Mahathir prepared to be empathetic in his final year as Prime Minister  with those who feel that “Mahathir’s Malaysia is not a very nice place where there is no justice” by establishing a Royal Commission of Inquiry into all cases of injustice in his 21 years as PM?

Media Statement 
by Lim Kit Siang

(Petaling Jaya, Monday): The Prime Minister Datuk Seri  Dr Mahathir Mohamad yesterday  condemned the international community's response to the Israeli siege of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's headquarters, fuming that “there is  no more justice in this world” and that the world now is “not a very nice place” to live in.

Returning from the recent Asia-Europe meeting in Copenhagen, he expressed his frustration over his efforts writing to  French President Jacques Chirac, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and US President George W. Bush asking them to pressure Israel into lifting the  siege on Arafat's headquarters in the West Bank town of Ramallah.

Mahathir, who had  discussed the matter at length with Chirac on the sidelines of the Asia-Europe meeting in Copenhagen, said:  "I get the impression that there is no justice in the world. If we are not liked, anything can to done (to us) irrespective of whether or not it's fair. In the case of Arafat, it appears that he is not liked by certain people and as a result, he will not receive fair treatment because there is no more justice in this world."

Mahathir’s frustration and outburst against the injustice of an  international order under the hegemony of the United States as the sole hyperpower highlighted by the callous  siege by Israel  of Arafat’s headquarters in Ramallah is valid and legitimate – except for two caveats:

Firstly, why has Mahathir taken more than two decades to learn the brutal facts of international life and relations; and

Secondly, whether  Mahathir is  prepared in his final year as Prime Minister to be more empathetic with those who feel that “Mahathir’s Malaysia is not a very nice place where there is no justice” in the way that he fumed that there is no justice in Bush’s world?

Is Mahathir prepared to review the catalogue of injustices in his more than two decades as Prime Minister, and in particular the victims of such injustices, whether Tun Salleh Abas, Lim Guan Eng, Irene Fernandez. Anwar Ibrahim, Mohd Ezam, Tien Chua, Saari Sungib  and Hishamuddin Rais? 

After experiencing  in the raw the injustice of the international order where he found little response from world leaders to his efforts to intervene  on behalf of Arafat, is Mahathir prepared to cause a no-holds barred and  wide-ranging Royal Commission of Inquiry to review  his administration of  the past 21 years in all matters which have given cause for Malaysians to legitimately  feel that Malaysia under his premiership and hegemony was not a very nice place to live and that there was no justice at all? 

Only Mahathir can appoint such a Royal Commission of Inquiry to conduct a wide-ranging,  independent and impartial review  and assessment of his 21 years of rule as Prime Minister, and which can still give him the opportunity to  undo somewhat the grossest and most blatant injustices committed under his watch.


*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman