Call on the Malaysian Government to introduce measures including stimulation package to cushion the country from the effects of the Iraq War. But, these measures must benefit the people, not just a selected few

Supplementary Supply Bill
by Dr Tan Seng Giaw

(Parliament, Monday): This Supply Bill and the motion on development expenditure totals over RM21 billion. (We debate on how the money has been spent). The day before yesterday, the Governor of Bank Negara presented the 2002 Bank Negara report, predicting 4.5% economic growth for 2003. This comes at a time when the world is facing the war of aggression by the United States on Iraq. This war has an impact on the world (politics) and economy. Malaysia has to insulate itself from the effects.

On 30 March, 2003, the Acting Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi urged all ministries to study the impact of the war. He had a basis.

We hope that all ministries will come up with effective measures to overcome the war effects. We need a credible policy to stimulate the economy including a stimulation package that helps the people, not just a few.

We reiterate that Malaysia is not an Islamic State

On March 29, 2003, Abdullah said that Malaysia was an Islamic state and was one long before Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad.s declaration to this effect and that 90% of the laws in the country were Islamic in nature.

We do not agree. The Federal Constitution and the Rukun Negara do not allow for an Islamic State. Abdullah insists that the Barisan Nasional holds strongly to these. If so, then he is wrong to say that this country is an Islamic state.

Our first Prime Minister Tengku Abdul Rahman maintained that Malaysia was not and must not be an Islamic state. The second and third Prime Ministers Tun Razak and Tun Hussein concurred.

As a political party that upholds social democracy, we stress that Malaysia is not and must not be an Islamic State.

Royal Commission of Enquiry on Education

The Umno Supreme Council resolved on 29 November, 2002, that there should be a National Education Review Committee chaired by Dr Mahathir.

The Cabinet approved the resolution. We thought it would be reviewing all aspects of education. According to the 1996 Education Act, the objective is to make Malaysian education world-class. We should work hard to achieve this.

But then, the Education Ministry says that this is a Special Committee on Education that is the main committee to review the education system, especially the role of the National Schools as the major institution in the main stream of the national education system.

True, there are weaknesses in the national schools such as their curriculum, their administration, the training of teachers, the appointment of teachers reflecting the racial composition and the encouragement of the spirit of unity.

These weaknesses are also seen in Chinese and Tamil schools, secondary schools and universities. Why is the Government concentrating on national schools only?

We repeat that there should be a Royal Commission of Enquiry on Education, reviewing all aspects, so that we can work towards attaining world class.

Effective Measures For More and Better Police

During the debate on the Royal Address on 13 March, 2003, I mentioned the need for a commission to study the situation of the police and the armed forces. We don’t have enough police personnel that have direct contact with the people. The police to people ratios in Jinjang and Kepong are 1:5,000 and 1: 3,200 respectively. These are unacceptable, so much as that there is doubt about the security of all residential and commercial areas in the country.

For example, crimes such as theft, snatch theiving, robbery, rape and murder are rampant. Paramount Garden and SS2, Petaling Jaya, and Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur, are notorious for snatch thieving and mugging.

In the area covering roads 1 to 7, Taman Bukit Malauri, Kepong, the residents have formed an association on 20 September, 2001, to deal with crimes and other matters. On 13 August, 2001, a robbery and rape of an 8-year-old girl occurred in the area, prompting the association to employ a security firm to petrol the area at night before the Registrar of Societies approved its application. It handed in the application to the registrar on 20 March, 2002.

Although over 90% of the people agree with the formation of the association, a small number approach to the Registrar to object. The latter has prepared a report on the case that has been referred to the Attorney-General’s Office. Thus, we hope that the Prosecution Section of the office takes the plight of the residents into consideration.


* Dr Tan Seng Giaw, MP for Kepong