Parliament should give priority to three important debates on Iraq War, Dengue Epidemic and NAM when it meets for a 18-day meet on Monday

Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang

(Petaling Jaya,  Thursday): Parliament should give priority to three important debates when it meets on Monday for a 18-day meeting until April 8, viz:

(1) The worst dengue epidemic in the nation's history which is still raging unchecked eight months after the World Health Organisation (WHO) warning to governments in the region last July of a dengue epidemic comparable to the worst recorded dengue year in 1998, when Malaysia registered 27,379 dengue cases and 58 dengue deaths. I estimate that there were at least 100 dengue deaths last year, some 20 dengue deaths in the first two months of this year and more dengue fatalities until the end of the epidemic in May or June this year unless there is an all-out nation-wide dengue alert.

(2) The looming war in Iraq, as next week may prove to be the most critical week on peace and war with the United States and United Kingdom escalating their pressures, including bribes and blackmail, on the "Middle Six" countries on the Security Council, - Pakistan, Chile, Mexico, Angola, Guniea and Cameroon - to support the second resolution to authorize war on Iraq for material breach of UN disarmament resolutions.

(3) The 13th Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit and Malaysia's Chair of NAM for the next three years - on the success of the NAM Summit and the relevance of NAM. A White Paper should be presented on Monday on the NAM Summit (stating its actual costs, which had been estimated as ranging from RM200 million to RM1 billion; explanation why the Kuala Lumpur Declaration had failed to address the urgent issues of democracy, human rights, rule of law, war against corruption, good governance in the 116 member nations; and why NAM has issued a Final Document which nobody has noticed with no single newspaper even in Malaysia printing a single word).

There is parliamentary precedent in Malaysia that urgent important debates should take priority over the traditional debates on the Motion of Thanks for the Royal Address for the official opening of Parliament.

Next week, parliamentary motions on the Iraq war, dengue epidemic and NAM should take first priority, with the parliamentary debate on the looming war on Iraq opening the proceedings to afford Parliament the opportunity to announce to the world its unanimous vote of "No War in Iraq".


* Lim Kit Siang, DAP National Chairman