The special parliamentary motion on US-led war on Iraq should be jointly drafted and sponsored by BN, BA and DAP, and should propose effective NAM responses, such as UN Security Council resolution to send UN forces to Iraq and to convene a special session of the UN General Assembly

Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang

(Petaling Jaya,  Saturday): DAP welcomes the government decision on a special motion in the Dewan Rakyat as early as Monday to allow all political parties to state their stand on the United States' attack on Iraq.

When US President Bush unleashed war on Iraq on Thursday, DAP had called for an immediate motion and debate in Parliament to convey the unanimous all-party condemnation of the US-led unilateral war against Iraq without United Nations Security Council sanction and for the government to lay out its contingency plan in the post-Iraq war, in particular the economic stimulus package which had been completed sometime ago but held back awaiting the Iraqi war.

DAP fully agrees with the sentiments expressed by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad that the government and opposition parties shed their differences and speak with one voice on this important issue, and that the debate should not be derailed and linked to other issues.

For such a spirit to prevail with the desired result , the Barisan Nasional government should take the first step to demonstrate its sincerity in adopting a totally non-partisan approach on the issue, starting by consulting with the Barisan Alternative and DAP on the wording of the special parliamentary motion as well as a joint sponsorship of the motion in Parliament, i.e. proposed by the Barisan Nasional, seconded firstly by Barisan Alternative followed by the DAP. There is time for such consultation in the 48 hours before any such debate in Parliament on Monday.

Secondly, the Barisan Nasional government should demonstrate its willingness to adopt a non-partisan stand on the Iraq issue, and not just for a parliamentary debate but outside Parliament as well, and this was why DAP had proposed the convening of an all-party roundtable conference to forge an united national non-partisan response to the US unilateral-led war against Iraq to deal with its international, political and economic fall-outs for the country.

One of the challenges facing Malaysia is how to shoulder the responsibility of the Chair of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), dubbed the second largest organization of nation-states after the United Nations, and prove that NAM is not totally irrelevant and impotent in the face of the greatest challenge to international law and order for half a century posed by the US-led unilateral war against Iraq without UN sanctions.

The special parliamentary motion in Parliament should also address this challenge, suggesting effective NAM responses, such as spearheading a NAM requisition for an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council to send UN forces to Iraq and to convene a special session of the UN General Assembly to demand an immediate halt to the US-led war or alternatively, that the United Nations should bear a major responsibility in the post-war reconstruction of Iraq to ensure that the US-led war on Iraq is not followed by the US conquest and colonization of Iraq.


* Lim Kit Siang, DAP National Chairman