Mr Prime Minister, action speaks louder than words.  It's time to act before it's too late

Media Statement
Ronnie Liu Tian Khiew

(Petaling Jaya, onday): Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said that Barisan Nasional leaders should not be afraid of telling him the "truth" just because they worry he could not sleep or may cry for it.

The new BN chairperson said he should not be told "nice stories" when in fact the people were facing various problems and were depending on the government to resolve them.

Bernama quoted him as saying after he opened the MIC national general election convention in Shah Alam.

He admitted that the Malaysian Indian community was facing various problems but pledged that the government would continue its best to tackle those problems.

The new premier has been saying nothing but "nice things" since the day he took over from Tun Mahathir on 30 Nov 2003.

He had since vowed to battle against corruption and crimes apart from promised to uphold democracy and wanted all government departments in the front line of duty to provide better service to the public.

But dear Prime Minister, action speaks louder than words. The biggest disease we Malaysians suffered under the leadership of Mahathir was precisely  "cakap tak serupa bikin" (say one thing, do another thing).

We have never short of beautiful speeches and impressive slogans such as " Cekap, Bersih, Amanah" (Efficient, clean and trustworthy), "Leadership by Example", "BN membela nasib rakyat" (BN the defender of the people)?especially when the general elections were around the corner.

It's therefore pointless to talk about fighting corruption if leaders cannot lead by example by declaring their assets. The rakyat are also waiting to see some real action on Perwaja scandal and numerous financial scandals involving ministers and ex-ministers.

It's also pointless to talk about transparency and accountability when letters of intent given to Ircon and CREC were torn apart and a new letter of award was given to local companies MMC and Gamuda without any justification. Can we Malaysians allow our new premier not to act on the matter fast and decisively instead of risking our good relationship with India and China?

It's pointless to say nice things to the Chinese community if no action were taken to resolve matters and issues close to their hearts, such as the demand to repeal the "crazy" 2-4-3 formula  and the Vision School concept, to re-open the Damansara school and to build enough schools for the Chinese children living in the urban areas and to provide enough teachers. Steps must also be taken immediately to recognise the graduates of Chinese independent high schools and well-established Taiwanese and Chinese universities.

It's pointless to talk about caring society if the century-old Sg Chua new villagers could be evicted without given the rightful compensation simply because the land office officials did not have time to process their applications or simply refused to extend their leases.

It's also pointless to talk about the importance of recycle and love for a clean and healthy environment if the world largest incinerator were allowed to be built in water catchment areas like Broga and Semenyih. Could someone please enlighten our new premier that incinerators are "cancer factories" and would cost Malaysians very dearly both on cost and health or even lives?

Even the taxi drivers in the Klang Valley were complaining about why hundreds of permits were given to Datuks and Tan Sris but not the individual taxi drivers who really need them. They will tell you the truth about what has gone wrong with the government if you care to ask them.

As for the plight of the Indian community, Abdullah must be given the credit for his boldness to admit the failure on the part of his government. Again we want to see some serious and major action to help lifting the entire Indian community which was neglected by the BN government all these years.

All we want from the Prime Minister is nothing but real action. Resolve the problems fast and decisively. We hope he can make a mark as a statesman. Not just another prime minister in the history of Malaysia.

If Pak Lah has difficulty to get the BN leaders to tell him the truth, he should listen to the voices of the people through NGOs and opposition party like the DAP. He can also listen to the taxi drivers.


* Liu Tian Khiew, DAP national publicity secretary and Selangor chairman