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by Lim Guan Eng
(Ipoh, Sunday): In the UMNO General Assembly, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s policy speech “Fulfilling Promises” was not the most important speech because he failed to fulfill promises did not perform well even in his self-designed own report card. The most important speech was made by Deputy UMNO President Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak in his winding up on 17 November 2006 when he said that “Bangsa Malaysia” was not part of national policy but only a general concept. This is a complete reversal of previous BN policy of creating a national Malaysian race that can over-ride race and religion in the path towards national unity.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi would only just pass his own self-desinged report card by garnering a 42% score as he has only made progress in 5 out of his 12 pillars of good governance. (40% is now the passing mark in schools as compared to 50% during our time)
Abdullah's 12 pillars of good governance are:- 1. Effective leadership is respected leadership. 2. Democracy flourishes through collective responsibility. 3. Development of human capital via quality holistic education programmes. 4. Ensure economic growth by exploring new sources while focusing on rural development and modernization of agriculture. 5. Develop a bumiputera commercial and industrial community, and a bumiputera science and technology community. 6. Acknowledging the role of the private sector to generate economic growth, particularly in creating new economic opportunities. 7. To enhance public sector performance, in particular, improving public delivery systems, and facilitate the role of the private sector. 8. Addressing corruption by emphasizing on both preventive and punitive approaches. 9. Enforcing the rule of law in a firm and transparent manner, particularly in the fight against crime. 10. Encouraging a more equitable and active participation of youth and the emancipation of women. 11. Defending Malaysia's sovereignity. 12. Strengthening national unity.
Of the 12 pillars, Abdullah can only claim progress in 5 pillars namely, rural development and agriculture (No.4), bumiputera development (No.5), acknowledging the role of private sector (No. 6), youth and women (No.10), and defending Malaysia’s sovereignty (No.11). As for the remaining 7 pillars, either no progress has been made or Malaysia has backslided in becoming worse off.
How can there be effective leadership when his predecessor who appointed him has declared open war against Abdullah barely 2 years after Abdullah took over as Prime Minister? Where are the improvements in democracy when oppressive laws such as as Printing Presses & Publications Act(PPPA), Sedition Act(SA), Internal Security Act(ISA) and Official Secrets Act(OSA) are still retained and applied indiscriminately and arbitrarily.
Corruption is now worse off than when Tun Dr Mahathir retired in 2003, Malaysia was ranked No. 37 under the Transparency International’s(TI) Corruption Perception Index.but now is ranked No. 44. The latest RM 600 million rural development fund announced by Abdullah is given exclusively to the UMNO Division heads of RM 3 million each. Human capital development still takes a back seat to racial quotas and anti-competitive policies.
Public sector performance, especially in delivery system is poor with the litany of abuses of powers, non-performance or delays in implementation of development projects by civil servants resulting in higher costs or abandoned projects. Even enforcing the rule of law and fighting crime is a failure when for the first 9 months of this year the national crime index increased by 12.6% to 170,481 crimes reported as compared to 151,444 crimes reported for the same period last year.
DAP general assemblies do not contain fiery seditious speeches that threatens to burn down Kuala Lumpur or bathe in the blood of other Malaysians
Finally, national unity is under severe strains with higher intolerance on race and religion as exemplified by extremist threats of UMNO delegates in this general assembly such as:-
UMNO leaders have tried to justify such seditious and inflammatory speeches by claiming that the general assemblies of other political parties such as MCA and Gerakan contain similar speeches and that the DAP meetings are worse than UMNO’s in promoting and defending non-Malay rights and attack Malay interests. I wish to state categorically that DAP meetings have never made inflammatory speeches threatening to burn down towns, harm or bathe in the blood of other Malaysians. DAP is an inclusive and peaceful party using constitutional means to benefit all Malaysians regardless of race and religion.
DAP demands that action under the Sedition Act be taken against any political parties whether MCA, Gerakan or other opposition political parties that allows such seditious and inflammatory speeches be made. Stern action must be taken against political parties that seeks to harm and hurt Malaysians.
Definition of Bangsa Malaysia accepted by all Malaysians with no race as the pivotal or dominant race
DAP stood alone for 40 years promoting Malaysian Malaysia, opposed by BN that practiced divide and rule politics based on race and religion. DAP believed the path towards nation-building was not towards a pure nation state that is homogenous and uniform but is heterogenous and diverse. Unity in diversity was our commitment, respect and acceptance of political equality and social-economic justice our political struggle.
In the face of persecution where DAP leaders were detained or charged in court on flimsy grounds, DAP held steadfast to this singular concept of building a nation with a shared destiny and common values. This burning idealism of DAP leaders garnered overwhelming support from Malaysians, especially non-Malays, until BN leaders posed this question, “What does the non-Malays want?”