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Dr M is not the only one out there waiting for PM Abdullah to act


Media Statement

by Ronnie Liu Tian Khiew

(Petaling Jaya, Monday): Selamat Hari to all Malaysian brothers and sisters! And Maaf Zahir Batin.

Our skin colours may differ but the colour of our blood is always the same. We cannot choose to be a Malay or a Chinese or an Indian or an Iban or a Kadazan. And I believe a good Muslim can be a good Hundu or a good Christian or a good Buddhist or a good Sikh.

Of late, the minds and souls of many Malaysians of different faiths were troubled by some latest developments and incidents on the issue of religious freedom.

And Malaysians of different ethnic backgrounds were also troubled by the antics and behaviours of same overzealous political leaders who want to be "heroes" and "champions" of their own race.

Many have opined that we could not put a stop to such unhealthy trends because we do not have a strong and firm prime minister. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi seems to be unable to walk the talk and thus his own cabinet ministers and party members, the police and other government servants tend to ignore his advice and instructions. Even the former prime minister was unhappy with the way he runs the country.

The Mahathir–Abdullah spat has erupted and continued for some time now. But the two men have finally met in the holy month of Ramadan to find a solution.

Dr Mahathir is not the only one out there waiting for PM Abdullah to act. Other Malaysians like me are also waiting anxiously to see Abdullah to act on some important and urgent issues facing the nation.

According to Dr Mahathir, they have met for two hours and Dr Mahathir was the one who did much of the talking. Abdullah was said to be jotting down notes most of the time.

If Dr Mahathir is true, I wonder why Abdullah did not use the opportunity to explain to his former boss on those issues raised by him. Was this due to his inability to answer those questions or justify his government's actions? Or he simply wish to ignore those questions, thinking that he's the boss now and he need not respond to someone who is no more in power?

Anyway, Abdullah has not explained why he did not agree to have a third person as a witness for the meeting. Dr Mahathir now has the liberty to say whatever he wants to since there was no witness to the meeting. Likewise, Abdullah also has the liberty to say whatever he wishes to but the question would be the test of credibility between the two men.

It appears to me that Dr Mahathir did not press for Abdullah's early retirement in the meeting. I'm a little surprised that Dr Mahathir did not make use of such a golden opportunity. Or Dr Mahathir is not in a hurry and he chooses to wait for a more opportune time. To me, Dr Mahathir has wanted Abdullah to step down. And there's no two ways about it.

I share some of the sentiments of Dr Mahathir although I do not agree with everything he had said so far. But I do agree with Dr Mahathir that if Abdullah has no intention or plan to hold early general elections, he should not have postponed the Umno general assembly. Such action has denied Umno members their democratic rights to be elected and serve their party and the people they claimed to represent.

I think Dr Mahathir is also right about the abuse of APs, the misconduct of Rafidah Aziz, the unhealthy involvement of Khairy Jamaluddin and Kamaluddin Abdullah, and the question of Malaysia is fast becoming a police state ( in fact, many would agree that Malaysia was already a police state under Dr Mahathir).

I find it hilarious when Abdullah told Dr Mahathir that each time he levels criticism at Abdullah or his administration, Mahathir and Abdullah would become more unpopular and that Anwar Ibrahim and Tok Guru Nik Aziz have benefited out of it. Was Abdullah expecting Dr Mahathir to agree with him on this point and hoping that he will thus keep his mouth shut? What a shallow understanding of his former boss on the part of Abdullah!

While Abdullah has jotted down all the complaints and grievances of Dr Mahathir, I also hope that our Prime Minister would also take note of what we have listed here and act on it this Hari Raya break…

1.         Set up the APCMC to reform the police force.

2.         Catch the 18 sharks that ran away to the South China Sea.

3.         Reshuffle his Cabinet to remove some deadwoods.

4.         Disclose the data and methodology of arriving at 18.9% bumiputera  corporate equity.

5.         Stop all racial regulations and policies and initiate some colour-blind policies and measures.

6.         Repeal ISA, OSA, Printing and Presses Act and other draconian laws.

7.         Meet and discuss with NGOs like Dong Jiao Zong, Tamil Foundation, MTUC and other rights groups.

8.         Meet the opposition party leaders to discuss issues like electoral reforms, NEP, FTAs and other nation-building issues.

9.         Review all privatised projects and stop all mega, wasteful projects to safeguard the interest of taxpayers.

10.       Restore local government elections to return the third vote to the people and to rid out "little Napoleans" all over the country.

I can add on more to the list and yes, please pay a visit to the SJKC Damansara in Petaling Jaya after the Hari Raya break. The school has been
shut down by the Education Ministry for more than 2,100 days and it must be reopened before it was ruined by termites and bureaucracy.

Dear Prime Minister, do you need an invitation letter from the SOS Damansara Committee?


*Ronnie Liu Tian Khiew, DAP CEC member and NGO Bureau Chief

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