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Blog Statement by Lim Kit Siang on Monday, 9th March 2009: 

Wow! MCA Minister and Deputy Minister publicly telling the “lame-duck” PM and UMNO President to buzz off!

It was only last October that the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi denied that “UMNO is big bully in Barisan Nasional” when he spoke at the MCA General Assembly.

This makes it all the more unusual the spectacle of a MCA Minister and Deputy Minister publicly tell the “lameduck” Prime Minister and UMNO President to “buzz off” as evident from the following news reports:

(1) New Sunday Times (8.3.09) – “PM: Resolve language issue before it gets out of hand” -

KUALA LUMPUR: The prime minister wants the Education Ministry to decide quickly whether Science and Mathematics should continue to be taught in English.

Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said the contentious issue should be resolved before it got out of hand.

"This issue has become bigger and more sensitive. I hope the ministry will make a decision on the matter fast.

"If not, the issue will become even bigger and the pressure from non-governmental organisations will continue," he said after launching a fantasy novel written by 13-year-old Adam Umemoto titled Dragonfire Hammer.

(2) Asked to comment on Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's call for a quick decision on the policy's future, Hishammuddin said only the cabinet could make the final decision.

He said his ministry was responsible for collecting and presenting facts and figures to the cabinet, which would then make a decision based on the findings of a 21/2-month study on the policy's progress.

Hishammuddin said the outcome of the study, which was started after the Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah results were released in December last year, would be presented to the cabinet "in the near future".

But he will first have to address a memorandum on the results that would in turn be sent to the relevant ministries and agencies for feedback.

A final report would then be generated to be given to the cabinet to help it decide on the policy's future, he added.

Hishammuddin urged calm and the public's understanding to allow the government to make the right decision. (New Straits Times 9.3.09)

3. Deputy Education Minister Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong said those seeking to scrap the policy should check their facts before pointing fingers.

"We don't make decisions on the behalf of the government. We are only the executing authority. The decision to use English for the teaching of Science and Mathematics was a collective decision made by the cabinet in 2002."

He urged detractors of the policy to be patient until Education Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein tabled a working paper on the matter.

Cabinet members are expected to make a decision based on the paper.

Wee, who was responding to Saturday's march by some 5,000 protesters against the policy, added that Hishammuddin was upset by allegations made in a police report that he had a hidden agenda in pushing for the move.

"It's as though people are not looking back into history. To set the record straight, Hishammuddin was appointed to the post in 2004 and he is just continuing an existing policy." (NST 9.3.09)

4. “The final decision will only be made after a working paper has been presented to the Cabinet.” – MCA President Datuk Seri Ong Tee Kiat. (NST 9.3.09)

This is as good as the MCA Minister and Deputy Minister publicly rebuking Abdullah for not knowing what he was talking about on the subject.

But then, they are only following in the footsteps of the outgoing UMNO Youth Leader, UMNO National Vice President aspirant and Education Minister, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein in publicly snubbing Abdullah’s call to the Education Ministry to “decide quickly” on the six-year controversy on the use of English to teach science and mathematics from Standard One.

Wow, it is indeed a sight to see – a MCA Minister and Deputy Minister publicly telling the lame-duck Prime Minister and UMNO President to buzz off, but this is done only in the comfort and security after a public snub to Abdullah by Hishammuddin!

How quickly Pak Lah has fallen in the public esteem of UMNO, MCA and other Barisan Nasional leaders although he is still in name the Prime Minister for the next few weeks!

*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor



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