Media statement by Lim Kit Siang in Petaling Jaya on Tuesday, 24th August 2010:
Last Cabinet meeting before National Day on August 31 must demonstrate it has the "political will and leadership to break the logjam of resistance by vested interest groups" to kickstart and stay the course of NEM transformation process
Tomorrow's Cabinet meeting is the last before National Day on August 31 and its greatest challenge is to demonstrate it has the "political will and leadership to break the logjam of resistance by vested interest groups" to kickstart and stay the course of the NEM (New Economic Model) transformation process.
There can be no more useful thing for the Cabinet Ministers to do tomorrow than to revisit the New Economic Model unveiled by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak on March 30 and the dire warnings that Malaysia is "on a burning platform" and that "the status quo is not an option" as it will only put Malaysia at risk of being overtaken by other countries, just as we had overtaken others in the past.
The Cabinet should in particular revisit the frank and brutal admission by the NEM of the crucial and critical role of "unwavering political will and leadership" to break the logjam of resistance by vested interest groups and short-sighted factions and to "stay the course" when resistance is encountered.
Is the Cabinet tomorrow prepared to demonstrate "political will, commitment and leadership" to give full endorsement and support for a "big push" for the vision and agenda of the NEM transformation process –which it had cowardly abstained from doing for the last five months?
Is the Cabinet prepared to come upfront and belatedly declare support for the eight Strategic Reform Initiatives (SRIs) of the NEM, in particular SRI 5 on "Transparent and market-friendly affirmative action" for a new affirmative policy which is market-friendly and market-based predicated on needs and merits, eliminates rent-seeking and market-distorting features and "will consider all ethnic groups fairly and equally as long as they are in the low income 40% of the households"?
The NEM has described Malaysia as reaching "a defining moment in its development path" with the Najib premiership crafting a blueprint to move the country towards the next stage of development towards a developed high income nation with inclusivity and sustainability.
Where is this "defining moment" when the Cabinet is not even brave enough to give full public support and endorsement to the NEM?
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Ipoh Timor