24-Day Countdown to 13GE – Malaysians deserve a Cabinet and a Government which is not a laughing stock of the world

I believe we are entering the final week when the 12th Parliament will at last be dissolved to pave the way for the holding of the long-awaited and much-postponed 13th General Elections next month.

This explains why UMNO/Barisan Nasional leaders are getting more and more panicky, with some even making hysterical statements, under the intense pressure of the impending 13GE, which cannot be postponed much further after the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak had put the country on an election campaign footing for close to four long years and breaching the five-year natural life of Parliament – and now just a week ahead of the automatic dissolution of the Negri Sembilan State Assembly on March 26!

Najib has said he wants Malaysia to become the world's best democracy. Then Najib and Umno/BN leaders must first learn to accept Lesson One of the most basic prerequisites of a functioning normal democracy, i.e. to accept that their power in government is not a divine right but a trust granted by the people once every four or five years to be withdrawn or renewed in every general elections.

Up to now Najib and all the Umno/BN leaders have been conspicuously silent on what would be very routine and matter-of-fact in developed democracies all over the world – that they will submit to the verdict of the electorate in the impending general elections and if they lose the mandate to continue as the Federal government for the first time in 56 years, they would peacefully and democratically ensure a peaceful transition of power from Barisan Nasional to Pakatan Rakyat and they would all serve the role of a loyal Opposition in Parliament as the DAP had done in the past 47 years since the formation of DAP in 1966.

Are the Umno/BN leaders, including Najib, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hashim prepared to declare what would be so common-place and matter-of-fact in mature democracies – that they would respect the choice of the Malaysian electorate in the impending 13GE, including the mandate for a new Pakatan Rakyat Government and Prime Minister after 13GE?

There are examples galore of the stupid statements and foolish acts by Umno/BN leaders in recent days, all the way to the Prime Minister.

For instance, last Friday, Najib waxed eloquent in Tanah Merah, Kelantan about the “seven major sins” of the Opposition, which are lies and falsehoods in blatant violation of the Transparency International-Malaysia “Election Integrity Pledge” which he signed with such fanfare last month.

For instance, it is a downright lie for Najib to allege that the Kelantan PAS government had granted 10,000 acres (4,000 hectares) of land to two DAP Perak leaders, Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham and Nga Kor Ming, clearing the jungle in Lojing with the rhetorical question: “They give land to the DAP leaders but do the Kelantan people get any?”

This is downright unethical and irresponsible, a violation of the Election Integrity Pledge which Najib signed so solemnly last month, as the Prime Minister know better than anybody else that the 10,000 acres of land in Lojing were alienated by the Kelantan State Government to a company 13 years ago in 2,000, even before Ngeh and Nga were elected as MPs and State Assemblymen in the 2008 general elections.

If we want to dwell on the “major sins of Najib”, I don't think seven would be adequate, even 7 times 7 would not be able to recount Najib's “major sins” - may be, it will need to be 7 times 7 times 7!

Does Najib want the run-up to the 13GE be a competition as whether the Barisan Nasional or Pakatan Rakyat leaders have a longer list of “major sins”?

I am prepared to accommodate Najib, provided he says “yes”!

Today, Deputy Minister and UMNO Youth Deputy Chief, Razali Ibrahim, provided another example of stupid statements from Umno/BN leaders when he alleged that the “DAP's ambition” to contest 15 out of 26 Parliamentary seats in Johore in the 13GE is proof of its domineering attitude in Pakatan Rakyat over its partners PAS and PKR.

I never said DAP wanted to contest in 15 Parliamentary seats in Johore. What I said is that Pakatan Rakyat comprising DAP, PKR and PAS must target 15 parliamentary seats with the objective of winning over one-third of the 26 parliamentary seats in the state, i.e. over nine or preferably twelve and above parliamentary seats to provide the necessary numbers for PR to succeed in the journey to Putrajaya.

I am not surprised that Umno/BN Ministers and deputy Ministers have proved to be “favourites” in making stupid statements and responsible for foolish acts.

This is one reason why there should be UBAH in the 13GE as there should be better calibre and more principled people in Cabinet as Malaysians deserve a Cabinet and a Government which is not a laughing stock of the world because of the frequency of stupid statements and foolish acts by Ministers.

Lim Kit Siang DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Ipoh Timur