(Petaling Jaya, Saturday): On 7th January, I declared that I was prepared to apologise to the Senate if the Senators could convince me and Malaysians that it is not a "rubbish-bin for political has-beens, rejects and deadwood" and a burdensome national irrelevance.
I had proposed a public meeting in Kuala Lumpur tomorrow where all Senators and their supporters, who had been writing letters to the newspapers to drum up support for the Senate, would be invited where their spokesmen could convince me and the Malaysian public that the Dewan Negara is not a "rubbish-bin for political has-beens, rejects and deadwood" and a burdensome national irrelevance.
I had asked Senators and members of their letter-writing cheering-squad who are prepared to stand up publicly to defend the Dewan Negara at a public meeting on January 18 to contact my office, so that such a public meeting could be organised. I had in mind inviting former Federal Court judge Tan Sri Harun Hashim or eminent academician/columnist Rustam Sani to chair such a public meeting, where I would present my case as to why I say the Dewan Negara is a "rubbish-bin for political has-beens, rejects and deadwood" and a burdensome national irrelevance while the Senators and their supporters could prove me wrong.
My office received numerous calls from the interested public who wanted to attend the public meeting for the Senators to prove that the Senate is not a burdensome national irrelevance. However, most regrettably, not a single Senator or supporter for the Senators rang up my office offering to publicly defend the Dewan Negara so that a public meeting for a public debate on the relevance of the Dewan Negara could be held.
I assume that the Senators, in their wisdom, have now concluded that there is no need for me to apologise for calling the Dewan Negara a "rubbish-bin for political has-beens, rejects and deadwood", and the emergency motion they unanimously adopted on Dec. 22 condemning me for making such a remark should not have been passed.
I thank the Senators for their changed stand and suggest that when Dewan Negara meets in April, the first thing it should do is to revoke the motion it passed on Dec. 22 and apologise to the nation for making a fool of the Dewan Negara and to conduct a review how to make Dewan Negara relevant to the needs and aspirations of the people and country.
If the Dewan Negara wants my views as to how it could be reformed, I am more than willing to co-operate.