Cabinet Ministers should set the example of being professional in their job by being Ministers for all Malaysians and not just 56 per cent of the voters who supported Barisan Nasional in the recent general election

Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang
 

(Petaling Jaya, Saturday): Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad  Badawi said yesterday that people who are unprofessional in their jobs should not be allowed to serve as they have failed in the duty entrusted to them.

He said if an individualís political beliefs interfere with his professionalism on the job, "I donít see any reason why he should continue that work and be paid for it".

I fully agree with Ahmad Badawi although he was trying to justify the politics of vengeance and vendetta of the Malacca Chief Minister, Datuk Rustam Ali to drop doctors and other professionals from government panels and also to move out state funds from "unfriendly" banks.

However, the onus of proof is on the Malacca Chief Minister before any action is taken to prove that the doctors, other professionals and even the banks have failed in their professional duties or mixed up their roles as professionals with their political affiliations, creating a conflict of interest.

What Abdullah had said applies with full pertinence on the  Barisan Nasional government leaders, both at national and state levels, for they are the biggest culprits in failing to act professionally when  carrying out their duties whether as Federal Ministers or State Government leaders.

Barisan Nasional Ministers, for instance, often act as if they are Ministers for only  56 per cent of the national electorate and not for all Malaysians, by  ignoring or neglecting the rights and interests of the 44 per cent of the voters who had supported the Opposition.

Oftentimes, Cabinet Ministers cannot even  see the important distinction between government and party as well as government and self.

This is why a senior Cabinet Minister like the  Works Minister Datuk Seri S.Samy Vellu could make the preposterous statement that it  is not necessary for his Ministry to obtain feedback from the public on the construction of the RM2 billion Penang second link as it is a government-funded project - as if government funds come from his personal pocket.

Cabinet Ministers have been acting most unprofessionally in  their jobs and Abdullah should set this right without any delay. In other countries, the winning party or coalition would take the initiative to unite the people after a general election to work for the national good, but in Malaysia, Barisan Nasional leaders relish in doing the opposite - and could even use "national interest" as the justification!

Cabinet Ministers should therefore  set the example of being professional in their job by being Ministers for all Malaysians and not just 56 per cent of the voters who supported Barisan Nasional in the recent general election as their remuneration also come from the taxes of the 44 per cent of the electorate who voted for the Barisan Alternative.

(18/3/2000)


*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman