Cabinet should not again play truant tomorrow and should address the many
pressing issues facing the people and country
(Petaling Jaya, Tuesday): The Cabinet
should not again play truant tomorrow and should address the many pressing
issues facing the people and country.
by Lim Kit Siang
Last Wednesday, when the Cabinet meets weekly, the Cabinet declared
a holiday after the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad departed
from KLIA at 1.05 am that morning for vacation in Argentina
and the Caribbean.
This was not a good sign, as how could Ministers be expected to be “hands-on”
in discharging their duties when the Cabinet can be so irresponsible as
to “ponteng” from its weekly Cabinet meeting just because the Prime Minister
had flown overseas earlier that morning - ignoring the many urgent matters
awaiting its decision.
When Parliament reconvenes on February 14, 2000, Barisan Alternative
MPs would pose questions to demand an explanation as to why the Cabinet
declared a holiday last Wednesday, just because the Prime Minister had
left earlier for holidays overseas.
Another question which would be asked in Parliament would be why Dr.
Mahathir is taking holidays in Argentina and the Caribbean when he and
other Barisan Nasional Ministers are encouraging Malaysians to take holidays
at home in local holidays destinations.
The Cabinet tomorrow should produce a report card on its first month
in office as many Malaysians are very disturbed that the new Cabinet is
Jurassic rather than millennial, with Cabinet members devoid of a millennium
to break the shackles of the past to lead Malaysians to a new direction
and vision for the future.
The Cabinet should either come out with an overall Cabinet statement
or direct the various Ministers concerned to give post-Cabinet media conferences
on the matters uppermost in public mind, including the following:
What action the government is taking to legalise the new tenth Parliamentary
meetings which are infected with illegality and unconstitutionality as
the first meeting of the Tenth Parliament on December 20, 1999 was convened
not in accordance with the Constitution and Parliamentary Standing Orders.
As a result, all proceedings of the tenth Parliament, including bills and
businesses enacted in the next five years, are open to constitutional challenge
as being unlawful and therefore null and void.
Lack of Cabinet sense of urgency on the need to initiate the process
of national healing as by establishing a Royal Commission on National Unity
to undo the great harm done to nation-building in the recent dirtiest
general election campaign in history. The Royal Commission should
comprise representatives from various political parties, religions
and the civil society to draw up a Blueprint for National Unity for
the next two decades.
Cabinet refusal to address public outcry at lack of independence,
professionalism and failure of the Election Commission to carry out its
constitutional mandate to conduct a free, fair and clean general election.
Restoration of independence of judiciary.
An all-out war against corruption and develop a new culture of zero tolerance
for corruption in high political and public life.
Urgent Cabinet decision to withdraw all charges against DAP
Deputy Chairman and former five-term MP for Jelutong Karpal Singh, Parti
Keadilan Nasional Vice President Marina Yusoff, KeADILan Youth chief
Mohamed Ezam Mohd Noor, Harakah editor Zulkifly Sulong and
Harakah printer Cheah Lim Thye under the Sedition and Official Secrets
Direct Malacca Chief Minister, Datuk Mohd Ali Rastam to resign as
President of Malacca Municipal Council and to comply with Cabinet
decision that Chief Ministers and Mentris Besar should not head Municipal
Immediate action plan to alleviate socio-economic sufferings and
hardships borne by the poor and low-income groups as a result of
the ill-planned rent decontrol of 33,000 pre-war premises on 31.12.99.
Review and reconsider proposal to raise retirement age of civil servants
from 55 years to 60 years.
Adopt a new national policy to reduce road carnage and death toll by 50
per cent within 12 months.
Abdullah should also make public a full list of the Cabinet Committees
which have been set up since the first Cabinet meeting on December 15,
1999, with their respective terms of reference and composition, with the
periodically about their activities and successes.
*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman