Home Ministry should issue licence to PAS to publish a daily newspaper called Purnama forthwith as any delay or excuses is another undemocratic manifestation of the Barisan Nasional government


Media Conference Statement (2)
-
launching his 27th publication "Constitutional Case of the Millennium"
by
Lim Kit Siang 

(Petaling Jaya, Saturday): Deputy Home Minister Datuk Zainal Abidin Zin said yesterday that the Home Ministry was looking into PASí application for a licence to publish a daily newspaper called Purnama and would "take into account factors like the interests of the people".

Zainal Abidinís statement is the most self-serving statement to be made by the Barisan Nasional since the dawn of the new millennium, showing that the Barisan Nasional just cannot respond positively to the peopleís aspirations as reflected in the recent general election.

Zainal Abidin should pay more heed to the analysis of his former leader in Semangat 46, Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah that the people want not only physical development but also freedom.

When Zainal Abidin said that there was no time-frame fixed for a decision to be made with regard to the application for a daily newspaper licence for Purnama because the Home Ministry "had to study every aspect of the matter, including seeking further details if necessary", he was talking a special language for the first time since being appointed Deputy Minister.

What Zainal meant in his newly-acquired gobbledygook (latest example that a person who ascends to the position of Minister or Deputy Minister must abandon decent language of ordinary Malaysians) is that the Home Ministry is going to sit on the application for months and even years on end without giving any final answer - not the best example of a competent and efficient government!

Why should the Home Ministry study the PAS application for Purnama in the first place, when PAS is a legally-registered political party with 27 Members of Parliament, 98 State Assemblymen and in control of two state governments?

The Home Ministry should issue licence to PAS to publish a daily newspaper called Purnama forthwith as any delay or excuses is another undemocratic manifestation of the Barisan Nasional government.

I would remind Zainal Abidin not to forget his public commitment to greater democratisation in Malaysia in his days in Semangat 46 from 1989 - 1995.

Let me refresh Zainal Abidin of the 1990 Election Manifesto of Gagasan Rakyat  which Semangat 46 leaders, including himself, had pledged to uphold, which among other things, said:
 

Zainal Abidin should revise his role as Deputy Home Minister to foster and not to stifle democratisation in Malaysia, starting by ensuring that the Home Ministry issues a licence for Purnama  without any delay or excuses.

(22/1/2000)


*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman