Mahathir should show gratitude to Malaysians for 19th year as  Prime Minister by taking five steps to restore justice, democracy and good governance to build a New Malaysia

at the 100,000-people  Ceramah Perdana Majlis Kesyukuran Kerajaan Terengganu PAS  at Stadium Terengganu
Lim Kit Siang 

(Kuala Terengganu, Friday): The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad had said that there were people who were  ungrateful  and had been  taught not to be thankful for what they had received.

It is Mahathir who is facing this gratitude problem, as he has yet to show that he is grateful to the people of Malaysia for being  able to be Prime Minister for the 19th year.

Unfortunately, for from showing his gratitude by understanding and fulfilling the aspirations of Malaysians for justice, freedom, democracy and good governance, Mahathir has done the opposite since  the Nov. 29, 1999 general election, as shown by the following events:

After the last general election, the Prime Minister should be setting the example for the people, regardless of race, religion and political affiliation, to close ranks for the sake of national unity and development - but instead of setting out to heal the wounds, he is aggravating and deepening them with even more repressive measures and actions.

Now, it is the Barisan Alternative which is playing the nation-building role of rallying Malaysians to transcend their ethnic, religious and political differences and to unite for justice, freedom, democracy and good governance, while the Barisan Nasional is playing the negative and divisive role of trying to sow  suspicion and distrust among Malaysians of diverse races and religions.

In this sense, Barisan Alternative parties and leaders have become more Malaysian and nationalistic than Barisan Nasional parties and leaders in the new millennium.

I would urge Mahathir as the Prime Minister to take bold measures to heal the national wounds opened up in the recent general election and show that he is grateful for the opportunity to be Prime Minister for the 19th year by taking the following measures:

  1. RESTORE justice by dropping all charges against Anwar Ibrahim, Karpal Singh, Marina Yusof, Mohd  Ezam, Zulkifly Sulong,  Cheah Lim Thye and all the former  OKTs in the reform movement who were arrested and  charged in court before the general election.
  2. RESTORE the independence of the judiciary, without which there could be no rule of law.
  3. FREE mass media from crippling repressive controls by allowing Harakah and Rocket to be sold to members of the public without any undemocratic restrictions as well permitting press freedom in the country.
  4. INSTITUTE an open, clean,  efficient and accountable government where there is no corruption or cronyism, abuses of power or politics of hatred and vendetta.
  5. ELEVATION of Parliament as the pinnacle of the sytem of parliamentary democracy in Malaysia and not as at present, where the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad is perched at the pinnacle of the political system after usurping Parliament of its  rightful role and function.

If the Barisan Nasional is incapable of restoring justice, freedom, democracy and good governance, then the Barisan Alternative must take over this national responsibility to create a New Malaysia in the new millennium.


*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman