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
(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.
- at the 100,000-people Ceramah
Perdana Majlis Kesyukuran Kerajaan Terengganu PAS at Stadium Terengganu
by Lim Kit Siang
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:
Showing contempt for the Yang di Pertuan Agong, the Constitution and Parliament
in the unconstitutional convening of the first meeting of the new tenth
Parliament on Dec. 20, 1999, infecting all future meetings and laws and
businesses passed in its five-year term with illegality and unconstitutionality.
The persecution of Harakah and other opposition-inclined publications.
The "no contest" decision of UMNO Supreme Council for the two top UMNO
party posts in the party elections in May this year - showing that Mahathir
is not only trying to kill democracy in the country but also democracy
The arrest and prosecution of 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 Sedition
Act and Official Secrets Act.
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:
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.
RESTORE the independence of the judiciary, without which there could be
no rule of law.
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.
INSTITUTE an open, clean, efficient and accountable government where
there is no corruption or cronyism, abuses of power or politics of hatred
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