Yesterday, Barisan Nasional MPs were given a briefing in Parliament on the Grik arms heists and the Al-Ma置nah deviationist cult.
Among those at the briefing were the Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi, the Defence Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak and Army Field Commander Lt.-Jen. Datuk Seri Zaini Mohd Said.
As the 45 Barisan Alternative and Opposition MPs were excluded from the briefing, Zaini should not have appeared at the briefing which was clearly not a parliamentary function but one organised by the ruling coalition only - unless he is prepared to give a separate briefing to the Barisan Alternative MPs.
When news of the end of the Al-Ma置nah arms heists stand-off at Bukit Jenalik and the heroics of Zaini were reported in the news media on 7th July, 2000, I immediately and spontaneously issued a media statement particularly commending Zaini for his outstanding example.
This is because I regard Zaini and the armed services as serving the Malaysian government, nation and people and not the Barisan Nasional - and the armed forces are a Malaysian and not a Barisan Nasional armed forces.
By the same reason, Zaini and the army should be giving a briefing to Malaysian MPs and not just Barisan Nasional MPs. Army officers should jealously safeguard their professionalism and non-partisan neutrality and not become a tool or plaything of the political games of the Barisan Nasional in wanting to politicise the Al-Ma置nah arms heists against the Opposition.
On Monday night, the Barisan Alternative leaders from DAP, PAS, Keadilan
and PRM met in Petaling Jaya and discussed at length the Al-Ma置nah arms
heists and killings and reached a consensus which included the following:
All Malaysians, whether Barisan Nasional and Barisan Alternative, regardless of race or religion, should be able to reach consensus on these concerns, and this is why the Opposition leaders jointly extended an invitation to Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad and the Barisan Nasional leaders to a roundtable conference to transcend party politics and to take a non-partisan national approach to deal with the aftermath of the Al-Ma置nah arms heists to ensure the solidarity between the non-Muslims and Muslims for the common welfare of all Malaysian citizens.
Unfortunately, the Barisan Nasional-controlled mainstream media virtually blacked out this initiative and invitation by the Barisan Alternative leaders to the Barisan Nasional leaders for a round-table discussion so as not to politicise the Al-Ma置nah arms heists, when they should have given it great prominence to show the readiness of the Opposition leaders to transcend party politics on this important issue.