Latest parliamentary disgrace - MPs have not been given the OPP3 (2001-2010) report although debate on it begins on Tuesday

Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang

(Penang, Sunday): I am most shocked when I have just been told by the DAP MP for Bagan, Lim Hock Seng, that Members of Parliament have not been given the Third Outline Perspective Plan (2001-2010) although debate on it begins on Tuesday.

This is the latest parliamentary disgrace in Malaysia where MPs, whether Barisan Nasional or Barisan Alternative, are treated with utter contempt by the Ministers and the Executive who have either no notion or commitment to the concept of parliamentary government.

The Barisan Nasional government had spent a few years to draft the Third Outline Perspective Plan (OPP) charting out the growth prospects and the strategies and policies that go with them for the next ten years yet it is giving MPs hardly 24 hours to read and digest it, seek public feedback as well as expert opinions, before they are required to conduct a  knowledgeable and informed debate on the Plan.

All MPs, regardless of government or opposition, should stand up in unison in Parliament tomorrow  to strongly protest against such contemptible and cavalier treatment by the government front-bench and demand fundamental reforms in the way parliamentary business is being conducted.

In 1999, the government formed the Second National Economic Consultative Council (NECC)  to make recommendations to the government for the development plan for the next ten years 2001-2010 and which completed its work six months ago.

The report of the NECC2 should be made public together with the 3rd Outline Perspective Plan (2001-2010) for wide-ranging public debate in Parliament and the country.

The failure to make public the Third OPP  and the Report of the Second NECC is most irresponsible on the part of the government, as these reports should have been the subject of a vigorous national discussion  in the weeks preceding their parliamentary debate as the climax of a national debate on Malaysia’s development future in the coming decade.

The omission is most unfortunate, as the worst clashes in the country in 32 years in Kampung Medan and the surrounding squatter settlements at Jalan Klang Lama, Petaling Jaya last month is a sombre testimony   of the failure of the second OPP (1991-2000) to promote socio-economic justice  and political stability through the  efficient management of the economy to achieve  growth with equity in the country.

Despite the two  OPPs  in the past three decades and the seven five-year Malaysian Plans, Malaysia  failed to develop  a balanced, broad-based, resilient and internationally competitive economy to provide a stronger foundation for the attainment of sustained and equitable growth and development by  the year 2,000.

The Barisan Nasional Cabinet cannot have very high regard for Parliament or the views of MPs, whether government or opposition, if the Ministers are only  interested in going through the motion of having a parliamentary debate on the OPP3, although MPs would not have the chance to read and study it before the debate.

The parliamentary debate on the third OPP scheduled for Tuesday should be postponed by a week to allow MPs from both the Barisan Nasional and Barisan Alternative MPs  as well as the country at large adequate time to first  study the third  OPP and the report of the Second NECC.


*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman