Cabinet Ministers bad role models as Malaysian patriots to young generation of Malaysians

Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang

(Petaling Jaya, Thursday): Yesterday, it was reported that the Australian Government had decided to allow an extra 2,500 overseas students, studying Information Technology in Australia, to migrate as part of the Australian government's push to attract skilled labour.

From July next year the students would also be able to apply for permanent residence visas without leaving Australia.

All Information and Communications Technology (ICT) occupations would be recognised as key positions, removing the need for employers to find out if there was an Australian who could do the job.

What is Malaysia doing although the government had announced five years ago the objective for Malaysia to leapfrog into the Information Age and the  2001 Budget last October talked about creating  a world-class workforce so that  Malaysia will have "the best brains regardless of race and nationality" to ensure that the country will have a successful  K-economy?

If the government is serious about a quantum leap in IT revolution, it should be  focussing national energies on how Malaysia could attract "a pool of the best talents from at home and abroad" to face the challenges of the Information Age, for instance plugging the brain-drain of the "best and brightest" in the Chinese Independent Secondary Schools  every year - with Singapore  universities directly recruiting over 500 school-leavers this year -  by recognising the Unified Examinations Certificate (UEC).

But, no, the Cabinet is not concerned by the loss of "brain drain" from the Chinese Independent Secondary Schools, and the nation and people have been allowed to be obsessed or distracted in the past six months by the recrudescence of communal politics of the worst kind,  dissipating national energies as well as aggravating the crisis of investor confidence,  like the 10,000-People "Takkan Melayu Hilang Di Dunia" - "Will Malays Perish From the World" -Gathering  at the Sultan Sulaiman Club in Kampong Baru, Kuala Lumpur  on Sunday.

The Cabinet meeting yesterday was a great disappointment in failing to provide the visionary leadership to Malaysians to unlock the nationís potential and  mobilise  the rich heritage of the  diverse population and cultures  to create an united, just and prosperous nation by ending  the  dissipation of  the peopleís energies in the past six months through the recrudescence of communal politics.

It is the height of irresponsibility for anyone to go on a rampage to inflame and incite communal feelings to arouse  fear that any community is  facing extinction when the real issue facing the country is  "Takkan Malaysia Kalah Di Dunia"!

If the 10,000-People "Takkan Melayu Hilang Di Dunia" Gathering on Sunday is to focus on the factors responsible for the multiple crisis of confidence afflicting the nation like  economic mismanagement, corruption and cronyism as highlighted by the governmentís RM1.79 billion bailout of Tajudin Ramliís 29.09 per cent stake in MAS and the RM6 billion bail-out of the two LRT companies, PUTRA and STAR, and the urgent need to give full support to the new Chief Justice of the Federal Court, Tan Sri Mohtar Dzaiddin to restore national and international confidence in a truly independent judiciary and a just rule of law, it will be doing the nation a great service.

However, if its  agenda is purely to inflame and escalate communal feelings and tensions in the country in a blatant attempt to restore Malay political support, then it is a great disservice to 43 years of  the Malaysian nation-building process, Vision 2020 and the Bangsa Malaysia concept.

It is most sad and unfortunate that the Cabinet had proved unable to rise to the occasion to send out a clear message to everyone in the country that this is the time for national unity, when all Malaysians should be Malaysian first and Malay, Chinese, Indian, Kadazan or Iban second - rather than Malay, Chinese, Indian, Kadazan or Iban first and Malaysian second.

The Ministers in the Cabinet are bad role models as Malaysian patriots to the young generation of Malaysians when they show to the nation and the world that they  regard themselves as Malay, Chinese or   Indian first and Malaysian as second.


*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman