Penang State Government should set the example for the Federal and other State Governments to condemn Taliban medieval barbarism in destroying the pricess ancient Afghan Buddhas

Media statement 
by Lim Kit Siang

(Penang, Friday): Penang Chief Minister, Tan Sri Dr. Koh Tsu Koon is to be commended for initiating the Malaysian Buddhist Association signature campaign to protest against the destruction of Buddha statues by the Taliban regime in Afghanistan and his call on all organisations and individuals, regardless of religion, to condemn the senseless and contemptible Taliban sacrilege of the Buddhist relics.

The Penang State Government should observe the motto "Penang Leads" and set the example for the Federal and other State governments to condemn the Taliban medieval barbarism in destroying the priceless Afghan Buddhas, including the world's tallest standing Buddha, the 175-ft Bamiyan Buddha, as Federal and State government condemnation will give further strength to the condemnation by Malaysian organisations and individuals.

I had yesterday asked why the Cabinet at its meeting on Wednesday  failed to take a strong stand against the Taliban destruction of ancient Buddhist statues as a crime against  the world's common heritage, and in particular, why  the  MCA President, Datuk Seri Dr. Ling Liong Sik and the Gerakan President, Datuk Dr. Lim Keng Yaik's  strong denunciation of the Taliban cultural massacre have not been reflected in a strong Cabinet stand on the issue.

In response, an aide of the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad has told  Bernama that the Cabinet did not hold its weekly meeting in Putrajaya on Wednesday.

It has come as a great surprise that Cabinet Ministers have taken an extra holiday on Wednesday when ordinary Malaysians have all to work. Why should the Cabinet take a day off on Wednesday, when there are so many pressing national and international issues to be attended to?

Is it just because Saturday was a government holiday as the first Saturday of the month and Tuesday a national  holiday as Hari Raya Aidiladha, and the Cabinet Ministers decided to have a full stretch of five holidays in a row? Cabinet Ministers are setting a bad work ethics for public and private employees as they should  not take  things so easy or  they might score another world's first in being the laziest Ministers in the world.

The Cabinet failed at the first available opportunity when it met the previous Wednesday on 28th February  to take a stand against the Taliban desecration of mankind's priceless cultural treasures.

The government must come out with a strong condemnation of the Taliban destruction of the pre-Islamic Bamiyan Buddha statues and Malaysia must not abdicate from our international responsibilities to play a leading role to mobilise  the international society to try to stop the Taliban medieval barbarism from commiting the tragedy and  crime of cultural genocide.


*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman