Important questions and concerns about Malaysia’s stand in the war against terrorism must be addressed by a full debate if Parliament is not to be shockingly remiss in failing to confront one of the most burning issues of the country and the world
by Lim Kit Siang
(Penang, Saturday): DAP is strongly of the view that Parliament should not end its two-month parliamentary meeting next week without holding a comprehensive debate on the threat and challenge of terrorism after the September 11 and Bali terrorist attacks, or it would have abdicated from its fundamental responsibility as the highest political forum in the country to discuss the most urgent and contemporaneous issues facing the nation and people.
Important questions and concerns about Malaysia’s stand in the war against terrorism must be addressed by a full debate if Parliament is not to be shockingly remiss in failing to confront one of the most burning issues of the country and the world.
In such a comprehensive debate, the government would have the opportunity to clarify the various confusing and conflicting signals it had sent out about its position on the threat and challenge of terrorism in the country, the region and the world as well as provide a national sounding-board to ventilate and focus on the primary concerns of Malaysians on this issue.
Among the questions about the threat and challenge of terrorism which Parliament should focus on is to ascertain the government stand on Osama bin Laden, al Qaeda and Jemaah Islamiyah.
The following motley of events for instance yield a most confusing, ambivalent and even contradictory picture of the Malaysian government’s stand on the threat of terrorism:
It is not fruitful to speculate whether Malaysia will soon have the tantalizing spectacle of a US-Malaysia anti-terrorist centre in the country manned by personnel wearing Osama bin Laden T-shirts, but there is no doubt about the confusing and contradictory signals emanating from the series of contradictory stands taken by the Malaysian government on the issue, which should be put to rest with a full and comprehensive debate on the issue in Parliament.
* Lim Kit Siang, DAP National Chairman