Ten tasks for Mahathir to accomplish in the
next nine-and-a-half months before he steps down as Prime Minister to pave
the way for an united, tolerant, progressive and prosperous Malaysia
- 13th DAP National
by Lim Kit Siang
Recently, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad said many
people want him to do in ten months what would normally take three or four
Undoubtedly, at this juncture of the nation's history, there are many things
which only Mahathir and nobody else in the Barisan Nasional government can
do, including rectifying numerous grave errors of government policies and
Mahathir has only nine-and-a-half months left to complete the 16-month
transition plan to hand over the office of the Prime Minister to Datuk Seri
Abdullah Ahmad Badawi after the OIC Summit in October.
There are at least ten tasks which Mahathir should accomplish in the next
nine-and-a-half monrhs before he steps down as the fourth Prime Minister of
Malaysia after more than 22 years 3 months in the highest office of the
land, which are important to nation-building to restore a proper and solid
foundation for an united, tolerant, progressive and prosperous Malaysia.
These ten tasks which Mahathir should accomplish in the next 9 ½ months are:
National unity - end the division
of Malaysians into bumiputras and non-bumiputras, a division not sanctioned
by the Malaysian constitution.
Founding constitutional principle
- uphold the 1957 Merdeka Constitution/social contract/1963 Malaysia
Agreement that Malaysia is a democratic, secular, multi-religious, tolerant
and progressive nation with Islam as the official religion but Malaysia is
not an Islamic state, whether ala-PAS or ala-UMNO, by withdrawing the "929
Declaration" that Malaysia is an Islamic state which Mahathir made at the
Gerakan national delegates conference on Sept. 29, 2001.
Quality of tertiary education -
Prioritise as top national agenda international recognition and acclaim of
quality and excellence of tertiary education in Malaysia, with the objective
of positioning one university among the top 10 best universities in the
Asia-Pacific, one in top 20, one in top 30, one in top 40 and one in top 50
(i.e. five best universities among the top 50 in Asia-Pacific, as compared
to the present where the University of Malaya, the country's best, is placed
No. 47 in the Asiaweek's 2000 ranking of Best Universities in the region)
with the adoption of meritocracy for all academic appointments, beginning
with the appointment of qualified non-Malays and women as university vice
chancellors and deans of faculties.
Restore English proficiency in the
country to the standards and attainments three decades ago to equip
Malaysians to face the challenges of globalisation and information and
communications technology with full regard for Article 152 of the Federal
Constitution on Malay as the official language and the protection and
promotion of mother-tongue languages and education - as building new Chinese
primary schools to meet increased student needs.
End corruption, cronyism and
nepotism to give fillip to economic growth.
Involve all political parties,
religious groups and NGOs in a national effort to eradicate the
international perception that Malaysia is a "terrorist centre" which
threatens Malaysia's economic growth, development and prosperity by
frightening away foreign direct investments (FDIs) and tourists.
Restore the rule of law, the
independence of the judiciary and the integrity and credibility of important
national institutions such as the Election Commission, the Anti-Corruption
Agency, Suhakam, the Attorney-General's Office, Police, etc.
Introduce a new democratic culture
where Parliament can play a meaningful role as the highest political and
legislative chamber of the land, and an end to all forms of political
discrimination and abuses of power.
Respect human rights by restoring
the fundamental liberties of freedom of speech, assembly, association, a
free press and the right to information and development.
Proper and solid preparation to
transform Malaysia into a K(knowledge) economy and I(nformation) society
starting with a new national information policy where the government uses
ICT to reveal and not conceal information as is currently the case with the
heap of government 'cobwebsites' passing off as homepages and the
withholding from the public important reports including studies commissioned
by the government.
Lim Kit Siang, DAP National