Call on Abdullah to ensure that the next general election is the most “clean, free and fair” without the blemish of the 3M abuses of money politics, media manipulation and abuses of government machinery to demonstrate he could rise above and not be captive to the long-standing abuses of the system of bad governance
Media Conference Statement
- during a visit to Rifle Range flats
by Lim Kit Siang
(Penang, Friday): Nobody would be surprised if Parliament is dissolved in the next few days, including today, to pave way for the 11th general election, which is expected to be completed by the end of next month.
The most powerful Barisan Nasional ace card in the forthcoming general election is the new Prime Minister effect, as Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has been able in his first four months in office to raise sky-high the long-suppressed hopes and expectations of the people for basic and fundamental change in the system of bad governance with his pledge of a clean, incorruptible, efficient and people-oriented administration which wants to hear the truth from the people.
Malaysians understand that Abdullah cannot bring about fundamental changes overnight, but he must be able to begin to make meaningful and even substantive changes in his first months in office.
The conduct of the coming general elections would be one such critical test – whether Abdullah could ensure that the next general election is the most “clean, free and fair” without the blemish of the 3M abuses of money politics, media manipulation and abuses of government machinery to demonstrate he could rise above and not be captive to the long-standing abuses of the system of bad governance.
Is he prepared for instance to send out a clear directive to the government-controlled radio and television channels to open up and provide free and fair time for all competing political parties and candidates to ensure a level playing field for all contestants in the general election? Is he prepared to restrain the Barisan Nasional parties from spending hundreds of millions of ringgit in the next general election, turning electoral battles into a contest of money?
The question uppermost in the minds of all thinking Malaysians is whether Abdullah could triumph over the system. Abdullah is acknowledged as a sincere, honest and clean leader but these factors alone cannot ensure the success of his pledge for a clean, incorruptible, efficient and trustworthy government. If he continues to be in the quandary of “Man versus the System” without being able to change the system of governance which had spawned such rampant and deep-rooted corruption, government inefficiencies and failures, injustices and inequalities in the country, the individual will finally succumb to the pressures of the system.
DAP, like all Malaysians, want Abdullah to succeed in his pledge to introduce good governance to usher in a clean, incorruptible, efficient and people-oriented administration but this can only come about if there is fundamental change in the system of governance which allows no room for corruption, abuse of power and all forms of malpractices.
This means a whole face-lift in the system of governance including, for instance, a strong and healthy Parliament and State Assemblies – strong not in terms of two-thirds or five-sixth Barisan Nasional majorities, but strong in the sense of having a strong and vibrant Opposition like the DAP to support good policies such as the crackdown on corruption and an end to extremist and intolerant measures as well as having the courage and conviction to speak up to criticize and oppose all forms of bad governance.
* Lim Kit Siang, DAP National Chairman