Three matters Abdullah should publicly pledge to fulfill if the BN Manifesto to be fair to all Malaysian citizens is to be credible – end the bumiputra/non-bumiputra distinction, repeal the New Economic Policy and give just and equitable treatment to Chinese education so that the Chinese community need not continue to pay a “second income tax” as in the past four decades
Media Conference Statement
- at the DAP Ipoh Timor election operations headquarters
by Lim Kit Siang
(Ipoh, Wednesday): I said yesterday that the Barisan Nasional 2004 General Election Manifesto of “Cemerlang, Gemilang, Terbilang” (Excellence, Glory and Distinction) had omitted a fourth term “Temberang”, which is defined by Kamus Dewan as “percakapan dll yg sedap didengar (umumnya tidak benar)”.
I can make at least 50 separate comments on why “Temberang” is the underlying and undeclared sub-text of the BN 2004 General Election Manifesto, but with the shortest and most unfair 7 ½ day election campaign period, there is no way for the over 10 million voters to discuss, analyse and dissect the BN manifesto and for its “empty promises” to be exposed – making the election campaign period the most unfair, undemocratic and even meaningless process.
The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, said elected BN representatives will be measured against a Key Performance Index (KPI) and that action would be taken against them, including caution, reprimand and other “further action”, if they fail to meet the mark.
I do not see how such KPI could be meaningful if the Barisan Nasional MPs and State Assembly representatives elected on March 21 are the product of a most unfair, unjust and undemocratic election, as the first lesson they would imbibe would be the right to be unfair, unjust and undemocratic by flouting the most elementary notions and rules of democracy and good governance. This is in fact the key to the corruption of the elective system.
Although I have some 50 comments on the “Temberang” Manifesto of the Barisan Nasional, I can only make my second comment today, on its claim to be fair to all citizens and to safeguard their interests. The second sub-paragraph of the first paragraph of the BN Manifesto said: “We listen and act on the hopes and aspirations of all groups regardless of age, gender, ethnic background and religion.”
This is another “temberang”. There are three matters Abdullah should publicly pledge to fulfill if the Barisan Nasional Manifesto to be fair to all Malaysian citizens is to be fulfilled – end the bumiputra/non-bumiputra distinction, repeal the New Economic Policy and give just and equitable treatment especially in the allocation of funds to Chinese education and the building of Chinese primary schools to meet increased student needs so that the Chinese community need not continue to pay a “second income tax” as in the past four decades!
Furthermore, how can the Barisan Nasional government “listen and act on the hopes and aspirations of all groups” when there had been no restoration of press freedom in the past four months, with the electronic media of radio and television and the controlled mainstream media as bad, or even worse, then the period of the Mahathir era. If what DAP and opposition MPs and leaders say cannot get reported in the media, how can the views, hopes and aspirations of the ordinary rakyat be heard, let alone be acted upon, by the Barisan Nasional government?
* Lim Kit Siang, DAP National Chairman