Parliament should set aside one day in its second week of meeting to debate the DAP motion to impeach the Election Commission Chairman Rashid and other commissioners for the most disgraceful, chaotic and unfair 2004 general election in the nation’s 46-year history
by Lim Kit Siang
(Ipoh, Wednesday): Parliament should set aside one day in its second week of meeting to debate the DAP motion to impeach the Election Commission Chairman Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman and other commissioners for the most disgraceful, chaotic and unfair 2004 general election in the nation’s 46-year history.
The impeachment motion which I had given notice to Parliament reads:
“That this House resolves to impeach the Chairman of the Election Commission Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman and the members of the Election Commission by passing a motion of no confidence on them for conducting the most disgraceful and chaotic general election in the 46-year history of the nation, rendering the recent March 2004 general election the most unfair, unfree and unclean of all 11 general elections in the country since Merdeka in 1957”.
When I called on the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in his Putrajaya office yesterday to discuss about parliamentary reforms and modernization to make the Malaysian Parliament a “First World Parliament”, I also informed him of my no-confidence motion against Rashid and the Election Commission members and asked the government to agree for time to be set aside for a debate and a vote to be taken on the motion.
On Monday, the Parliament public relations officer Ishak Momin announced that the first meeting of the 11th Parliament would run for 14 days from May 17 and that Dewan Negara would meet for eight days beginning June 7. He said that apart from the debate on the royal address, 647 oral questions, 123 written questions and three bills for first reading had been included in the Dewan Rakyat Order Paper.
The Parliament PRO has committed the parliamentary sin of equating parliamentary business only with government business, not understanding that Parliament business must include both government and opposition business. As a result, when announcing the Order Paper for the forthcoming parliamentary meeting, Ishak completely ignored the motions which Opposition MPs had given notice, including the impeachment motion of no confidence against the Election Commission Chairman and other commissioners.
The Prime Minister is right that if Malaysia is to become a nation with “First World Infrastructure, First World Mentality”, there must be a change of mindset, starting from the very top of the hierarchy of the entire public service!
In actual fact, DAP MPs had submitted 12 motions to be debated in the forthcoming meeting of Parliament. Apart from my impeachment motion of no- confidence against the Election Commission Chairman, DAP MP for Batu Gajah, Fong Po Kuan submitted three motions on the national service training programe, including a motion to seek for leave of the House to move a private member’s bill to repeal the National Service Training Act 2003, after the endless spate of incidents and flaws of the trouble-ridden national service training programme such as two drownings, sexual harassment, rape, assaults, extortion and gangsterism.
DAP MP for Seputeh Teresa Kok submitted seven motions, on subjects ranging from restoration of local government elections, the teaching of mathematics and science in English from Std. One in primary schools, the re-opening of the Damansara Chinese primary schools, academic freedom in universities to an independent Anti-Corruption Agency.
DAP MP for Bukit Bintang Fong Kui Lun has a motion on the speedy issue of strata titles in Kuala Lumpur.
Three other MPs had given notice for six motions, namely PAS MP for Kubang Kerian Salahuddin bin Ayub on Sekolah Agama Rakyat (SAR), Malaysia’s failure of leadership as Chair of Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) and abuses of the Internal Security Act; Datuk Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar (Santubong) on high traffic accident fatalities and the national education policy; and Loh Seng Kok (Kelana Jaya) on the national service training programme.
The new Parliament which convenes on Monday is unprecedented in Malaysian parliamentary history with the weakest opposition representation – as the Barisan Nasional commands over 90 per cent of the parliamentary seats, which had never happened in the past 10 general elections.
Barisan Nasional MPs must be conscious of their responsibility because of their unprecedented overwhelming numbers in Parliament to speak up courageously against what is wrong, unfair and detrimental to the healthy growth of democracy and good governance in the country.
Later this month, MCA MPs and leaders are required to attend a workshop on the teachings of Confucius, the Analects, by Taiwanese professor Fu Pei-jung on how to be jungzi (“big people”) and avoid being xiaoren (“small people”).
The first lesson the MCA elected representatives must understand is that if they are not prepared or courageous enough to speak up for what is fair, right and proper, such as parliamentary reform and modernization with innovations like live telecast of Parliament, an Opposition MP to head the Parliamentary Accounts Committee, fair time for debate on Opposition and backbencher motions, Specialist Parliamentary Committees, etc., they will not be parliamentary jungzi but parliamentary xiaoren.
Let all MPs, whether Barisan Nasional, DAP or Barisan Alternative, resolve to be parliamentary jungze and not parliamentary xiaoren by giving full support to parliamentary reform and modernization to make the Malaysian Parliament a “First World Parliament” and achieve the first important step to fulfill Abdullah’s goal of Malaysia as a nation with “First World Infrastructure, First World Mentality”!
* Lim Kit Siang, DAP National Chairman & Member of Parliament for Ipoh Timor