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Barisan Nasional Supreme Council meeting yesterday most disappointing as Hishammuddin is now able to say that UMNO Youth’s call for revival of NEP has now received the endorsement of BN Supreme Council, BN Youth Council and all BN component parties
(Parliament, Tuesday): The Barisan Nasional (BN) Supreme Council meeting yesterday is most disappointing as UMNO Youth leader, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein is now able to say that UMNO Youth’s call for revival of New Economic Policy (NEP) has now received the endorsement of BN Supreme Council, BN Youth Council and all Barisan Nasional component parties.
I am reminded of another Barisan Nasional Supreme Council emergency meeting in October 2001, which was convened to endorse the unilateral, arbitrary and unconstitutional declaration of the then Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad at the Gerakan National Delegates Conference on Sept. 29, 2001 that Malaysia was an Islamic State.
At the October 2001 Barisan Nasional Supreme Council emergency meeting, all the Barisan Nasional component parties endorsed Mahathir’s “929 Declaration” that Malaysia was an Islamic State, in the same way that the Barisan Nasional Supreme Council emergency meeting yesterday endorsed UMNO Youth’s call for revival of NEP.
The decision of the Barisan Nasional Supreme Council emergency meeting in October 2001 to endorse the “929 Declaration” that Malaysia was an Islamic State was a great nation-building blunder, not only because it went against the bedrock principles of the Merdeka “social contract” reached by the forefathers of all communities and written into the 1957 Merdeka Constitution, the 1963 Malaysia Agreement and the 1970 Rukunegara that Malaysia is a democratic, secular and multi-religious nation with Islam as the official religion but not an Islamic State, it also went against the deep-seated beliefs and feelings of the majority of the ordinary members of all the Barisan Nasional component parties.
Will the Barisan Nasional Supreme Council emergency meeting yesterday prove to be another nation-building blunder?
The assurance by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, that the New National Agenda and Ninth Malaysia Plan would give fair treatment to all races in the country is welcome, but this is putting the cart before the horse – for first, there must be consensus about the New National Agenda, whether terminology, contents or strategy.
When what is proposed at the UMNO Youth Assembly immediately becomes national policy, while what is resolved not just at MCA Youth, Gerakan Youth or MIC Youth assemblies but also at MCA, Gerakan and MIC National Conferences are ignored and disregarded at all levels of the government decision-making process, questions are immediately raised as to whether Abdullah’s promise to be “fair to all” could be fully implemented.
A New National Agenda must be the result of a national consensus and not just the resolution of UMNO Youth, riding roughshod over the reservations of many sectors of the Malaysian society. This is why DAP had proposed right from the beginning the convening of a national consultative conference involving all political parties, professions, NGOs, racial and religious groups to discuss and decide on the best economic strategy for the nation and all communities in the country for the next 15 years with national unity as the overriding objective of all government development plans and policies.
Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP
Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission
Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman