Four  tragic, horrific or disgusting examples why the five-year “courtesy and noble values” campaign is such an abject failure in the first two weeks of its launch by the Prime Minister


Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang

(Parliament, Friday): The following four  tragic, horrific or disgusting incidents are proof why the five-year “Courtesy and Noble  Values” Campaign is such an abject failure in the first two weeks of its launch by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi: 

  • The heinous murder of bank clerk, Muhamad Nazri Ismail, 28, by road bullies in Subang Jaya on Tuesday morning;
  • The gross and blatant abuses of power by Federal Territory Religious Department (JAWI) enforcement officers and the mistreatment and humiliations suffered by some 100 Muslim youths, men and women, in a 10-hour ordeal following a raid at a Kuala Lumpur club in the wee hours of Jan. 20;
  • The announcement of plans by the Malacca 4B Youth Movement to deploy snoops or Mat Skodeng to spy on young people involved in allegedly “immoral” activities;
  • The total lack of shame and  the inability to differentiate between right and wrong as demonstrated by Selangor Barisan Nasional Public Accounts Committee(PAC) members demanding that DAP State Assemblyman for Sekinchan Ng Suee Lim should be penalized for the expose and cancellation of the RM100,000, eight-day “Belly Dance”  tour of the Nile, when Ng should have been commended for having the proper “noble values” to be emulated by other Selangor elected representatives.

DAP fully supports Abdullah in condemning the heinous murder of Muhamad Nazri and backs  his call to the people to reject any form of crime and violence. 

However, political  leaders should not condemn heinous crimes only when the victim is a  party  member, but must take a similar stand regardless of the race, religion or political beliefs of the victims.

Culture, Arts and Heritage Minister Datuk Seri Dr. Rais Yatim yesterday said the Cabinet has asked the Attorney-General to look into the public uproar over the unprofessional conduct of male JAWI officials towards detained Muslim women, which showed  blatant discrimination and sexual harassment as well as clear abuse of power by JAWI officials in their degrading and humiliating behaviour towards the detained women.

The errant JAWI officers should be suspended until the outcome of  a full and satisfactory investigation into the serious allegations by the aggrieved Muslim youths.

The JAWI incident is a classic case of public servants totally lacking in courtesy and noble values, even of “Harap Pagar, Pagar Makan Padi”.  Rais should make  public employees, particularly enforcement officers in all agencies, the first target of  his ministry’s “Courtesy and Noble Values” campaign, so that civil servants serve as models of courtesy and noble values in the discharge of their public duties.

A common thread running through the four tragic, horrific or disgusting incidents which are standing proof of the abject failure of the first two weeks of the  “Courtesy and Noble  Values” Campaign is the disease of a culture of arrogance and selfishness,  which reaches to very high levels of leadership in all sectors, including political. 

This was vividly illustrated by the recent episode of the five Federal deputy ministers from Sarawak, one of whom has been investigated by the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) since November last year. 

The five Sarawak deputy ministers have individually denied being  under  ACA investigation and collectively ganged up to protest to the Prime Minister at such  ACA disclosure to the media. 

As ACA has repeatedly confirmed that one of the five Sarawak deputy ministers is under ACA investigation, one of the five has committed the additional transgression against noble values in telling a public lie. 

With such examples of contempt for  noble values of truth and honesty by the highest levels of political leadership, how can Rais’ “courtesy and noble values” campaign enjoy  credibility and enjoy public confidence? 

To ensure that the “courtesy and noble values” campaign continues to be meaningful, Rais should persuade the Sarawak Federal deputy minister concerned to own up publicly of being investigated by the ACA and to publicly apologise for lying in making an earlier denial.


* Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman