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Abdullah’s “I’m in control” declaration in Havana completely shattered by Nazri’s disgraceful unparliamentary conduct when replying on behalf of the Prime Minister in the budget debate which could only mean that he himself  has no confidence in the direction of the government

Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang  


(Parliment, Monday) :  The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s “I’m in control” declaration in Havana was  completely shattered by the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz’s disgraceful  unparliamentary conduct in Parliament this morning  when replying on behalf of the Prime Minister in the budget debate which could only mean that Nazri  himself  has no confidence in the direction of the government.


In Havana, Abdullah made the declaration “I’m in control” in response to critics to assert his authority that he had not lost control of his administration.


He said he was committed to making reforms in the country but would do things “my way”.  He said it was wrong of people to assume that he had lost control just because ministers had differing opinions on certain matters.


The very fact that Abdullah had to make such a declaration that “I’m in control” on the 35th month as the fifth Prime Minister of Malaysia  is itself eloquent testimony that something is very wrong about the direction of the Abdullah premiership as well as his control of his own Cabinet and government.


None of the first four Prime Ministers of Malaysia had to come out with such a declaration that he was “in control” of the Cabinet and government on their third year in office.


This is most telling, which had been highlighted by the shameful parliamentary episode this morning where Nazri behaved most uncharacteristically in refusing to entertain a single clarification, shooting off his reply like a bullet-train utterly in disregard whether it is understood by Members of Parliament, whether Barisan Nasional or Opposition.


There was totally no “give-and-take” to allow MPs to clarify his answers to many important issues raised in the budget debate, whether the Abdullah has “lost control” of the Cabinet government, his failure to “walk the talk” of his election pledges of reform particularly in the areas of eradicating corruption, efficient public service delivery as  having a professional world-class police service with the establishment of an Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC), restoring public confidence in an independent judiciary and a just rule of law, and the many  political and financial controversies involving Abdullah’s son-in law Khairy Jamaluddin and son Kamaluddin on Scomi.


These answers have become particularly pertinent with the weekend report of further slips in Malaysia’s rankings in the World Bank’s Worldwide Governance Indicators (WGI) for 213 countries from 1996 to 2005.


Malaysia’s  performance in the six dimensions of governance — voice and accountability, political stability and absence of violence, government effectiveness, regulatory quality, rule of law, and control of corruption — showed that beyond "government effectiveness", no other area bettered its scores of 10 years ago.


On the issue of corruption, the indicators measured how far public power was exercised for private gain, including petty and grand forms of corruption, as well as the "capture of state by elites and private interests".

On this front, Malaysia had not improved on its 75.6 per cent score in 1996 with a 64.5 per cent score last year. It was at a low in 2000, climbed up to 68.1 per cent in 2003, but went back on a decline the following year.


In the "Rule of Law" indicator, which takes into account the likelihood of crime, violence and the performance of the police, enforcement and courts, Malaysia fell from a 78.5 per cent rank in 1996 to 66.2 per cent last year.


Malaysia dropped in the indicator on the  government’s ability to "formulate and implement sound policies and regulations that permit and promote private sector development". 

Under this "Regulatory Quality" indicator, 10 years ago Malaysia beat 80.4 per cent of all countries surveyed.  The country slid to a low of 59.1 per cent in 2000 and though it started improving the following years, it dropped again last year.

Malaysia fared the worst in the indicator on "voice and accountability", measuring the extent to which a country’s citizens were able to participate in selecting their government, freedom of expression and association, as well as a free media.


It  showed that 79.5 per cent of all countries had done better than Malaysia in 1996.  Ten years later, Malaysia was beaten by 80.4 per cent. In a category topped by countries like Denmark, Finland and Norway, Malaysia was wedged in between Sierra Leone and Malawi at position 137.


Of the Southeast Asian countries, Brunei, Laos, Vietnam, and Myanmar scored lower than Malaysia, while Thailand, Singapore and Indonesia scored higher.

I had proposed to question Nazri on Malaysia’s poor showing on the World Bank World Governance Indicators as they contradicted Abdullah’s Havana declaration that “I’m in control” and that he has his “way” of delivering his reform pledges.


Nazri’s uncharacteristic refusal  to entertain a single clarification in his reply, which he said is 80-page in length and which he ended abruptly in a huff when faced with the relentless interruptions of DAP MPs, particularly Karpal Singh (Bukit Glugor), Fong Po Kuan (Batu Gajah), Chong Eng (Bukit Mertajam), Chow Kon Yeow (Tanjong) and Lim Hock Seng (Bagan), is more eloquent than any responses he could give that his heart is not in the answer  he has to read out in Parliament and his utter lack of confidence in the reply he has to give.


In less than 24 hours of his Havana statement, the question whether Abdullah is really in control of his Cabinet and government has sprung back to life – with Parliament totally would of control this morning with the unparliamentary conduct and unparliamentary remarks by Nazri.



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

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