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Deputy Ministers and Parliamentary Secretaries warned not to go overboard as  they would not be allowed to get away with impunity any continued attempt to resort to  unprovoked and baseless attacks on DAP MPs to evade pertinent supplementary questions


Media  Statement (2)

by Lim Kit Siang  

, Wednesday): Deputy Ministers and Parliamentary Secretaries are warned not to go overboard  as they would not be allowed to get away with impunity any continued attempt to resort to  unprovoked and baseless attacks on DAP MPs to evade pertinent supplementary questions.


This has happened twice consecutively for two days during Question Time yesterday and today.


The culprit yesterday was the Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk M. Kayveas.  The subject was the Judges’ Code of Ethics in reply to the question by the MP for Kuala Kedah Hashim bin Jahaya.


In my supplementary question, I asked Kayveas why  he was confining himself to  the Code of Ethics 1994 and made no mention about the revision of the Code which had been in the works for more than five years, and what was being done to ensure that lawyers and laypersons could give inputs in amending the Code.


I said that  the 1994 Judges’  Code of Ethics was  useless and ineffective, as its author, the then Chief Justice Eusoff Chin, was also  the chief culprit who plunged the judiciary into an ethical crisis of the first magnitude resulting in another major assault of public confidence in the independence, impartiality and integrity of the judiciary.   That was the   controversy over the judicial impropriety and misconduct of Eusoff Chin  arising from his New Zealand holiday with a  lawyer.

In his reply, Kayveas launched into a bitter attack on DAP for being “useless” and a “failure”, leading to pandemonium in the House in the  exchange between him and  DAP MPs.

Why did Kayveas embark on a totally unprovoked and baseless  attack on the DAP when my supplementary question had not even touched on the Barisan Nasional or PPP?


This morning during Question Time, such unprovoked and baseless attacks on the DAP was repeated.  The culprit this time was the Parliamentary Secretary in the Foreign Ministry, Datuk Zainal Abidin Osman.


The question was by the MP for Sabak Bernam, Datuk Mat Yasir Ikhsan on Malaysia’s hosting of ASEAN Summit and East Asia Summit next month and the effort to make the events “more significant and meaningful to the country”.


In my supplementary question, I drew attention to the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) Summit in Busan, South Korea this weekend highlighting an identity crisis confronting APEC (which had been mocked as standing for “Asia-Pacific Evil Co-operation” by NGOs), and the verdict  of a high-level Australian think-tank report: “APEC is balanced on the brink of terminal irrelevance”.


I asked whether the Foreign Ministry would include the long-standing and intractable Burma problem on the ASEAN Summit to enhance its relevance, especially over the recent report co-authored by former Czech President Vaclav Havel  and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate calling for immediate intervention in Burma by the United Nations Security Council.


I said that according to my information, there is one vote short  among the UN Security Council members to support a  Burma agenda on the Security Council as there are only seven votes in favour. If the ASEAN Summit can give serious consideration to the issue and ensure another one or two vote in the UN Security Council in support of the Burma agenda so as to secure  the necessary majority, then the ASEAN Summit would be most meaningful and relevant.


Instead of a level-headed and sober  reply, Zainal resorted to  invectives, accusing me of representing “Myanmar Action Party”  which  I  had to correct, reminding  him that I stand for democracy in Malaysia, Myanmar and the World and a “World c Action Party” would be more appropriate.


Zainal  accused  the Rocket, the DAP party symbol, of representing destruction   and I again had to correct him that the symbol stands for science and technology in the new era.


The pandemonium in the House that ensued was all because of the unprovoked and baseless attack on the DAP.


There is a  common thread in  these two deplorable incidents in Parliament these two days -  both Kayveas and Zainal wanted to evade pertinent, though embarrassing questions, although I had made no attack whatsoever on the ruling coalition or government.

If there are deputy ministers and parliamentary secretaries who think they can  easily abuse the 92 per cent Barisan Nasional majority in Parliament to shut up and drown out the voices of DAP MPs seeking to speak up for the Malaysian people, they should think again as they will find that they are sorely mistaken.



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

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