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Abdullah’s stout reply to complaints and criticisms fell completely flat because he is suffering from a grave credibility gap three years after sweeping the polls with an unprecedented 91% parliamentary seats

Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang  


(Parliament, Wednesday) : The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi yesterday said that he “had enough” of complaints and criticisms and launched into a stout defence of his three-year administration.


However, Abdullah’s reply fell completely flat and did not win him any brownie points.


Abdullah should realize that national skepticism and cynicism about his premiership has set in  very deep in the country  because he is suffering from a grave credibility gap three years after sweeping the polls with an unprecedented 91% parliamentary seats with his stirring pledges of reform -  a model plural nation to the world of unity in diversity where  the different races, religions and cultures can flourish in goodwill, tolerance and harmony; a dynamic, progressive and prosperous economy where all Malaysians can feel proud of the country and be ready to compete globally and successfully  with the rest of the world; a new respect for human rights, accountalbility, transparency and good governance;  and most inspiring of all, an all-out war against corruption.


After three years, Abdullah has nothing much to show for these very promises which Malaysians  had overwhelmingly supported his takeover  of the premiership from Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad. In fact, in some important respects, the nation has gone backwards instead of forwards.


His reply yesterday to the criticisms and complaints in his speech at the closing of the PNB World Investment Challenge 2006 was in fact an admission of failure – that  his third Umno Presidential speech two weeks ago as a wide-ranging policy address on the 12 pillars of his three-year administration to lay to rest all criticisms and complaints about  his leadership had failed to make any lasting but only  the most ephemeral  impact.


Up to now, the country is still reverberating from the shock-waves caused by the racist, extremist, incendiary and seditious speeches at the Umno general assemblies and the insensitive  unsheathing of the Malay keris for the second year by the Umno Youth leader, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein in the midst  of threats of another May 13, “bathing in blood” and running amok, causing irreparable damage to nation-building and national unity and scaring away foreign investors.  As a result, Abdullah’s 12-pillar policy speech had been completely drowned.


It is pathetic that a definitive policy address like Abdullah’s third Umno presidential speech to defend his three-year  premiership could not have an impact  lasting for more than  two weeks when it should be able to stand for at least one year  as a reference point on various important policy issues, whether economy, stock market, corruption, public delivery system, etc.


Abdullah should give deep and hard thought as to why his assurances and explanations are having a shorter and shorter life-span and take bold measures to restore his credibility and even legitimacy as Prime Minister for all Malaysians and future generations.



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

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