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Not enough for Abdullah to break his “elegant silence” to lecture Samy Vellu to stop “finger-pointing” about RM100 million Parliament leaks as Malaysians want to know whose heads will roll for the scandal or has Malaysia a Prime Minister whose writ does not run in his own shambolic government?


Media Statement      
by Lim Kit Siang  


(Parliament, Wednesday) : The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said in Tokyo yesterday that the Public Works Department (PWD) is responsible for maintenance of government buildings and there should be no "finger-pointing" whenever a defect occurs.

Abdullah said: "I've told Samy Vellu that the PWD was responsible for matters related to maintenance, don't quarrel among yourselves, it's embarrassing.

"It's alright if you want to talk it over and carry out the repairs jointly ...what's the point of quarrelling with each other to the extent of the people knowing.

”If there's something wrong, talk to each other, cooperate and do it quietly... what’s the point of quarrelling in the newspapers, one says they're responsible, the other says it's your problem.

"Already people are unhappy with what has happened, who is to take responsibility and who is responsible have also become a public issue, two agencies quarrelling...this is not good.

"Whoever is responsible must have the sense of responsibility to make sure what it was responsible to do. It takes action, it carries out its responsibility.”

While the first public reaction is one of relief that the Prime Minister has finally broken his “elegant silence” on the RM100 million Parliament leaks, the latest in the litany of government building and public construction defects, Malaysians’ concern and even alarm about the effectiveness of the Abdullah premiership has not been addressed!

This is because Abdullah’s comments have only served to aggravate increasingly widespread public disquiet about the shambolic administration and the lack of effective and dynamic government leadership in the country, with many questions jostling for answer, such as:

  • Why has Abdullah taken two full weeks before making his first public comment on the RM100 million Parliament leaks on May 9 and six days after Samy Vellu blamed everybody but himself for Parliament becoming “House of Leaks”?
  • Why has the Prime Minister have  to go all the way to Tokyo to make his first comment on the two-week-old RM100 million Parliament leaks scandal?
  • Why has Abdullah still maintained his “elegant silence” on a direct consequence of the RM100 million Parliament leaks scandal -  the sexist  “bocor” scandal of the two  Barisan Nasional MPs, Mohd Said and Bung Mokhtar who had compounded their offence of sexual harassment of DAP MP for Batu Gajah Fong Po Kuan and dishonour of Parliament, Malaysian women and the nation’s international reputation with fake apologies to the Women, Family and Community Development Minister, Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil.

In the past few days, apart from Parliament’s leaking roof, the Speaker, Tan Sri Ramli Ngah has expressed a new fear over the electrical wiring which could result in a short-circuit and Parliament House catching fire. 

More and more Malaysians are asking whether the recent litany of government building and public construction defects are symbolic of a systemic collapse of the government machinery under Abdullah’s premiership, resulting in an increasingly shambolic administration.

In Tokyo yesterday, Abdullah said he was impressed with the maintenance culture of the Japanese people who are known for their efficient maintenance practices, cleanliness, public courtesy and high civic-consciousness.

He believed that the 14,000 Malaysians, who have studied in Japan, would have been "influenced" to emulate the noble cultures of the Japanese in their daily lives.

Are the 26 million Malaysians to await for the return of all the 14,000 Malaysians currently studying in Japan before we can arrest and reverse the slide towards a shambolic administration and systemic government collapse?

Abdullah gave the impression that the maintenance culture is an alien concept to Malaysians, when such shambolic administration and systemic collapse of the government machinery as illustrated by the spate of government building and public construction mishaps were  not only unheard-of but would have been completely unthinkable in the early decades of independent nationhood.

What has gone so terribly wrong in the past five decades of nationhood in terms of the quality, standards  and professionalism of governance, both public and private?

It is not enough for Abdullah to break  his “elegant silence” to lecture Samy Vellu to stop “finger-pointing” about RM100 million Parliament leaks as  Malaysians want to know whose heads will roll for the scandal or has Malaysia a Prime Minister whose writ does not run in his own shambolic government? 

The impression that the Abdullah’s writ does not run in his own administration was reinforced by his answer in the Dewan Negara yesterday, where he asked members of parliament and senators to tick off people who smoke at Parliament House which has been gazetted as a non-smoking premises.

The Prime Minister said the ban on smoking was gazetted under Regulation 11 (1) (h) of the Tobacco Revenue Control Regulations 2004, which clearly states that smoking was prohibited at any government premises.

"If you find there are people still smoking inside Parliament House, they're smokers who don't obey regulations.

"I'm seeking your cooperation to tick off these hardcore smokers to respect the ban."

Is the Prime Minister aware that Ministers and Deputy Ministers are among the chief culprits in turning parts of Parliament into “smoking chambers” despite the 2004 gazette of Parliament as non-smoking premises?   

Had he ever directed members of his Cabinet and administration to set the example in ensuring that Parliament is a model of “non-smoking premises” in the country?   

Had he ever directed the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department with specific responsibility for Parliament, Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz, to monitor and penalize members of the Cabinet and administration for violating the “non-smoking” gazette in Parliament?


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

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