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Call for special four-day meeting of Parliament within the next 30 days to dispose of all outstanding parliamentary business so that they will not lapse when Parliament is dissolved in less than 70 days for the 12th general election

Speech at DAP Bagan Dinner         
by Lim Kit Siang  

(Penang, Friday): Every day there are new and increasing pointers that the next general election is very close – in fact, I expect Parliament to be dissolved in less than 70 days for the 12th general election to be held.

This is the reason why the MCA President and Housing and Local Government Minister, Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting has been appointed Acting Health Minister after the sudden demise of the meteoric political career of Datuk Seri Dr. Chua Soi Lek in the national landscape.

Is there no one in the current crop of MCA deputy ministers like Ong Tee Kiat, Donald Lim, Dr. Ng Yen Yen, Fu Ah Kiow, Wong Kam Hong, Hon Choon Kam or Liow Tiong Lai who is qualified to be appointed Health Minister to replace Chua that the MCA President must recommend himself to the Prime Minister as the Acting Health Minister?

The ulterior objective of such a move is clear – to keep a Ministerial seat open for his brother, Ong Ka Chuan after the general election!

The timing of the very organised, orchestrated and systematic campaign to destroy Chua’s political career in a blitzkrieg five-day operation is also linked to the fast approach of the general election, to wipe him out once and for all from the political scene!

Chua knows that he had been “killed” not by the Opposition, but by his own colleagues in the MCA. Yesterday, I had said that there could be no doubt that the “black hand” responsible for the “ninjas” who successfully carried out the political assassination of Chua could be traced or linked to person or persons sitting in the MCA Presidential Council which had with great hypocrisy “regrettably accepted and respected” Chua’s resignation from all government and party posts!

This is the Malaysiakini report this evening:

Former Health Minister Dr Chua Soi Lek has accused his political rivals of wanting to see him “completely destroyed” even though he has quit all posts after being embroiled in a sex scandal.

“I have been stripped bare of everything, but they (detractors) want to see me completely destroyed,” he told Malaysiakini when contacted today.

He did not elaborate on his remark today as he declined making further media comment.

“I’m not meeting the press today, let things cool down first. I have been interviewed by too many media lately and (detractors) said I kept talking to the media as if I was very proud,” said Chua over the phone.

Who are these “political rivals” of Chua who want him “completely destroyed” although he had quit all government and party posts? Clearly not DAP or any other Opposition party. I do not believe they are from UMNO or other Barisan Nasional component parties but are “big guns” from the MCA!

Another pointer of the closeness of the next general election is the sudden possibility of the re-opening of the Damansara Chinese primary school in Petaling Jaya, Selangor after arbitrary and high-handed closure for seven years – a hint coming from none other than the Education Minister, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hashim himself.

Asked by the media today whether the Damansara Chinese primary school could be re-opened this year, Hishammuddin replied that such a possibility exists.

This shows the power of an approaching general election – things which are otherwise unthinkable and impossible suddenly become thinkable and do-able!

The New Year 2008 was ushered in with the strongest pointer, when the MCA President Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting announced a RM10 million “angpow” to Chinese schools nationwide at a ceremony at the MCA Headquarters, as if public funds come from the MCA coffers!

The MCA leaders are hoping that the people will not ask too many questions, for instance, objecting to the paltry sum of RM10 million when compared to the RM4.6 billion squandered away in the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) bailout scandal – as without the PKFZ scandal, the bulk of the RM4.6 billion could be disbursed to the nation’s 1,500 Chinese primary and 60 Chinese independent secondary schools for their development to make up for the decades of government neglect and discrimination suffered by Chinese schools!

The MCA Central Committee is meeting on Tuesday on Chua’s resignation and I call on the MCA leaders to take a stand on the RM4.6 billion PKFZ scandal, as it is the first mega financial scandal to involve a MCA Minister in the nation’s 50-year history.

The MCA Central Committee should direct the Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy to set up a public inquiry to establish his innocence of any abuse of power, misuse of public funds or any Ministerial wrongdoing in the RM4.6 billion PKFZ scandal - failing which Chan should be instructed to emulate Chua’s example and tender his resignation as Transport Minister and from all government and party posts.

Parliament is now in adjournment and its next meeting is scheduled to begin on March 17, which will be officially opened by the Yang di Pertuan Agong for a 23-day meeting for the Dewan Rakyat till April 23, 2008.

If general election is held within the next 70 days, then the 11th Parliament will not be meeting again.

I call on the Prime Minister to convene a special four-day meeting of Parliament within the next 30 days so that the Malaysian Parliament will not become a laughing-stock of the world, especially as Malaysia is to play host to Parliamentarians from Commonwealth countries in the Commonwealth Parliament Association annual conference to be held in Kuala Lumpur in September this year.

If Parliament is dissolved without a special meeting, the work of several Parliamentary Committees would be aborted, wasting months and months of public hearings and meetings, resources and money without any result.

This is because three Parliamentary Select Committees, on National Unity and Integration, on Integrity and on a Code of Ethics for MPs, would not be able to complete their work and submit their report and recommendations to Parliament.

This would mean that the months spent by the Parliamentary Select Committees on National Unity and on Integrity, holding public hearings in various parts of the country in the past two years, would all go down the drain as their life-span automatically terminates with the dissolution of Parliament.

I will ask for a meeting with the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to suggest a special four-day meeting of Parliament within the next 30 days to dispose of all outstanding parliamentary business so that they will not lapse when Parliament is dissolved in less than 70 days for the 12th general election.


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

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