Media Statement by Parliamentary
Opposition Leader and DAP MP for Ipoh Timur Lim Kit Siang in Parliament
on Wednesday, 16th January 2008:
World’s most short-lived guessing-game started by any Prime Minister
– whether 12th general election this March or next March?
Will the 12th general election be held in March this year or next year?
This is the guessing game the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad
Badawi tried to provoke from Spain yesterday, but it is a guessing-game
initiated by any Prime Minister which must go down in the Guinness Book
of Records as having the shortest life-span, expiring the moment it was
ventilated – as nobody is biting!
Abdullah, in Madrid for the First Alliance of Civilisations Annual
Forum, had announced that he would be in Senegal in March to hand over
the chairmanship of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference.
He raised the possibility of the next general election being held either
this March or next March when asked if polls would be held before or
after the OIC Summit. (The OIC website gave March 13-14, 2008 as the
Islamic Summit Conference in Dakar, Senegal).
If Abdullah is serious that the next general election is not around the
corner, then he should send out a clear and urgent message to the
Cabinet and the whole administration to return to normalcy, as the whole
government has ceased to operate normally but is on an election footing
– making decisions and approvals “on-the-run” solely with voter support
in mind although such decisions may only last for a few weeks until the
next general election is over.
One good example is the announcement by the MCA President, Datuk Seri
Ong Ka Ting which made Chinese front-page headline news today but
totally ignored by all English and Bahasa-language media, of a new
Finance Ministry guideline to open school and other government contracts
for supplies from RM10, 000 to RM50, 000 to all Malaysians when
previously, all such contracts for supplies below RM50, 000 were
reserved only for bumiputras.
This is one example of the sheaf of government decisions and approvals
which are now being made “on-the-run” just because of the coming general
election, which could be easily reversed or set aside after the general
election by low-level bureaucrats!
Furthermore, at the implementation level, the so-called new Finance
Ministry guideline could be easily circumvented or bypassed during the
next few weeks until the general election by the army of “Little
Napoleons” teeming in the various Ministries and departments who
exercise real powers in the bureaucracy as compared to MCA Ministers.
Thus, if Abdullah has no intention to call general election in March, he
should end the election frenzy in the country so that the Cabinet and
the administration can get back to normal and serious work to provide
efficient service to the people – and not at present be totally
engrossed by how to string out a host of election promises which the
Barisan Nasional government has no intention to honour after the polls.
The general election frenzy is too far advanced to be dispelled unless
Abdullah is prepared to come out with a categorical statement that March
polls are not on the cards.
In fact, it is an open secret that Abdullah’s feng shui master has
recommended March 15, 2008 as an ideal polling day, with March 3 as
dissolution of Parliament and March 7 as nomination day.
Although the OIC Summit is fixed for March 13-14 for Dakar, Senegal,
either this date would be pushed off to later March, or Abdullah will
have to miss it despite his announcement in Madrid yesterday that he
would be attending the OIC Summit in Senegal.
Is Abdullah prepared to end the current election frenzy by a categorical
statement that the next general election would not be held in March this
year – so that the Cabinet and administration can get back to serious
work such as to fight crime, control price increases, ensure quality
education and improve Malaysia’s international competitiveness instead
of posturing for the next general election to be held within 60 days?
Kit Siang, Parliamentary
Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic
Planning Commission Chairman