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Speech by Lim Kit Siang at the Penang DAP ceramah on “ISA detention of Hindraf 5” at the Penang Chinese Town Hall on Saturday, 26th January 2008 at 10 pm:

Approval rating for Abdullah as PM among Indians plunged by 54% from 82% to 38% before and after the Nov. 25 Hindraf demonstration and would have plunged even lower as evident from the 30% to 50% lower turnout of the Batu Caves Thaipusam crowd

Today’s press reported that Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak said in Seremban that the people must reject leaders who fail to perform when given the opportunity.

Apart from aiming his shots at the Opposition, many must be wondering who in the ruling coalition could Najib be directing his fire.

Could he be referring to Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu, who is fighting for his political life after being MIC President and sole Indian Cabinet Minister for over 28 years – and who was recently snubbed internationally when the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, M. Karunanidi refused to grant him “an audience” despite Samy Vellu waiting for an appointment from him for three days in Chennai or after following Karunanidi to New Delhi!

Or could Najib be referring to Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi who, to use Lingam-lingo, “looks like the Prime Minister, speaks like the Prime Minister, but nobody can 100% say is the Prime Minister”?

Abdullah has been Prime Minister for four years and his four-year report card is one of dismal failure.

Malaysians now feel more unsafe in the streets, public places and even privacy of their homes because of endemic crime as compared to when Abdullah became Prime Minister four years ago.

Corruption in Malaysia has become even more rampant and uncontrollable today as compared to four years ago when Abdullah started his premiership with the pledge to make anti-corruption the distinctive hallmark of his administration.

Malaysians today have never been more disunited, alienated and polarized, particularly over religion, than when he first became Prime Minister four years ago.

Today, the marginalized groups, particularly the Malaysian Indians who have become the new underclass, felt never felt more aggrieved, discriminated against and marginalized!

This is why Abdullah’s approval rating had plunged in four years from a high of 91% when he became Prime Minister to a low of 61% in December last month, according to an opinion poll conducted by Merdeka Centre.

Even more serious, Abdullah’s approval rating among Indians plunged by a shocking 54% before and after the Hindraf demonstration on Nov. 25 last year.

In Sept. 07, Abdullah’s approval rating among the Indians polled stood at 82% but by Dec. 14, when the last poll was conducted, his approval rating among the Indians have plummeted to 38% - registering one of the sharpest drops in so short a time.

However, an opinion poll conducted now would show an even lower approval rating of below 30% or lower for Abdullah among Malaysian Indians, if the 30% to 50% lower turnout of the Thaipusam crowd at Batu Caves last Wednesday is any indication.

Makkal Sakti (People’s Power) is in manifestation throughout the country and Barisan Nasional leaders, whether Samy Vellu or Abdullah ignore it at their own peril.

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


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