Where is Dr. Mahathir Mohamed and why is there no Acting Prime Minister?

by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Wednesday, 18.6.1986:

Where is Dr. Mahathir Mohamed and why is there no Acting Prime Minister?

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, had left the country for Australia since Friday, but there has been no public announcement. Complete secrecy and mystery shrouds the whereabouts of the Prime Minister. There are those who say the Prime Minister will be away for a week, others say, for ten days.

But even more surprising, why was there no Acting Prime Minister during this period of’ the Prime Minister’s absence? Is it because Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir is getting uncomfortable about someone assuming the Acting Prime Ministership, as happened in the previous five years under the Mahathir-Musa team?

In any event, Dr. Mahathir’s way of running a country is becoming more and more strange. If he wants to go abroad to take a private holiday, he should let Malaysians know, and appoint an Acting Prime Minister in his absence.

Strange things, however, are not confined to UMNO. They now seem to become a characteristic of the component parties of the Barisan Nasional.

Gerakan President, Dr. Lim Kenq Yaik, has been muzzled by his own Party
In the Gerakan, for instance, its President, Dr. Lim Keng Yaik, has been muzzled by his own Party. After the two-day Gerakan Annual Delegates’ Conference on Sunday, the post-Conference was conducted by the Gerakan Secretary-General Kerk Choo Ting, and not Dr. Lim Keng Yaik, as was the case in the past.

Clearly, Dr. Lim Keng Yaik had been muzzled by his Party colleagues, who are afraid that he would again shoot off his mouth and land Gerakan into trouble again!

It is significant that in his Presidential speech at the Gerakan Conference, Dr. Lim only made very general statement about corruption, but dare not zero in on the various scandals which have shattered public confidence in the Barisan Nasional government, in particular the UNBC scandal, the EPF scandal and the $1 billion mysterious tin-buying scandal.

I challenge Dr. Lim to explain why he and the Gerakan dare not even mention the UMBC scandal, EPF scandal and the $1 billion mysterious tin-buying scandal.

Even on the $2.5 billion BMF scandal, the Gerakan just passed a resolution to give the people the impression that it was concerned about the scandal, but was not prepared to take any action to demand that the whole story of the scandal should be told.

For instance, the Ahmad Nordin BMF Inquiry Committee recommended further investigations into the scandal, and this was why the DAP reiterated its call for a Royal Commission of Inquiry to ascertain who
were the real culprits behind the BMF scandal, apart from the four who are being made the sole ‘scapegoats’, namely Lorraine Osman, Hashim Shamsuddin, Rais Saniman and Ibrahim Jaffar.

But the Gerakan is not prepared to demand that the BMF investigations should be pursued further, and was content to accept the top Barisan leadership’s version that only four persons stole and defrauded the Malaysian people of $2.5 billion. In its obsession for a few more seats, Gerakan has shown itself to be a party completely, bereft of political principles but is permeated through and through with political opportunism.