Press Conference Statement by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Malacca on Friday, 28.8.1987 at 11.30a.m.
Malacca Government has sullied Malaysia’s parliamentary reputation before the international gathering of Parliamentary in Malaysia for the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Conference by the disgraceful and shameful confuct of its Assemblymen yesterday
Yesterday, the Malacca State Barisan Nasional Executive Councillors and Assemblymen again played their unparliamentary, disgraceful and shameful trick in the Malacca Assembly by emptying the Chambers to create a no quorum situation to force the adjournment of the Assembly, so as to sabotage and frustrate Opposition motions from being debated.
I am surprised that the Malacca Chief Minister, Datuk Seri Abdul Rahim Thamby Cik, who should be a veteran parliamentarian by now, having served as Deputy Home Minister in Parliament, and now in his second term as Malacca Chief Minister, should lack the self-confidence to ‘take on’ the three DAP Assemblymen, who are all first-termers. Or is Datuk Seri Abdul Rahim Thamby Cik unable to marshall the facts and arguments to counter the two DAP motions, one by Sim Tong Hin Tranquerah deploring the previous irresponsible conduct of Barisan Assemblymen and the other by Kerk Kim Hock, on the Jalan Bendahara nine-storey flats?
In any event, Datuk Seri Abdul Rahim Thamby Cik has shown that he lacks even the basic nations of parliamentary traditions and conventions, where the views of the minority must be respected, even if one disagrees.
Yesterday’s episode in the Malacca Assembly, where Barisan State Executive Councillors and Assemblymen palyed ‘truant’ after tea- break, to create a no quorum situation, is the best example of the irresponsibility and immaturity of Barisan Assemblymen.
The episode has also sullied Malaysia’s parliamentary record and reputation before an international gathering of Parliamentarians who are presently in Malaysia to attend the 33rd Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Conference in Kuala Lumpur on Sept.1.
This is third time that Malaysia is hosting the CPA Conference, and I would have thought that all Ministers, MPS, Chief Minister, Mentri-Mentri Besar, Assemblymen, would be on their best behavior to impress the 400 participants from 44 countries of our system of parliamentary democracy, whether at the Federal or State level.
The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association President, Datuk Shahrir Abdul Samad, said last week that Malaysia had lobbied since 1984 to hold the CPA Conference in Malaysia to coincide with the 30th Merdeka Day celebrations, so that Malaysia will have a chance to show off its achievements under parliamentary democracy.
And now, all this effort to impress the world of our achievements in parliamentary democracy are being destroyed by the irresponsible and immature behaviour of Barisan Nasional Executive Councillors and Assemblymen in Malacca. The Malacca Barisan Nasional Government must be more ‘nationalistic’, and conscious of national aspirations and our international reputation, and stop acting irresponsibly and immaturely in the Malacca State Assembly in future.
Nobody will believe that the Barisan Exco members and Assemblymen absented themselves from the Assembly after tea-break yesterday without the knowledge, approval and even directive of the Malacca Chief Minister. I hope Datuk Seri Abdul Rahim Thamby Cik will be more responsible in future in unheld the parliamentary reputation of the Malacca State and the Malaysian nation. It previous Chief Ministers like Datuk Setia Ghani Ali and Datuk Seri Adib Adam need not resort to such under-hand parliamentary strategems, why must Abdul Rahim Thamby Cik resort to them now?
Call on Dr.Mahathir not to over-react and create a panic situation as if calls for Constitutional review is an organised conspiracy to destroy the Constitution and the elected government.
The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr.Mahathir Mohamed, should not over-react to the calls for a Constitutional review and create a panic situation as if there is an organised conspiracy to destroy the Constitution and the elected system of government.
The calls for review of the Constitution 30 years after Merdeka came from every respected Malaysians, ranging from Bapa Malaysia, Tunku Abdul Rahman, the Deputy Yang di-Pertuan Agong and Perak Sultan, Sultan Azlan Shah, participants at the Aliran Conference and the University of Malaya Law Faculty Conference, and concern Malaysian political and civic organizations.
One can agree or disagree with the calls for a full-range review of the Constitution, but it is a gross over-reaction and exaggeration, to say the least, to create a ‘scare scenario’ that the Constitution is under attack, calling for the people to defend the Constitution and the democratic process to avoid tension and upheaval.
Something must be very wrong with Malaysia where reasoned and rational proposals for review of the Constitution by Malaysians of impeccable reputation and standing can evoke the reaction in government as if the entire constitutional system of government is under siege.
To review the Constitution is not to attack the Constitution, but to make use of the constitutional process to improve on the systems, mechanisms and previsions to create a more just and equal Malaysia in the coming decades.
It is the first time that I have heard that anyone is suggesting that the proposed constitutional review be conducted by foreign jurists or judges. The DAP will be the first to oppose any such proposal, for any review must be conducted by Malaysians themselves, for we do not need foreigners to tell us what is good or bad for ourselves- whether from East or West.
It will be a sad commentary on the fragile state of our nation-building 30 years after Merdeka if calls for review of the Constitution generaous the government reaction that the whole system of parliamentary democracy is facing ruins.