Speech by parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, at the DAP dinner in Klang to launch the 1990s Movement campaign held on Saturday, 3.10.1987 at 9pm.
Call on Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, to clarify whether the government proposes to introduce major constitutional amendment in the coming Parliamentary meeting.
Parliament will convene in a week’s time for two-month long budget meeting. Up to now, however, MPs are still in the dark as to what parliamentary business we have for the first two weeks, before the Finance Ministry, Daim Zainuddin, presents his 1988 Budget on Friday, Oct. 23, 1987.
There is one Bill, the Poisons Bill, which was left over from the previous parliamentary meeting and which I expect would be the first item of parliamentary business. But apart from that, the rest is just a blank!
I call on the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, to be more open with MPs, and ensure that MPs have adequate time to study and consult opinion before any Bill is debated.
There has been talk that the government proposes to introduce a Constitutional Amendment Bil with major amendment in the coming meting of Parliament. I call on the Prime Minister to clarify whether this is so.
In the past few months, there has been a growing demand for a review of the Malaysian Constitution after 30 years of Merdeka, but the Prime Minister has declared his opposition, and even suggested that those who advocated a Constitutional review are somehow not loyal to the nation.
However, if the Government is itself preparing major constitutional amendment for the coming Parliamentary meeting, then this would mean that the Barisan Nasional Government want a monopoly of the power and right to review and amend the Constitution. This would be going against the very grain of democracy in Malaysia.
DAP suggested the government should not table any more amendments to the Constitution until the country has the benefit of a review of the entire Constitution in its 30 years of operation, and that this review be conducted by eminent Malaysians with public service.
I have given notice to the Speaker of Parliament that I propose to table a motion on the establishment of a Constitutional Review Commission, and in view of its importance, I urge the Prime Minister to agree to let this motion be the first item of parliamentary business when Parliament meets on Oct. 12.
CPA election issue shameful to Malaysia’s international image and honour.
Last month, Malaysia hosted the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Conference in Kuala Lumpur. Unfortunately, the CPA elections for the chairmanship has been a shameful episode, and marred Malaysia’s international image and honour.
The incumbent CPA Chairman, Datuk Shahrir Samas, stood for re-election, but our own Minister campaigned against him. This must be the first time in the annals of Malaysian history where our Minister campaigned against our own candidates in an international election, and which must have shocked the CPA delegates at our disunity.
Barisan Ministers had been quick to make accusations that Malaysians are letting down the country at international forums, but here it’s a clear and unequivocal case where they are themselves guilty of this charge.
I hope our Minister will set a good example to uphold the image, honour and reputation of Malaysia in all international forums.