By Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjong, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Wednesday, August 31, 1994:
Mahathir’s call to prevent man-made disasters will not be taken seriously so long as Malaysia has a Transport Minister who holds the world record of three International Airport fires in two years
The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, struck the right note in his National Day message when he called on Malaysians to exercise greater care and responsibility in whatever they do to prevent man-made disasters.
Malaysia has been blessed as we have no natural disasters like earthquakes, tycoons and massive floods, but is acquiring dubious international notoriety as a country which teems with man-made disasters.
Mahathir’s call to prevent man-made disasters in Malaysia, however, will not be taken seriously so long as Malaysia has a Transport Minister who holds the world record of three International Airport fires in two years.
In fact, the three Kuala Lumpur International Airport fires in two years has become the biggest source of embarrassment for Malaysian leaders, government officials, businessmen as well as ordinary Malaysians travelling overseas – for the first question they encounter is why the International Airport in Malaysia is so prone to fires!
Furthermore, there is no satisfactory answer they could offer – for even the Transport Minister, Datuk Dr. Ling Liong Sik had said that Malaysians must not expect ‘miracles’ in that there would no future fires at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport!
It is not the first time that Mahathir and the Government had called on Malaysians to have greater discipline and sense of responsibility to prevent man-made accidents and disasters.
The Prime Minister and the Chief Secretary, Tan Sri Ahmad Sarji, for instance had previously called on both the public and private sectors to introduce the concept of ‘zero defect’ which would identify and overcome all possible human weaknesses and system defects to minimize avoidable accidents and disasters.
But such Government calls for ‘zero defect’ in the public service are invariably ‘shelved’ quietly whenever there is a mojor man-made disaster like the recent Subang airport radar station fire – and are only resurrected when public memory of such a disaster had faded.
If Malaysia is to become a great nation, taking her rightful place in the world in the 21st century, then all Malaysians must abandon mediocrity and embrace merit and excellence.
Malaysians at all levels must discard the mentality of being content with the second best, and everyone in their respective positions must seek to be a perfectionist who will settle only for the best.
The Government has introduced a new slogan of ‘Kita Boleh’ – ‘We Can’ – for Malaysians. This slogan must be modified to ‘We Can Be The Best’!
A Transport Minister who holds the dubious record of three Kuala Lumpur Internationa Airport fires in two years is clearly not in the tradition and culture of ‘We Can Be The Best’ but symbolize the mentality of ‘We Can Be The Worst’, and this is why for the sake of the nation and people Datuk Dr. Ling Liong Sik should not stay another day as Transport Minister!
Rahim should resign as Malacca Chief Minister to spare the people and nationa from further ignominy arising from his scandals
For over a week, the Malaysian people and nation had suffered great ignominy both nationally and internationally because of the scandals of the Malacca Chief Minister and UMNO Youth Leader, Tan Sri Rahim Tamby Cik.
Regardless of the outcome of police investigations into allegations of Rahim’s ‘affair’ with a 15-year-old school girl, Rahim should immediately step down as Malacca Chief Minister to spare the people and nation from further ignominy.
In fact, in the past week, the Rahim scandal had pushed out all national events, like the China visit of the Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim; the launching of second national car, the Peodua Kancil by the Prime Minister; and the National Day celebrations – not to omit Barisan Nasional’s own great celebrations – its 20th Anniversary gathering at Dataran Merdeka!
The only person who could be happy with the Rahim scandals is the MCA President as public attention had been completely distrcted from the scandalous Subang Airport radar station fire and Liong Sik’s role and responbility.
The issue now is no more the credibility of Rahim Tamby Cik but the credibility of the government and nation.
If Rahim loves Malaysia and does not want Malaysia’s reputation and credibility to be tarnished, then he has only one option – to step down as Malacca Chief Minister immediately, so that his trials and travails do not become the trials and travails of the Malaysian people and nation!
This is now a testing time for Rahim as to his patriotism and love for Malaysia!