By Rita Jong
The DAP wants The Prime Minister to make his stand on several recent controversial issues instead of asking his cabinet ministers to deal with them.
DAP national publicity secretary Tony Pua (pic) said that Datuk Seri Najib Razak also has to deliver the reforms he promised in May’s general election.
“The nation is like a rudderless ship crying out for a leader to put his foot down and yet what Malaysians are getting are feuding first officers in the absence of their captain,” he said in a statement today.
Pua said the government, instead of seizing the initiative and giving directions to the country, is stumbling and fumbling from one controversy to another.
Pua said Najib presented himself as a reformist during the election campaign and as a man who will make Malaysia the “best democracy in the world”.
However, since then Najib had failed to put his own house in order because, for example, even cabinet ministers have been split into two factions over the promised repeal of the Sedition Act, Pua said.
“The Barisan Nasional (BN) ministers were also publicly squabbling over the tabling of the Administration of Islamic Law (Federal Territories) Amendment Bill 2013 which allowed for the unilateral conversion of a minor to a Muslim by a single parent.
“This Bill is significant as it is the very first piece of legislation sought to be passed by the BN government, which sets the tone and agenda for the 13th Parliament. The spat is also serious because the cabinet ‘approved’ the Bill to be tabled, before the subsequent volte-face which proved to be a major embarrassment for the ruling party.”
Yet, he observed, throughout the entire heated controversy Najib remained silent.
He said Najib publicly called for a national reconciliation after the general election but failed to condemn the extremist elements in Umno and BN.
Pua singled out Najib’s failure to condemn Umno mouthpiece Utusan Malaysia for continuing to spew racist insults against the minorities and inflammatory comments to incite hatred.
“Instead of defending the right thinking Malaysians such as the CEO of AirAsiaX Azran Osman, who expressed disgust over Utusan’s anti-Chinese stance, Najib has allowed the unfettered demonisation of Azran as a traitor to the Malays by Umno’s members of parliament.”
He added that Najib also let the debate over the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) as well as his repeal of the Emergency Ordinance (EO) rage on unchecked.
Pua said there was not a word from Najib when Transparency International released the latest Global Corruption Barometer (GCB) report which showed an even greater number of Malaysians believed that corruption was prevalent in the country.
He said this was despite the fact that the GCB is a Key Performance Indicator for Najib’s flagship Reducing Corruption National Key Result Area (NKRA).
“He only let his Performance Management and Delivery Unit admit that the government has not done enough to battle corruption and concede that ‘radical reforms’ are needed.
“However, there are no ‘radical reforms’ to be seen as measures to improve transparency and accountability such as the public declaration of assets by ministers, and open and competitive tenders for multi-billion ringgit privatisation contracts are rejected outright,” Pua said.
Pua said Najib has to demonstrate his political will and deliver on his promises or he “will lose not only the confidence of Malaysians, but also that of his own political party”. - July 15, 2013.