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Mar 11, 2008

Keng Yaik SLAM UMNO !!!

Keng Yaik: Address crux of dissatisfaction

PUTRAJAYA: The Barisan Nasional must address the crux of the public’s dissatisfaction if it does not want to lose power in the federal government in the next election said Gerakan national adviser Datuk Seri Dr Lim Keng Yaik.

In a no-holds-barred press conference at his office yesterday, the feisty politician listed out issues that Barisan Nasional must address in restoring the people’s faith in the ruling coalition.

The coalition, he said was in some serious need of soul-searching and discipline and must rid itself of money politics.

He also cautioned that the civil service, which is a critical part of the federal government, must be closely supervised and seen to be actively improving apart from not discriminating against non-Malays.

More, he added, must also be done to appease Indian, Chinese and even urban Malay voters.
The government’s efforts in beefing up the service, including initiatives like the Special Task Force to Facilitate Business (Pemudah), was “too little too late", he said.

Dr Lim, whose Gerakan party was all but wiped out in the elections, said the overwhelming votes that went to opposition parties showed that the people were angry with Barisan Nasional.

He also said that some Umno leaders had displeased people by being arrogant and Umno must take action against such members to ensure stability within the ruling coalition.

“The arrogance in Umno must stop ... those rowdy cowboys are spoiling the party’s name on the ground ... the wielding of the keris must also stop as it frightens the people.

“Just as the MIC, MCA and Gerakan discipline their members when they get out of line, Umno must do the same.

“Their arrogance in parliament and at the Umno general assembly must stop ... you can argue but don’t be arrogant,” Dr Lim, who is retiring from the cabinet, said yesterday after clearing out his office at the Energy, Water and Communication Ministry, here.

Gerakan, he said, was fully supportive of BN chairman Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s leadership and would not abandon BN at trying times like now.

However, he said it was incumbent upon Abdullah to ensure that national issues, as well as those within the BN coalition, were thoroughly addressed.

Dr Lim said Abdullah, as BN chief, had a lot of deep thinking to do in view of the strong message given by the people.

“If his advisers have been giving him the wrong advice, he must change them.”

Asked why he did not raise these issues before, Dr Lim, said: “How do you know I didn’t? Gerakan, MCA and MIC have always done it in camera. Maybe next time things should be said out of camera as the people are no longer happy with results but want to see their leaders voicing out their concerns.”

On the offer by former Penang chief minister Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon to step down following the party’s disastrous performance in the elections, he said Koh, the Gerakan acting president, must continue the party’s struggles and remain chief.

“I told him to shut up and carry on. He is ever the gentleman. It is time for him to be a political charger,” he said.

Of the 12 parliamentary seats Gerakan contested, it won only in Gerik and Simpang Renggam. It was also defeated in 26 of 31 state seats contested.

On Gerakan’s future, he said the party would again have to climb from the bottom as it did before it won power in Penang in 1969.

Meanwhile, he said the party would polish its new breed of committed, young and aggressive leaders at all levels.

“We are at the bottom of the wheel now ... for the next four years, we will monitor the new coalition of DAP, PAS and PKR and ensure they keep their promises to the people.

“We will be a very responsible opposition.”

Dr Lim also acceded that Gerakan may no longer have a representative in cabinet.

“We are not begging. What do you expect when you only have two seats?”


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