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Skipping of the World Economic Forum in Davos and the UMNO Supreme Council meeting on January 24 have  refuelled Cabinet reshuffle speculation three days after Abdullah had tried to snuff it out with his “no inspiration” statement


Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang  

Petaling Jaya, Sunday): The Prime Minister’s skipping of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland from Jan 23 to 25 and the UMNO Supreme Council meeting on January 24 has again refuelled Cabinet reshuffle speculation three days after Abdullah had tried to snuff it out with his “no inspiration” statement in Kepala Batas on Tuesday, saying that  his “total concentration” was on the Ninth Malaysia Plan.

As UMNO information chief Tan Sri Muhammad Muhammad Taib indicated, the “total concentration” of UMNO and Barisan Nasional leaders are definitely elsewhere, when he admitted that “talk of a Cabinet reshuffle was rife in UMNO  circles” with the lame explanation: “A lot of people are discussing the possibility of a Cabinet reshuffle and I am just one of them.” (Star 14.1.06)

Abdullah should realize by now that there is no way he could command public confidence that he is serious about his reform pledge to head a clean, incorruptible, efficient, accountable, transparent, trustworthy, people-oriented administration  prepared to hear the truth from the rakyat and that the Ninth Malaysia Plan will be the centrepiece of his reform programme unless he finds the political will to revamp, downsize and create a Reform Cabinet with every Minister fully committed to the goals of integrity, reform and  excellence.

Abdullah has set the country the challenge of eradicating the “First World Infrastructure, Third World Mentality” – but he has overlooked the prior and urgent need to ensure that his Cabinet are made up of Ministers who are  the standard-bearers of “First World Infrastructure, First World Mentality” ethos and mindset instead of the reverse.

Last November, Abdullah promised to conduct an “aggressive” war against corruption but all Malaysians could see last year was the anti-graft button badges with the words Saya anti rasuah worn by policemen which had  minimal effect in creating a new culture of national integrity with zero tolerance for corruption.

The Sunday  Star today has carried a commendable exclusive about how rampant graft has continued for kopi driving licences, but it has provoked neither shock nor  surprise with the public perception that corruption has generally got worse in various public sectors 26 months after the Abdullah administration.

The question Malaysians have been asking for the past two years is how the Prime Minister could  successfully launch a national integrity programme when he has not been able to first create a Integrity Cabinet with every Minister spearheading an integrity campaign and programme in the respective Ministries.

Tomorrow the Royal Commission into the police squat-nude videoclip scandal will submit its report to the Yang di Pertuan  Agong.

The Prime Minister should ensure that Malaysia adopt the best international practices of good governance in “First World” countries with  Royal Commission Report s made public simultaneously it is submitted to the appointing authorities so that there will not be a  firestorm of protest and outrage at another failure at accountability and transparency.


*  Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman

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