Former Finance Minister and Gua Musang MP Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah today appealed to all parties to come together in humility, beyond party politics, to hold an honest discussion, in the spirit of shared citizenship to bring the country out of a political and economic crisis.
Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah
“We need to come together to find unity and direction out of this dangerous situation. In doing so, we might turn our crisis into an opportunity and renew our unity and sense of direction as Malaysia,” he said in a statement today.
He said the political impasse was happening at a time of heightened economic, political and security challenges. He noted that:
/> the global economy faces the prospect of a meltdown on a scale last seen in the Great Depression of the last century. As a trading nation, Malaysia is strongly exposed to its effects;
/> the ground-shifting March 8 general election signalled a public sentiment that cannot be ignored;
/> the grievances of Sabah and Sarawak remain unaddressed, risking the integrity of the Federation;
/> misunderstandings over race and religion are ripe for political exploitation, with potentially disastrous consequences;
/> the government now commands even less confidence than it did post-March 8; and
/> rather than share the public’s sense of urgency, our present office-holders have redoubled efforts to frustrate renewal, cut off reform, and silence criticism. These efforts only underscore the weakness of the administration and its will to change.
Razaleigh, who has offered himself as a presidential candidate for the Umno election in December, said: “We can no longer deny that in its present form, and under present leadership, the government, led by the party to which I have given my life, is now structurally and inherently incapable of providing the direction and confidence that the country needs, whether over the long or short term.“
He cited the following indications “that are there for all to see”:
/> The government has been unable to respond to the economic crisis with even a basic plan of action;
/> The recommendations of two Royal Commissions of Inquiry have been ignored or watered down into insignificance;
/> Instead of using elections to renew its leadership, the leadership of the party has retreated into the fantasy world of a “transition plan” which rides roughshod over the party’s constitution and the rights of its members.
This risible attempt to treat public office and party trust as a private bequest between two individuals, one of whom wishes to hold office beyond his democratic mandate and the other to ascend without one, and the continuing effort to force feed the country with this notion, fools no one.
/> The Opposition has made undeniable gains in the number of parliamentarians it commands; and
/> We are beginning to lose grip of the rule of law. The use of the Internal Security Act and of Sedition Laws to target particular individuals further erodes the credibility of the government.
He said Malaysians cannot afford to allow these disturbing trends to play out their destructive course while “we suffer a de facto leadership vacuum, and while the rule of law is uncertain and the Constitution not upheld”.
Barisan Nasional government is structurally and inherently incapable of leading Malaysia