ACCCIM and FCAM's blank-cheque support for "all actions and measures"
of Barisan Nasional government including abuses of power, injustices
and violations of human rights most shocking and unbelievable
The statement by the Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia (ACCCIM) and the Federation of Chinese Associations of Malaysia (FCAM) expressing their "full support for all actions and measures taken by the government under the leadership of Dr Mahathir in tackling and facing the country's economic challenges as well as fighting all forms of threats to the national sovereignty, economy and leadership" is most shocking and unbelievable.
The ACCCIM and FCAM have the dubious distinction of being the two organisations which have extended total, absolute and blind loyalty and support to the Mahathir government.
It has not come as a surprise that the ACCCIM and FCAM openly declared their "solid support to the government and will continue to strive and cooperate with the national leadership to achieve stability, peace and progress to bring the nation towards the new millennium and meeting the aspiration of Vision 2020".
But for the ACCIM and FCAM to pledge total, absolute and blind loyalty and support to the Mahathir government in their "full support for all actions and measures taken" by the Barisan Nasional government does not reflect well on both organisations, their member organisations' or the Chinese community they claim to represent.
Are the ACCCIM and FCAM declaring that they are not only in full support for Mahathir's leadership and policies, but also for "all actions and measures" taken by the present government, including all the abuses of power, injustices and violations of human rights as for instance, the following:
· Rampant corruption and abuses of power resulting in Malaysia falling further in the Transparency International's 1999 Corruption Perception Index (CPI) to No. 32 out of 99 countries, as compared to Malaysia's 23rd ranking in the 1995 CPI.
· Unresolved financial scandals, whether the Perwaja scandal, the three bail-outs of Bank Bumiputra in 12 years involving RM4.7 billion of public funds and the government bail-out of crony companies.
· Subversion of the doctrine of the separation of powers resulting in the multiple crisis of confidence in the independence and integrity of important institutions of state, whether the Judiciary, the Attorney-General's Chambers, the Auditor-General's office, the Police, the Bank Negara, the Election Commission.
· Persecution of Malaysians who dare to stand up for justice, freedom, democracy and good governance, especially in the case of Lim Guan Eng.
· Police unaccountability resulting in serious violations of fundamental rights of citizens, as in increasing incidence of innocent victims of trigger-happy police shootings - the latest victim being 29-year-old Dr. Tai Eng Teck.
· The 10th general election becoming the "dirtiest" election in the nation's history - with the disenfranchisement of 650,000 young new voters who had registered in the voters' registraton exercise in April/May this year and the most blatant use of the politics of lies and falsehood, politics of money and politics of fear and intimidation.
It is for ACCCIM and FCAM to decide whether they want to support the Barisan Nasional in the next general election, but for them to say that they support "all actions and measures" of the Barisan Nasional government including abuses of power, justices and violations of human rights which have led to the unprecedented multiple crisis of confidence in the system of governance and promising to give another blank cheque to the Barisan Nasional government is clearly not the act of responsible, civic-minded and justice-conscious organisations.
- Lim Kit Siang (3/11/99)