Many sensible people are saddened by Shahrir Abdul Samad resignation as chief of the Backbenchers Club. To add insult to injury, Umno Youth head Hishammuddin Hussein Onn said that he should not have supported Lim Kit Siang’s proposal with our Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak simply accepting Shahrir’s resignation without making an effort to retain him.
It was a very sad day in Parliament and the effect will continue to haunt all of us. It is so illogical for the Barisan National to have a directive that forbids any MP to support any motion tabled by any opposition MP. Surely every thinking person can see how ridiculous it is to maintain this policy. All the opposition MPs cannot be wrong all the time and all BN MPs cannot be dumb all the time.
In the case in question, Shahrir was bold enough to do the right thing to second the motion tabled by Lim Kit Siang. But all his colleagues did not give him their support.
We often hear our Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi say that he will fight corruption as long as he lives. If he wants people to believe his words, this is the best opportunity for him to prove that he means what he says. He must now walk the talk and take the following action:
- Appeal to Shahrir to withdraw his resignation.
- Change the policy to enable all MPs to exercise their own intelligence, integrity and conscience in Parliament.
- Acknowledge Lim Kit Siang for bringing up such an important issue.
We must remember that the whole world is looking at us. This incident in our Parliament is tarnishing our image. The chairman of the Malaysian chapter of Transparency International Ramon Navaratnam has already commented on this issue and soon this news will be published in their official bulletin.
As a result, Malaysia’s standing will definitely be downgraded by a few more points in their Corruption Perception Index. Integrity must start from Parliament and if our highest regulatory body does not be seen to take action against corruption how can we expect to be a developed nation? This case is really shameful.