Kit Siang: 2019 the acid test for Pakatan government

DAP’s Lim Kit Siang says the coming year will place Pakatan Harapan’s commitment to reforms on trial. — Picture by Firdaus Latif
DAP’s Lim Kit Siang says the coming year will place Pakatan Harapan’s commitment to reforms on trial. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 4 — The coming year will place Pakatan Harapan’s commitment to reforms on trial, said DAP’s Lim Kit Siang following a PPBM leader’s call for his party to win “by hook or by crook”.

In a statement that he also used to criticise the “enablers of kleptocracy” from the previous administration, Lim said the duty to ensure that a culture integrity took root in Malaysia was the responsibility of all in the country.

“I believe the overwhelming majority of Pakatan Harapan leaders and members do not want to hold on to power ‘by hook or by crook’ or the Pakatan Harapan would be no different from Najib’s Umno and Barisan Nasional,” Lim said.

“The year 2019 will be a test whether Pakatan Harapan government in Putrajaya is committed to electoral and institutional reforms to ensure that the culture of integrity strike deep roots in Malaysian society, and Malaysia is looked up as a model by the world in  our commitment to accountability, transparency, integrity and good governance.”

Lim went on to urge Malaysians not to treat any government as irreplaceable and said they must instead consider the federal administration to be dispensable if it does not adhere to the principles of integrity and transparency.

During the PPBM annual assembly last week, vice-president Tan Sri Rashid Abdul Rahman told his party it was “stupid” not to allocate government contracts to division leaders and that it must win elections “by hook or by crook”.

Both his calls have raised concerns that PPBM is eyeing a return to the patronage politics that eroded Umno’s goodwill to the point that it was voted out of power after over six decades in charge of the country.

While PPBM chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has dismissed Abdul Rashid’s remarks as personal opinion, doubt still remains as the latter is both a former Election Commission chairman and the current head of the government’s Electoral Reforms Committee.