Yeow Boon Kiat | Feb 13, 08 7:49pm
Opposition Leader and DAP strongman Lim Kit Siang today expressed his doubts if Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had actually obtained the consent of the King to dissolve the Parliament.
“I received information that the King was very reluctant to give his consent because he felt there was no need for rush to dissolve the Parliament,” said Lim in a press conference called immediately after Abdullah had announced the dissolution this morning.
Also present at the press conference were other party leaders like Tan Kok Wai, Teresa Kok, Fong Kui Lun, P Ramasamy, Ronnie Liu and several others.
“The dissolution could have also waited for another eight days to show to Malaysia and the world that all the diverse languages, cultures and religions are fully respected,” added Lim, referring to his earlier calls to the premier not to call for the election during the Chinese New Year period.
He also urged Abdullah to make public the signature of the King and at the same time explain why the dissolution should be done during the Chinese New Year celebration.
The Ipoh Timor member of Parliament added that Abdullah should also explain as to why he went against his own promise not to dissolve the Parliament today.
Yesterday Abdullah told reporters that he would not dissolve the Parliament today. However he explained today that he was forced to make such a statement yesterday as he had to get the King’s consent first.
Lim however was not buying this explanation by Abdullah and trained his sights on the premier’s son-in-law Khairy Jamaluddin as being influential in the dissolution today.
He said that he believed Abdullah was sincere when he said yesterday that he would not dissolve the Parliament today, and suspected that the latter was overridden and overruled by ‘a more powerful group’ last night.
“He could have been told that they can’t wait anymore to gain political interest of winning the greatest BN victory and the Parliament must be dissolved today.
“Who could that be? That must be the fourth storey of Putrajaya– Khairy Jamaluddin,” he added.
Lim also reminded ministers from the BN ruling coalition not to misuse and abuse the government resources for election campaign purposes.
Unfair news coverage
In a later press conference, DAP’s secretary general Lim Guan Eng also expressed the party’s disappointment with the dissolution of the Parliament today.
“Dissolving the Parliament even before the eighth night of Chinese New Year when the Hokkiens worship the Jade Emperor (Heavenly God) indicates his lack of respect for the Chinese Malaysian community,” said Guan Eng.
He also touched on Abdullah’s assurance yesterday that he would not dissolve the Parliament today.
“It’s not a good start if the prime minister lied to the people like this. The voters should reconsider whether to give the BN another overwhelming victory again,” he added.
He also challenged Information Minister Zainuddin Maidin to prove his claim that the government news agencies were fair and gave truthful reporting.
He strongly condemned the broadcasting of a video footage which linked DAP leaders with the street violence. The video footage has been screened daily for weeks before evening news.
“We will test that claim by sending our election video clip to Angkasapuri and all TV stations for broadcast. We will see whether they have the democratic spirit to allow it to be broadcast,” he said.
Did the King really approve the dissolution?