Sunday, January 22, 2006

Eight Ministers Withdrew Joint Memo To Pak Lah.

Eight ministers -- four from MCA and one each from MIC, Gerakan, Parti Bersatu Sabah and Sarawak United People's Party – sensibly, albeit after being advised by the Premier, withdrew the controversial joint memorandum which they submitted to the Malaysian Premier Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

They are Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting [MCA], Transport Minister Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy [MCA], Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri Dr Fong Chan Onn [MCA], Health Minister Datuk Dr Chua Soi Lek [MCA], Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu [MIC], Energy, Water and Communications Minister Datuk Seri Dr Lim Keng Yaik [Gerakan], Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Dr Maximus Ongkili [PBS] and Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Peter Chin Fah Kui [SUPP].
The Minister in the Prime Minister's Department and UPKO president Tan Sri Bernard Dompok was the only minister among the nine yet to decide whether to go along with his Cabinet colleagues.
The unprecedented submission of a memorandum by the ministers to the Premier had caused mixed reactions, with some condemning the move.
One should agree with Deputy Premier Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak when he said the issue created by the nine non-Muslim Cabinet ministers in sending a memorandum to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi should be a lesson for everyone in the future.
He also said the incident should not have happened in a Cabinet system of government because the Prime Minister and Cabinet were responsible for all Malaysians regardless of religion or racial origin.The Cabinet was the correct and best channel to deal with all issues including the sensitive issue of religion.
He said this matter should be discussed in the spirit of the Barisan Nasional and not in the manner chosen by the ministers. "This is because it could give the impression that the Malaysian Cabinet is divided between Muslims and non-Muslims," Najib said he was thankful the ministers had accepted the advice of the Premier.” The matter is settled," he added.
The unprecedented submission of a memorandum by the ministers to the Premier was a mistake, insensible and caused a big damage to the Cabinet system. They failed to value it. It had drawn the country into unnecessary chaotic state by their imprudent actions. It seems the matter may have settled, at least for now, but we must learn.

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