Thursday, December 9, 2010

Motion to cut Defense Minister's allowance

There was a fierce debate when a motion to cut the Minister of Defence's salary.

Although we did not succeed to cut his allowance but the Minister ego was jolted! The following are among the matters I raised:

Speech in Parliament while debating on defense Ministry financial estimates 2010

I filed a motion under regulation 66(9) of the Standing Orders of the Dewan Rakyat to cut RM 10 of the Defence Minister's salary.

The purpose of the motion is to censure the Defence Minister for his "unfair, baseless, irresponsible and insensitive" parliamentary answer which have hurt the feelings of the non Malays.

When replying to a question in the parliament on 9thNovember, Defence Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid said that one factor causing the reluctance of non Malays to join the Malaysian armed forces had been due to the "lack of strong patriotism" among non-Malays.

Immediately I stood up and demanded Zahid to apologise and withdraw his baseless statement.

But he did not do so.

The 26th President of America said "Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the President"

To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic. but is morally treasonable to the American public

To translate into Malaysian system, just because we do not support the BN or by not joining the army does not make us any lesser loyal Malaysian.

In fact, many non-Malays have given their limbs and lives for this beloved country.

During the early 50's to 70's thousands of non-Malays served the armed forces when our country was going through various insurgencies, namely the Emergency and the Indonesian confrontation.

Now when there is hardly any "confrontation" why non-Malays are not keen to join the armed forces?

Rear Admiral (rtd) K.Tanabalasinam was the first local to be the Chief of Navy.

After the "unpatriotic" statement by Zahid, he said "I don't understand how such a statement came about.... .I have been through a lot, and I don't care who says it, it hurts me. I am a Malaysian born and bred, and intend to die here.

Brig Gen(Rtd) Goh Seng Toh described Zahid statement as" unfair, stupid and racist"

Both the above when Interviewed by Malaysiakini said non-Malays more often than not, are left behind when it comes to career advancement in the armed forces.

Isn't this statement a real fact?

Zahid should explain how many non-Malays are in the top echelon of the Armed Forces.

Will this problem be addressed, if so, what is the time frame for non-Malay to head the Armed Forces? Can this ever happen?

Yesterday Zahid made a Ministerial statement in Parliament and said "" he had not meant to hurt non-Malays”.

But the truth is Zahid had terribly hurt the non-Malays .Zahid fully knows it or he would not have been compelled to make a Ministerial statement.

Zahid’s refusal to retract his remarks and apologise to the non Malays further proves that he still maintains his reason why there has been reluctance of non Malays to join the army.

After having been heavily criticized by the public as well government and opposition MPs, Zahid had in mid November challenged me to prove my patriotism by joining the Territorial Army.

By challenging me to do so, was he not saying that those who do not join the army are not patriotic?

No Malaysian ‘’s loyalty should be challenged at all or challenged to prove so by joining the army.

Zahid had plenty of time to retract his remarks and apologise over it, but would not do so.

We must not have any educator who will ask a student to go back to China or India for any reason.
Similarly, we must not have a Defence Minister or any Minister who questions the patriotism and loyalty of the people.
In a western democratic nation, a Minister who has made such remarks will have resigned on his own or been given the sack by the prime minister.

Yet, after having questioned the non Malays’ patriotism, the Defence Minister chose not to retract his remarks and tender open apology to the non Malays.

I therefore call upon all MPs to rise above party line and support this censure motion.

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