In parliament, opposition leader Lim Kit Siang had a name-calling stoush with PPP’s Kayveas, who has been desperately trying to make a name for himself, either by sabotaging his fellow non-UMNO colleagues in the BN or by brown nosing UMNO, whenever he gets an opportunity.
Recently when the MCA, Gerakan, MIC and a couple of Sabah-Sarawak BN MPs sent a memo to the PM on the M Moorthy controversy, which the PM demanded its withdrawal, Kayveas called for the sacking of those 9 MPs – hoping of course to ingratiate himself into the PM’s good book and perhaps get one full ministerial seat.
When Lim criticised the inclusion of the PM’s Islam Hadhari as a development framework for the nation in the 9th Malaysian Plan (9MP), Kayveas came to its rescue.
Lim said that Islam Hadhari shouldn’t have been elevated to a state directive principle for all Malaysians regardless of religion. I guess his arguments could be likened to forcing non-Muslim policewomen to wear the tudung. He said it was an important principle of democratic governance.
Lim lamented that the inclusion of an Islamic framework was against the spirit of the constitution and social contract, and asked the non-Muslim ministers whether they had agreed to it.
Not surprisingly, Kayveas, who is always waiting for any opportunity to show he’s the PM's No 1 supporter leapt into the debate by telling Lim to re-study the 9MP.
Lim, rather annoyed at his non-relevant reply, accused the deputy minister of being a coward and lacking principles. He challenged Kayveas to say yes or no to the issue of Islam Hadhari in the 9MP.
Kayveas answered in the only way he could, resorting to crude remarks such as the DAP was useless (tak boleh pakai). He continued to evade Lim's question by saying: “100% of Malaysians do not agree with the party. It’s better you give the opportunity to (opposition parties) PAS and Parti Keadilan Rakyat.”
He asked Lim what’s wrong for Islam Hadhari to be included in the 9MP, and boasted that 3 years ago the PPP general assembly (under his presidency of course) had suggested that all those born after independence be granted bumiputera status.
He omitted mentioning that UMNO had ignored his proposal and hundreds of thousands of Indians are still not bumiputeras (indigenous citizens). I wonder what his boast had been about?
He said to Lim: “So what’s the stand of the opposition in this matter? You are coward and scared to be put in jail under the ISA.”
Unfortunately he chose the wrong bloke to call a coward because Lim had been jailed under the ISA twice. Lim called Kayveas a ‘clown’ before he reminded Kayveas he (Lim) had raised this issue 30 years ago, and whether Kayveas was then sleeping when he did so? Hmmm, maybe Kayveas wasn’t even in the PPP then.
Lim said: “Were you sleeping (kamu tidurkah)? During the 1970s I had talked about it ... What do you mean I am not brave? I was jailed under the ISA twice. Are you brave enough to be placed under the ISA?”
By then Samy Vellu wasn’t going to allow Kayveas steal all the glory of defending the PM so he joined in the names calling too. He pontificated about multi-ethnic discussions behind closed cabinet doors and of course at the same, didn’t fail to angkat (brown nose) the PM. He told Lim:
“The BN principle is that if we discuss something about race we agree it will not be made known to the public. We fight and shout within the coalition then we wait for a decision from the premier. We don’t want to talk here to get publicity. In cabinet, we fight more than you do. But we don’t jeopardise the harmony of this country like you.”
I am not sure who won but certainly we may expect to hear more from Kayveas.