DAP Secretary-General, Mr.Lim Kit Siang, M.P. today issued the following statement:
DAP reply to the purported MCA factual account of MCA/DAP talks
Tun Tan Siew Sin’s statement yesterday and the statement by MCA Secretary-General today, purporting to give ‘a factual’ account of recent MCA/DAP meetings is a tissue of distortions, half-truths and downright falsehood.
Although I have great political differences with Tun Tan Siew Sin, I have had until yesterday some respect for him as a man of honour and uprightness.
From his denial yesterday and the account his Secretary-General has given, Tun Tan has stooped to distortions and falsehoods to try to put the MCA in the nest light possible. This is a highly contemptible action. These are very strong words, and I would not have lightly used them, particularly against a national political leader and a Minister of more than 10 years’ standing. It pains me therefore to have to use these words to describe Tun Tan Siew Sin.
Let me deal with the so-called ‘factual account’ of Tun Tan Siew Sin.
Firstly, it was alleged that I met Tun Tan at my own request through Mr.Alex Lee at the Royal Commonwealth Society. on 7th March.
This was what happened: In mid-February, about a week before the re-convening of the Parliament, an intermediary contacted me and told me that Tun Tan had asked to meet me and discuss the political problems in the country.
It was a difficult decision to make. To refuse to meet Tun Tan would not only be rude, but improper, for in a democratic country one must be prepared to meet and discuss political problems in the country.
However, to accept has also its dangers, as unscrupulous politicians can exploit much meetings as some attempt to sell-out one’s political principles.
I discussed this with members of the previous Central Working Committee, including the Party Chairman, Dr.Chen Man Hin, the Vice Chairman, Dr.K.S.Das, the Deputy Secretaries-General, Daing Ibrahim bin Othman and Fan Yew Teng Party Treasurer, Dr.S.Seeveratnam. it was decided not to turn down the overture for a meeting.
However, as I suspected that Tun Tan would take the occasion to persuade the DAP not to oppose the Constitution Amendment Bill, which was the first item of business in the to-be-reconeved Parliament, I decided to reply to the feeler only after I have made the DAP stand in Parliament.
I told the intermediary after my Parliament speech on the Constitution Amendment Bill tha I was prepared to meet Tun Tan.
I did not want to meet in Tun Tan’s house as I anticipated that this might be exploited by unscrupulous politicians. It was Tun Tan who suggested the Royal Commonwealth Society Headquarters in Damansara as a venue. Until the intermediary took me to the Commonwealth Society building, I did not know there was such a building.
Mr.Alex Lee was there, because, I understand later, he was secretary of the Society and Tun Tan asked him to open the building for our meeting.
It was alleged that Mr.Alex Lee arranged this meeting at my request. Let me solemnly declare: Until I saw him at the met Alex Lee. Alex Lee was NOT the intermediary.
I challenge Tun Tan Siew Sin to stake his entire political reputation and career on who asked for the meeting which took place at the Commonwealth Society Building on March 7.
I challenge Alex Lee to declare that he has known or met me before our first meeting at the Commonwealth Society Building on March 7, and had arranged the meeting at my request.
At the meeting, Tun Tan gave his views on the problems of the future, and spoke of the great things he has done for the people, particularly the Chinese, and how his services had not been acknowledged. There was no follow up to the meeting.
With regard to ‘another DAP leader’ who met Tun Tan at his house earlier this year in the company of Alex Lee. This ‘another DAP leader’ is Mr.Richard Ho, Member of Parliament for Sitiawan.
Richard Ho saw Tun Tan only after Alex Lee had repeatedly tried to get him to the meeting, saying that Tun Tan would like to meet him and that there could no harm.
Mr.Richard Ho will give a public account of what transpired tomorrow.
Now coming to Mr.Goh Hock Guan’s alleged proposals to dissolve the DAP and join and the MCA.
I said yesterday that before the Bekok by-election nomination on April 24, we received and rejected feelers from the MCA asking us to give them a walk-over in Bekok by not fielding a candidate.
When we ignored these feelers and proceeded to field a candidate, Lee San Choon, thorugh an intermediary, met Goh Hock Guan and arranged a meeting with Tun Tan Siew Sin.
The MCA officials proposed that the AP should withdraw from Bekok, dissolve and join the MCA, in return for which, DAP leaders will occupy positions of Deputy Presidents and Secretary-General of MCA, enter the government with MPs becoming Ministers and Assistant Ministers.
The idea that the DAP should dissolve and join the MCA is so unthinkable and abhorrent to our multi-racial policy and multi-racial membership, that we did not give it any consideration. Whatever.
Any right-thinking man will see how preposterous is the idea that the DAP should dissolve and join the MCA. If the DAP leaders are really hankering for Ministerial and government positions, surely the people to go to will be the UMNO, who are the real power in the government.
However, the DAP leaders will not sell its commitment to multi-racialism for position or office. The DAP will never dissolve to join the MCA or any communal party, and we shall remain a party with members and leaders from all racial groups in the country.
I reiterate that there had been no secret talks between DAP and MCA for the DAP to dissolve and join the MCA and government.
There were MCA feelings to this effect, to which we rejected outright.
There had previously been personal meetings between DAP and MCA leaders, as described above, between Tun Tan and Richard and myself, but in all these meetings, the moves had come from MCA.
I can assure the public and stake my political reputation on it: that the DAP had never considered and will never, dissolve itself to join the MCA.