Press Conference Statement by Ketua Pembangkang and DAP Secretary-General, Lim Kit Siang, at Malacca DAP Office. On Wednesday, 9th February 1977, together with Sdri. Tan Chooi Sui (Mrs. Chian Heng Kai).
Chian Heng Kai and Chan Kok Kit deny IGP statement that they “had confessed their involvement in assisting the Communist United Front.”
On 4th February, the Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Haniff Omar, speaking over Radio and Television on Malaysia, said that five of the six political leaders detained under the Internal Security Act last November had confessed their involvement in activities to help the Communist United Front.
This is the relevant passage:
“Of the persons arrested on Nov. 2 and 3, 1976, – Datuk Abdullah Ahmad, Encik Abdullah Majid, Mr. Chian Heng Kai, Encik Kassim Ahmad, Mr. Chan Kok Kit and Mr. Tan Kwee Shen – five had confessed their involvement in assisting the Communist United Front. Three of the five had expressed their desire to make statements over TV Malaysia. The other two did not want to confess openly because they still wanted to continue their political activities on their release, while the other one still adheres to Marx-Lenin-Mao teachings.”
It is Obvious that in referring to the “two who did not want to confess openly”, the IGP is referring to Sdr. Chiang Heng Kai, DAP MP for Batu Gajah and Sdr. Chan Kok Kit, DAP Assistant National Treasurer.
The smear is that they privately admitted their involvement with communist united front activities, but cowardly did not want to do so publicly because of their intention to continue their political activities on their release.
I have with me Sdr. Tan Chooi Swee, (Mrs. Chiang Heng Kai), and leader of DAP Women’s Section. She visited Sdr. Chiang Heng Kai at the Taiping detention camp on Monday, 7th February 1977. Sdr. Chian Heng Kai expressed to Sdri. Tan Chooi Swee his and Chan Kok Kit’s shock at the IGP’s insinuation that both of them had confessed their involvement with communist united front activities.
Sdr. Chian Heng Kai firmly and unequivocally denies that he had confessed that he had been involved in communist united front activities – the same is the case with Sdr. Chan Kok Kit – for the simple reason that they had never been involved in communist united front activities.
Both Sdr. Chian Heng Kai and Sdr. Chan Kok Kit have been charged by the Special Branch as having been involved with communist united front activities, but the Special Branch’s allegation is worlds apart from admission or confession by Sdr. Chian and Sdr. Chan.
This is the Ground of Detention which the Special Branch has served on Sdr. Chian Heng Kai:
:“Bahawa kamu, Chian Heng Kai @ Chin Soo Ha, telah diantara tahun 1971 dan bulan April 1976 selaku Setiausaha Jawatankuasa Kecil Mempertahankan Kebudayaan China, Parti Tindakan Demokratik (PTD) Malaysia dan Ahli Jawatankuasa Kerja Pusat PTD, dengan berterus terusan dan sedar bertindak dengan cara yang boleh memudaratkan keselamatan Malaysia. Sebagai bantahan kamu kepada dasar pelajaran Kerajaan kamu telah memutar belitkan usaha kerajaan untuk mencapai perpaduan nasional melalui pengunaan Bahasa “Kebangssan, dengan menonjolkan usaha-usaha ini sebagai mempunyai tujuan untuk menghapuskan bahasa dan kebencian dikalangan kaum China terhadap Kerajaan. Tema hasutan kamu telah sealiran dengan tema yang difunakan oleh Parti Komunis Malaya (PKM) di dalam propagandanya mengexploit issiu-issiu bersangkutan dengan bahasa dan kebuyaan China bagi mengualkan lagi Barisan Bersatu Komunis (BBK) sebagai sebahagian dari usaha ‘revolutionary’ haram PKM yang integral untuk menggulingkan Kerajaan Malaysia yang sah disisi Perlembagaan.”
Both Sdr. Chian Heng Kai and Sdr. Chan Kok Kit have emphatically and unequivocally denied these allegation, in particular the allegation of involvement with Communist United Front activities.
In both Sdr. Chian and Sdr. Chan’s cases, the Ministry of Home Affairs have further given “Allegation of Fact” purportedly to back up and justify their “Ground of Detention”.
In Sdr. Chian Heng Kai’s case, for instance, some of the “Allegations of Fact” used to justify the Home Affairs allegation that he had been involved in communist front activities were:
“Bahawa pada 14 Mae 1973, kamu telah menasihatkan PTD Cawangan Batu Pahat, Johor, supaya mengelolakan rapat-rapat umum bagi menerangkan keengganan Kerajaan mengiktiraf ijazah-ijazah dari Universiti Taiwan dan Nanyang.”
“Bahawa pada 4 Mei 1975 semasa mesyuarat Jawatankuasa Kecil Mempertahankan Kebudayaan China PTD Malaysia, kamu telah melafazkan tentengan ke atas memorandum pendidikan MCA dan telah membentangkan deraf manifesto berjodol ‘Manifesto 4 Mei’ dimana kamu menchadangkan supaya kaum China menubuhkan sebuah pertubuhan bersatu untuk mengadakan rundingan dengan Kerajaan mengenai pendidikan dan debudayaan China dan seterusnya Jawatankuasa inti hendaklan bertanggungjawab dalam penggunaan sepenuhnya bahasa China dan menyeru pihak swasta memberi keutamaan kepada penuntut dari sekolah China dalam pengambilan perkerja-pekerja.”
In the case of Sdr. Chan Kok Kit, the Ministry of Home Affairs in its “Allegation of Facts” said that between Nov. 1971 and May 1975 at various DAP public rallies, he had said, among other things:
“Menuduh MCA ‘menjual’ bahasa “kebudayaan China dengan menyokong dasar pelajaran Kerajaan;”
“Menuduh bahawa dibawah dasat pelajaran Kerajaan hanya sebilangan kecil pelajar-pelajar yang pandai sahaja akan dapat melanjutkan pelajaran ke pusat-pusat pengajian tinggi semuda di dalam atau di luar negeri”
Both Sdr. Chian Heng Kai and Sdr. Chan Kok Kit would have admitted to some of the things that they had said at public rallies and party functions previously, but this is completely different from ‘confessing’ that they are involved in communist united front activities.
For if this is the logic, then when the Deputy Prime Minister, Dr. Mahathir Mohamed said in Monash University in Australia in 1973 that “Dalam tahun 2,000 kita boleh memikir bahawa Malaysia akan dijadikan satu socialist state”, Dr. Mahthir was also furthering the cause of the communist united front! Why then is he not in detention under ISA in Taiping?
Just because the Communists are also fighting poverty and social inequality, do Opposition politicians who also fight poverty and social inequalities become in the process involved in the Communist United Rront activities?
Call on the IGP to be fair
Following the IGP Tan Sri Maniff Omar’s radio and television statement, which were given front-page treatment in all the Malaysian papers, members of the public have been confused and some even questioned Sdr. Chian and Sdr, Chan about their alleged” “confession”.
I regret Tan Sri Haniff Omar’s statement, which is downright false and unfounded. I do not know whether he had been misled by his subordinate officials, but I call on him to act fairly, and to clarity his completely different from so-called “confession” to Special Branch allegations that such statements amount to involvement with communist united front activities.
Tan Sri Haniff Omar’s statement has damaged the public standing and reputation of Sdr. Chian and Sdr. Chan. In view of the untruth of the IGP’s statement, it tantamounts to character-assassination.
In view of the grave defamatory remarks of the IGP which were extensively broadcast over Radio and Television Malaysia, and given prominent coverage in all Malaysia papers, party lawyers will also be instructed to look into the legal aspect as to possibilities of taking legal action against the IGP, Radio and Television Malaysia, and all the Malaysian newspaper of all languages.
To give both Sdr. Chian and Sdr. Chan the elementary right of not being condemned unheard, and of having to bear a guilt for which they are innocent, I ask the government to let both Sdr. Chian and Sdr. Chan to appear over Television Malaysia to state their stands.
We are more than convinced about the unfounded basis for the dual arrest of Sdr. Chian Heng Kai and Sdr. Chan Kok Kit. They are arrested and deprived of their freedom not because they have done anything wrong, but because they have been made scapegoats of the political power-struggle in the UMNO and in the Barisan Nasional.
Having lost their freedom, the authorities concerned seemed bent on depriving their reputation.
This is highly deplorable, and I reiterate my call to the IGP to cause an investigation as to how he had been informed that both of them had “quietly confessed” to their involvement with communist united front activities, when they never did as they never had any association with communist stigma now placed on them.