Speech by Parliament Opposition Leader and DAP Secretary-General, Lim Kit Siang, at a DAP Solidarity Dinner organised by the Selangor/Federal Territory DAP State Sub-Committee at Thin Kiew Leng Khai Restaurant, Kuala Lumpur, on Monday, 3.10.1977 at 8 p.m.
Challenge to MCA and MCA Youth to declare clearly whether they support or oppose Essential (Security Cases) Regulations 1975 which makes it mandatory to sentence juvenile offenders to death
I note with interest the statement by the MCA Youth Headquarters in Kluang, Johore, yesterday, that they are deeply concerned about the death sentence passed on the 14-year-old condemned boy from Penang. for unlawful possession of a pistol and ammunition, and their offer of help. They seem to have awaken up to this problem very late in the day.
They are even talking about whether to refer the case of the 14-year-old condemned to the United Nations Human Rights Commission.
My first reaction to these MCA Youth statements is that this is “cat crying about mice”. The MCA Members of Parliament are the very persons who are responsible for the passage of the Essential (Security Cases) Amendment Regulations 1975 which make it mandatory to sentence a boy to death on conviction, and now they concern that these powers are being exercised. When on Dec. 19, 1975, I moved a motion in Parliament to repeal these Essential (Security Cases) Amendment Regulations to remove these terrible powers, these MCA Members of Parliament were the very same ones who opposed my motion.
Probably, the MCA Youth Headquarters would have the courage to send a cable to UN Human Rights Commission, if the public feeling is very high, but they will never have the courage to instruct their Members of Parliament to speak up in Parliament and vote for a proposal to repeal these very Regulations which makes it possible to condemn a 14-year-old boy to death.
I challenge the MCA and MCA Youth to declare clearly, without any ambiguity, whether they support or oppose the Essential (Security Cases) Regulations 1975 which make it mandatory to hang a boy on conviction? I want them to declare whether they dare to join in a Parliamentary motion to repeal this Regulation?
With the approach of the next general elections, the two-faced policy of the MCA will become even more blatant and unashamed.
They will criticise some government measures and actions outside Parliament and the State Assemblies, but when they go inside Parliament and State Assemblies, support the very policies they criticise outside.
This is illustrated by their stand in particular on Chinese education and Chinese primary schools. It is now illustrated by their so-called concern about the 14-year-old condemned.
What has the MCA done to help their executive secretary, Mr. Tan Ken Sin, under the Internal Security Act in November last year? They have abandoned Mr. Tan Ken Sin to his own fate. In fact, when Mr. Tan was to appear before television to make his ‘confession’, the MCA leaders haggle and negotiated with Mr. Tan about the things he should not say over Television, for his first television statement (which was not telecast) put the MCA in a rather unfavourable light. This is why when Parliament meets at the end of this month, I have given notice to ask the following question: “To ask the Minister of Home Affairs to explain why the MCA allowed to object to the first television confession made by MCA Executive Secretary, Mr. Tan Ken Sin, who was held under the ISA, and to state what are the portions which the MCA objected and succeeded in getting them deleted; and how many times Mr. Tan had to record his confession before a final version was agreed by all parties concerned for television transmission.”