Press Conference Statement by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary – General and MP for Petaling, Lim Kit Siang, At DAP KL Office, Jalan Sultan, 21st August 1978 at 11.30 a.m.
1. Offer by six Perak DAP State Assemblymen to resign their seats not accepted by the CEC
The Party Central Executive Committee, at its ordinary meeting, yesterday, discussed the matter of the six Perak DAP State Assemblymen who did not take the second oath of allegiance to the Sultan of Perak during the Perak State Assembly swearing – in ceremony on August 4, because there is no provision in the Perak State Constitution for non – Perak state nationals to take the second oath of allegiance.
The CEC had before it Sdr. Lim Cho Hock’s resignations from the post of DAP Perak State Chairman, and DAP Perak State Assembly leader and his offer to resign as State Assemblyman for Kepayang. The CEC had also before it a joint letter from the other five DAP State Assemblymen, namely Sdr. P. Patto (Gopeng) Thee Ah Kow (Pasir Bendamar) Lim Nyit Sin (Kuala Pari) Young Heow Choo (Pantai Remis) and Lee Kak Hoi (Kampar) offering to resign their State Assembly seats. Their letter reads:
“Secretary – General, 10.8.1978
Democratic Action Party,
77 Road 20/9,
Dear Sdr. Kit,
Over the last few days, the Party has been subject to criticisms of various forms over the unintended action by six of our Assemblymen in Perak who did not take the second oath of allegiance to the Sultan during the oath – taking ceremony of Assemblymen in Perak on 4.8.1978.
In view of this, we the undersigned feel that we are also responsible for the inadvertent incident and therefore, we also offer ourselves to the Central Executive Committee our preparedness to resign our respective State Assembly seats.”
The CEC accepts the explanation of Sdr. Lim Cho Hock and the other five Perak State Assemblymen that they had not intended any disrespect to the Sultan of Perak, let alone declare that they did not owe allegiance to the Sultan of Perak.
As the Perak State Constitution is very clear that there is no provision for non – Perak nationals to take the second oath of allegiance, if anybody is to be blamed for the unintended disrespect caused at the swearing – in ceremony, it is the Perak State Assembly Speaker or even the Perak State Constitution, which was drafted in 1948. The Perak State Constitution should be amended to avoid a recurrence of such an unfortunate incident, where although legally or constitutionally no mistake has been made, an unintended disrespect to the Sultan of Perak was caused.
The CEC appreciates the offer and readiness of the six DAP Perak State Assemblymen to resign their seats because of the unhappy position they had inadvertently put the Party in, giving the impression that the DAP is opposed to the Sultan system, Malay customs and the Malays generally. Our political opponents, the small fries in the Barisan Nasional component parties, and the mosquito opposition parties, have also take the opportunity to malign the Party.
As the six DAP State Assemblymen are contrite over what had happened without any intention, and in view of the lacunae in the Perak State Constitution, the CEC decided that the question of accepting their offers of resignation as State Assemblymen does not arise.
The CEC also appreciates the quality of leadership of Sdr. Lim Cho Hock who has accepted full responsibility for what has happened on his own shoulders alone, in resigning as Perak State Chairman and DAP Perak State Assembly leader.
The DAP CEC has appointed me Chairman of Perak DAP for the interim period, and Sdr. P. Patto as Perak DAP State Assembly leader and Sdr. Mohd. Salleh Nakhoda Hitam as Perak DAP State Assembly Whip.