Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary – General and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, at the Manjong DAP Anniversary Dinner held at Sitiawan on Saturday, 9th July 1983 at 8 p.m.
MCA Central Committee has become the fabled ‘three monkeys, who see not, hear not and know not’ about Datuk Lee San Choon’s intention to resign the Seremban Parliamentary seat
The MCA Central Committee and MCA leaders have become the fabled ‘three monkeys’ who see not, hear not and know not’ about Datuk Lee San Choon’s intention to resign his Seremban Parliamentary seat following his resignation as MCA President and Cabinet Minister.
After the MCA Central Committee meeting on Thursday, the MCA Secretary- General Tan Sri Chong Hon Nyan was again asked by reporters, and again answered, that the MCA Central Committee did not discuss Datuk Lee’s announced intention to quit as Seremban MP. Datuk Neo Yee Pan, in the meantime, continues to run away from reporters like a badly- frightened rabbit to avoid press questions about Datuk Lee’s undated letter of resignation as Seremban MP in his hands.
However, one MCA Central Committee member said a few days ago that it was wrong to force Datuk Lee to continue to serve as Seremban MP, when Tengku Abdul Rahman and Tun Hussein Onn were able to resign theor Parliamentary positions when they stepped down as Prime Minister and UMNO President to retire from politics, and expressed dissatisfaction that Datuk Lee was prevented from resigning as Seremban MP.
Datuk Dr. Neo Yee Pan is the only person to explain why Datuk Lee is being forced to remain as Seremban MP, and prevented from resigning as intended. It is indeed most ironical that when Datuk Lee San Choon resigned as MCA President and Cabinet Minister, he gave as his main reason that the MCA had never been so strong politically. But when Datuk Dr. Neo Yee Pan took over the MCA leadership, he is acting as if the MCA had never been weaker, forcing Datuk Lee to remain as Seremban MP for fear of a MCA defeat in a Seremban by- election.
How did Datuk Neo become the ‘sick man’ of MCA at a time when the MCA is supposed to be at the height of its greatest power with its great victories in the April 1982 general elections.
I do not see how the new MCA leadership under Datuk Dr. Neo Yee Pan expect to have credibility for their claim to be ‘the third biggest Chinese party in the world’ and ‘the legitimate political representative of the Malaysian Chinese’ when they openly show their fear of meeting the DAP in a Seremban by- election. I do not think the other component parties of Barisan Nasional, and in particular the UMNO, could have respect for the MCA leadership when it is openly admitting that their April 1982 general elections victories and ‘breakthrough’ was a ‘fluke’, just a lucky strike, without any solid backing from the Malaysian voters, and in particular the Malaysian Chinese.
I understand that the MCA wants to have more time to prepare for the ideal conditions for the MCA to fight in Seremban, including the importation of more non- Seremban voters into the constituency under the new electoral roll to be ready shortly.
Be that as it may, it ill becomes a party which claims to be the ‘third biggest Chinese party in the world’ for its leaders to behave like frightened rabbits seeking for cover over a by- election to the extent that they have to force Datuk Lee San Choon to continue as Seremban MP.
DAP calls for free flow of news and abandonment of plans to give Bernama the monopoly to be sole distributor of all foreign news.
The announcement by the Minister of Information, Datuk Seri Adib Adam, last Saturday that with effect from May 1 next year, Bernama would be the sole distributor of all foreign news has come as a shock to Malaysians who cherish press freedom and the free flow of news.
In this years of operation, Bernama has never distinguished itself as an independent national news agency, dedicated to the free flow of news and information to promote a more enlightened and democratic public opinion. On the contrary, Bernama, in the past and even now, is more a news agency of the ruling parties, seeking to play the role of the Information Department on a larger scale in disseminating news which Government Ministers want spread while suppressing views and news which the Ministers want suppressed.
Any move to give Bernama the monopoly to be the sole distributor of all foreign news would be a threat to press freedom and the free flow of news, which will be highly inimical to the building of an enlightened and informed public opinion, without which no parliamentary democracy could flourish.
I call on the Minister of Information to abandon plans to give Bernama the monopoly to be the sole distributor of all foreign news. He should spend his time to ensure how Malaysians could be better informed to participate intelligently in the nation- building process by a fuller and freer flow of news and information in the country, rather than taking steps to restrict the free flow of news and information.
Call on Ministry of Defence to tell the truth about the killing of 11 soldiers by own fire in Sarawak in April
Despite the claim by the Mahathir- Musa leadership that they are more liberal in press control, there is no denial that in many areas of national life, Malaysians are denied access to information which they are entitled to by right as Malaysian citizens in a parliamentary democracy.
Sometimes, Malaysians only read about home happenings in foreign press, reports. Government control of all foreign news, through Bernama, would therefore undermine such free flow of
For instance, last week’s issue of the Far Eastern Ecohomic Review reported that 11 Malaysian soldiers were killed 11 others were injured during an operations against the communists in Sarawak in April, not because of communist attacks, but as a result of the ‘friendly fire’ by other Malaysian troops. The magazine cited as factors responsible for the fiasco- tragedy in the Sarawak jungle as ‘poor training in night fighting and too many rapid promotions’.
I call on the Ministry of Defence to give the Malaysian public a full account of the killing of 11 Malaysian soldiers, and wounding of 11 others, in Sarawak in April by our own fire, for Malaysians have a right as citizens to know whether there is such gross inefficiency in our armed forces that soldiers have more reason to fear being killed by ‘friendly’ fire by other soldiers, than by their enemies in the jungles.