Press Conference Statement by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, at DAP PJ Headquarters, on Monday, 16.7.1984 at 11a.m.
DAP leaders to meet new Minister, or Ministers with new portforlios, to exchange views on issues under their responsibility in the interest of people and nation
In the recent Cabinet reshuffle, although apart from Daim Zainuddin, the ‘dark house’ who surprised everyone by becoming the new Finance Minister, the rest of the personnel were the same as the previous Cabinet team, there had been several important Ministerial changes resulting in several Ministers being put in charge of new portforlios.
The most notable of these Ministerial reshuffle is Datuk Abdullah Badawi in Education Ministry, Anwar Ibrahim in Agriculture, Tengku Razaleigh in Trade and Commerce, Tengku Ahmad Ritaudeen’s return to Foreign Ministry, Datuk Seri Adib Adam in Land and Regional Development, Datuk Rais Yeatim in Information, Datuk Sulaiman Daud in Culture, Youth and Sports, Datuk Khalil Yaakub in the Prime Minister’s Department and Datuk Abu Hassan Omar in Welfare Services.
DAP leaders propose to call on the Finance Minister and the other Ministers with new portforlios, not only to congratulate them on their new appointments, but also to exchange views on issues which now come under their responsibility in the interest of the people and nation.
The DAP is an opposition party, but we do not oppose for the sake of opposition. We are prepared to meet Ministers with new protforlios to discuss issues which concern the people and nation in the hope that they could have a more rounded picture of the people’s aspirations.
Looking at the overall Cabinet reshuffle, one cannot help noting the pathethic position of the MCA Ministers as well as Ministers from other Barisan Nasional component parties, who have been dismissed and forgotten in their largely and insignificant portforlios.
2. Tan Sri Chong Hong Nyan must explain whether the MCA is prepared, both at Cabinet and Malacca State Exco level, to give full backing to Cheng Hoon Teng Temple’s opposition to government development of Bukit China
MCA Secretary-General, Tan Sri Chong Hong Nyan, said in Malacca yesterday that MCA respected the views of the Cheng Hoon Teng Temple Corporation with regard to the proposed State Government plan to level and develop Bukit China to turn the 500-year-old historic, religious and cultural monument into a housing and commercial centre and use the earth to fill the sea in land reclamation projects.
Cheng Hoon Teng Temple has made it very clear that it is opposed to the Malacca State Government plan to level and develop Bukit China. Furthermore, the Cheng Hoon Temple Incorporation Act Ordinance, 1949, which was moved in the Legislative Council by Tun Tan Siew Sin (the ^ in 1949, made it very clear that Bukit China is to be used only for the statutory object and purposed of the trust legislation, which is “to promote, propagate and observe the doctrines, ceremonies, rites and customs of the Buddisht and other religions ( including Confucianism and ^ Taoism, but not including the Christian or Mohammedan Religions) commonly professed or maintained in Malacca by the Chinese community.”
Tan Sri Chong Hong Nyan must explain whether the MCA is prepared, both at Cabinet and Malacca State Exco level, to give full backing to Cheng Hooon Teng Temple’s opposition to Government development of Bukit China.
He must also explain why, if the MCA respects the views of the Cheng Hoon Teng Temple which opposes the State Government plan to level and develop Bukit China, MCA Malacca State Exco Members like Datuk Tee Cheng York and Lim Soo Kiang (who actually belong to the Tan Koon Swan faction) supported the state government design on Bukit China in the Malacca State Executive Council.
If the MCA is not prepared to back Cheng Hoon Teng’s stand on Bukit China at both Federal and State Government level, then its ‘lip-service respect’ would not be worth a cent, especially as MCA members of government in Malacca State and Federal Government act contrary to Cheng Hoon Teng Temple’s wishes.
The Tan Koon Swan MCA faction’s stand on the Government’s plan to level –and develop Bukit China has an ulterior motive. Its representative in Malacca, Chan Teck Chan, is now shouting for the people to be ‘rational’ and ‘far-sighted’ on the government’s plan to develop Bukit China, meaning that those who oppose government plan to develop Bukit China are not rational and not-sighted, and those who support the Malacca Chief Minister on the Bukit China issue are rational and far-sighted!
Supporters of the Tan Koon Swan MCA faction in Malacca have been telling the people that they could not openly oppose the Chief Minister’s plan to level and develop Bukit China, for this would antagonise the UMNO leadership, which would be most harmful to The Koon Swan cause in the power struggle with Neo Yee Pan in MCA.
This is indeed a great tragedy for the Chinese community, that its so-called political leaders are so ‘rational’ and ‘far-sighted’!