Press Conference Statement by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, in Seremban on Wednesday, August 8, 1984 at 9 a.m. after launching the ‘Save Bukit China’ mass signature campaign and sell ‘Save Bukit China T-shirts’ at the Seremban Central Market
Call on Malaysians of all races and religions to makes the ‘Save Bukit China’ mass signature campaign the most memorable and successful in Malaysian history
I am here in Seremban this morning to officially launch the ‘Save Bukit China’ Mass Signature Campaign in Negri Sembilan, the second state after Malacca. The purpose is to preserve Bukit China as a national heritage for all Malaysians regardless of race or religion.
I am pleased to announced that from our initial reports in the Mass Signature campaign in Malacca, the response from all racial groups in Malaysia have been most encouraging.
I call on Malaysians of all races and religions to make the ‘Save Bukit China’ Mass signature Campaign the most successful and memorable one in the history of Malaysia in terms of the number of signatures it could secure representing widespread public support.
I have announced in Malacca two days ago the initial target of 200,000 signatures, but if we succeed in making this mass signature campaign the most successful and memorable one in Malaysia history, then we should be able to exceed 200,000 signatures.
Many people have asked me whether Bukit China in Malacca could be saved. I have no doubt that Bukit China could be saved if the people, and in particular the Chinese in Malaysia, are united in their determination to preserve their roots as symbolised by Bukit China and defeat the attempts by those who wish to wipe out the history of Chinese contribution to Malaysian nation-building by levelling the 500-year-old monument of the history of Chinese sacrifices for the building of present-day Malaysia.
Another thing I am certain is that if the Chinese in Malaysia could not preserve Bukit China, then they have lost not only their roots, allowed their contribution to Malaysian nation building to be wiped out, but also created an entirely new situation in Malaysia whereby there is nothing which is safe from UMNO and Government erosion.
Over the weekend, I had to go to Perak for some party functions, and for the first time, when I passed the various Chinese cemetries which lined the trunk road, I was reminded every time I saw a Chinese cemetry of the crisis over Bukit China, and the thought that the cemetry I was passing through would also be unsafe if Bukit China could not be protected.
I will be going to the Federal Territory, Selangor, Perak and Penang in the next few days to take the ‘Save Bukit China’ mass signature campaign to the other states and throughout the country.
DAP welcomes Cheng Hoon Teng suggestion of a round table conference
The DAP welcomes the Cheng Hoon Teng Temple statement yesterday that 100 per cent of the Chinese guilds, clubs and associations which had submitted their views on the future of Bukit China in writing, were opposed to the Government’s plan to level and develop Bukit China.
This should serve as a strong guide to the Malacca Chief Minister, Datuk Abdul Rahim Thamby Cik, to withdraw the government’s plan to develop Bukit China and the three proposals announced by the Chief Minister in the Malacca Assembly on 23rd July 1984.
The chairman of the Cheng Hoon Teng Temple Working Sub-Committee on Bukit China, Mr. Ee Tiang Heng, in his statement yesterday said that the Chairman of the Temple, Mr. Ee Yew Lin and Trustees on the advice of the Working Sub-Committee on Bukit China is considering convening a meeting of all interested parties, including leaders of political parties which had shown interest in the future of Bukit China.
The DAP fully support the proposal for the convening of a round-table conference of all interested organisations to discuss the future of Bukit China under the auspieces of Cheng Hoon Teng Temple, reminiscent of the olden Malacca times when the Cheng Hoon Teng Temple was a great centre for arbitration on matters and disputes relating to Chinese Affairs during the tenure of Kapita Chinas.
The DAP will attend such a round-table conference organised by Cheng Hoon Teng Temple if invited.
Query to Datuk Harris Salleh whether in his declaration of assets to Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, he had declared his directorships in at least three companies?
A few days ago, the Government announced that another 300,000 civil servants will have to declare their assets, which means all civil servants except for the 150,000 Industrial and Manual Group workers, would be brought under this.
But the question is whether the top political leaders are setting a good example in keeping with the two mottos of ‘Leadership by Example’ and ‘Clean, Honest and Trustworthy’ Leadership.
The DAP had produced documentary records from the Registry of Companies to prove that during his tenure as Sabah Chief Minister, Datuk Harris Salleh, had been director of at least three companiees, namely Dua Bersaudara Sdn. Bhd., Empat Bersaudari Sdn. Bhd and Sejati Sdn. Bhd. This is a clear and indisputable breach of the Sabah State Constitution Article 6(5) which prohibits a Chief Minister from actively engaging in any commercial enterprise.
The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir, has required Ministers, Chief Ministers and Mentri Besar to declare their assets to him. The question is whether Datuk Harris Salleh had declared to Dr. Mahathir his directorships in at least three companies during his tenure as Chief Minister of Sabah.
If he had declared his directorships in three companies to the Prime Minister, then had he the authority of the Prime Minister to continue as director while being Chief Minister. This is unthinkable, for even the Prime Minister has no power to authorise any Chief Minister to breach and violate Article 6(5) of the Sabah State Constitution.
If Datuk Harris had not declared his directorships to Dr. Mahathir, then Datuk Harris Salleh had misled the Prime Minister.
I call on the Prime Minister and the Sabah Chief Minister to clarify whether Datuk Harris had declared his directorships in at least three companies during his tenure as Chief Minister of Sabah.