By Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Monday, Nov. 11, 1984:
Challenge to Tan Koon Swan to explain why he wants to manufacture a justification for the Malacca Chief Minister to reject the 300,000 Save Bukit China mass signature and the 553 organisations who have sent memorandum to Cheng Hoon Teng Temple.
Tan Koon Swan has indicated to the press in Malacca yesterday that he would be making an important pronouncement on Bukit China which among other things, would include another development plan for Bukit China.
The motive of the Tan Koon Swan MCA faction at this time to get 52 Malacca MCA branches to support its development plan for Bukit China is very blatant and transparent. This is to provide the Malacca Chief Minister, Datuk Abdul Rahim Thamby Cik, with the excuse and justification to reject the 300,000 Save Bukit China mass signatures and the petitions of the 553 organisations, representing Chinese organizations, societies, associations and guilds, expressing support for the Cheng Hoon Teng Temple’s opposition to the government’s Bukit China development plan.
I challenge Tan Koon Swan to explain clearly and satisfactorily why he is manufacturing a justification for the Malacca Chief Minister to reject the 300,000 Save Bukit China mass signatures and petitions of the 553 organisations.
During the 300,000 Save Bukit China mass signature campaign, the Tan Koon Swan MCA faction people were the most obstructionist and hostile. Now, they are seeking to destroy the impact and purpose of the 300,000 Save Bukit China mass signature campaign.
I want to warn Tan Koon Swan that if he persists in this line of action, in now seeking to destroy the purpose and impact of the 300,000 Save Bukit China mass signature campaign, he has become not only ‘sinner of the race’, he would become the ‘Public Enemy No.1 of the race’ as well!
I also want to remind Tan Koon Swan of his August 8 speech in Malacca where he declared that the immediate task facing the Chinese community is to preserve the ownership right of Cheng Hoon Teng over Bukit China, and not to discuss whether to support or oppose development.
He proposed a four-step solution to the Bukit China issue, which provided that the ownership right of Cheng Hoon Teng over Bukit China must be settled without question, before the second, third and fourth steps are taken. He also called for all organizations to accept the leadership of Cheng Hoon Teng Temple Committee in the solution of Bukit China issue.
Tan Koon Swan should explain when and why he had decided to abandon the policy guidelines he propounded on August 8, why he had decided that the Tan Koon Swan faction should begin to advocate development when the ownership right of the Malacca Chief Minister, and when and why his faction decided to reject the Cheng Hoon Teng Temple’s leadership role in the Bukit China issue.
By going behind the back of Cheng Hoon Teng Temple and the Chinese community in holding secret meetings and negotiations with the Malacca Chief Minister on the Bukit China development, and submitting its own development plan, and now preparing another development plan, the Tan Koon Swan MCA faction has acted in total disregard of the wishes, aspirations, dignity and self-respect of the Chinese community.
If Tan Koon Swan, when still in the ‘political wilderness’ in MCA, is prepared to so blatantly go against the interests, rights and wishes of the Chinese community, the people are entitled to ask what he would not do when he should become the MCA President?
On the one hand, the Tan Koon Swan faction reject the 300,000 mass signatures of the people to Save Bukit China and the representations of 553 Chinese organizations, associations and societies; and on the other, they are launching a mass signature campaign for a referendum to be held in MCA.
When moral right and authority have the Tan Koon Swan MCA faction to launch a signature campaign for a MCA referendum, when they refuse to recognize the 300,000 Save Bukit China mass signature campaign and the representations of 553 Chinese organizations, associations and societies?