by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Monday, 3.12.1984:
Lim Kit Siang writes to Neo Yee Pan and Lim Keng Yaik to ask for MCA and Gerakan support to demand the removal of Malacca Chief Minister, Abdul Rahim Thamby Cik, for his ‘confrontationist’ stand on Bukit China aggravating racial polarisation in Malaysia.
MCA and Gerakan branches have expressed opposition to the $2 million quit rent demand of the Malacca Chief Minister for Bukit China, which the State Government wanted the Cheng Hoon Teng Trustees to pay within a month or face forfeiture.
Unfortunately, top MCA and Gerakan leaders have kept silent on this $2 million Bukit China quit rent issue. Furthermore, the Bukit China issue has reached a stage where mere statements is inadequate unless there is firm action to oppose the Malacca Chief Minister’s insensitive disregard of the historic, cultural, religious and communal sensitivities of the Malaysia Chinese.
I have written to the MCA Acting President, Datuk Dr. Neo Yee Pan and the Gerakan President, Dr. Lim Keng Yaik, today asking them, in the higher removal of Datuk Abdul Rahim Thamby Cik as Malacca Chief Minister by expressing no confidence in him.
My letter to Datuk Dr. Neo and Dr. Lim Keng Yaik reads:
“Datuk Dr. Neo Yee Pan/Dr. Lim Keng Yaik, 3.12.1984
MCA Acting President/Gerakan President,
Call for concerted action demanding the removal of Datuk Seri Abdul Rahim Thamby Cik as Malacca Chief Minister as having lost multi-racial support and confidence in his Bukit China stand, especially with regard to his confrontationist $2 million quit rent demand
As you were aware; the Bukit China issue, in particular the $2 million quit rent ultimatum of the Malacca Chief Minister, Datuk Seri Abdul Rahim Thamby CIk, has gravely aggravated racial polarisation not only in Malacca but the whole of Malaysia.
As component parties of the Barisan Nasional, you have a greater responsibility than any other organisation to put a halt to the escalation of confrontation being staged by the Malacca Chief Minister.
MCA has two State Executive Councillors in Malacca, while at the national level, both MCA and Gerakan are responsible for the consequences of Barisan Nasional policies and measures which undermine inter-racial harmony and goodwill in the country.
If your political party is not a full consenting party of the Malacca Chief Minister’s ultimatum to Cheng Hoon Teng and the Chinese community, chich is nothing less than a ‘declaration of war’ against the historic, religious, cultural and political rights and sensitivities of the Chinese community, then you must not only make your stand clear, you must also take the necessary action to satisfy the country and the Chinese community that you are sincere in your stand and not indulging in the double-game of pretending to oppose outside but giving actual support inside to the Malacca Chief Minister.
In the higher interests of the basic rights of the Malaysian Chinese as symbolized in the Bukit China issue, I am writing to ask you to take concerted action to express no confidence in Datuk Seri Abdul Rahim Thamby Cik and to demand his removal as Malacca Chief Minister as his Bukit China stand, especially with regard to the $2 million quit rent demand, has aggravated racial polarisation. In the process, he has lost multi-racial support and confidence, and no national or state leader who has lost multi-racial support and confidence must be allowed to remain in his position.
May I suggest the actions which the MCA and Gerakan, as component parties of Barisan Nasional government, can and must do in the face of the Malacca Chief Minister’s $2 million quit rent demand, namely:
1. The two MCA Malacca Executive Councillors, Datuk Tee Cheng York and Lim Soo Kiang, should resign in protest against the Chief Minister’s Bukit China action and to express no confidence in him;
2. Both MCA and Gerakan branches outside Malacca should pass resolutions expressing no confidence in Datuk Seri Abdul Rahim Thamby Cik as Malacca Chief Minister because of his ‘confrontationisy’ stand on Bukit China and call for his removal;
3. Both MCA and Gerakan branches outside Malcca should pass resolutions expressing full support for the campaign for the removal of Datuk Seri Abdul Rahim Thamby Cik as Malacca Chief Minister as his Bukit China actions have gravely aggravated racial polarisation and forfeited multi-racial support and confidence;
4. Both MCA and Gerakan Central Executive Committees should convene emergency meetings to formally adopt a resolution expressing no confidence in Datuk Seri Abdul Rahim Thamby Cik and to request Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed to remove him as Malacca Chief Minister;
5. Both MCA and Gerakan should requisition an emergency meeting of the Barisan Nasional Supreme Council to resolve the Bukit China issue by canceling the $2 million quit rent ultimatum and demand of the Malacca State Government, abandon the Malacca State Government’s forced development of the ancient cemetry hill, and fully respect and honour the ownership right of Cheng Hoon Teng Temple and the Chinese community over Bukit China.
I hope both you and your party can rise up to the test and challenge as represented by the Malacca Chief Minister’s $2 million Bukit China quit rent ultimatum, and that both you and your party would not be found wanting in an issue which would have far-reaching consequences for the historic, religious, cultural and political rights of Malaysians, and in particular Malaysian Chinese, and future generations.
(Lim Kit Siang)
Call on Tan Koon Swan and Lee Kim Sai to explain what is their motive for their emphasis on 75% development of Bukit China at a time when Malacca Chief Minister is threatening to forfeit Bukit China within a month if $2 million quit rent is not paid
At the Tan Koon Swan MCA Faction’s Cultural Night in Petaling Jaya on Saturday night, Lee Kim Sai expressed full support for Tan Koon Swan’s concept of 75 per cent development of Bukit China.
I want to ask Lee Kim Sai and Tan Koon Swan what is their real motive for repeatedly declaring their support for the idea of 75 per cent development of Bukit China, when the Chinese community is being threatened with forfeiture of Bukit China by the Malacca State Government if its ultimatum of paying $2 million quit rent is not met within a month. Both Lee Kim Sai and Tan Koon Swan are not concerned about the Malacca State Government’s $2 million quit rent ultimatum. Are Tan Koon Swan and Lee Kim Sai sending messages to the Chief Minister encouraging him to be inflexible and confrontationist on the $2 million quit rent ultimatum, so that they could sell their 75 per cent development of Bukit China proposal to the Chinese community?
Call on Chinese organisations, associations and societies not to overlook the importance of the new parliamentary and state assembly constituencies which would be debated and decided by Parliament on Thursday
Last Thursday, the Elections Commission’s final recommendations with regard to the proposed delineation of parliamentary and state assembly constituencies was tabled in Parliament, and the final recommendations is to be debated and decided by Parliament on the last Parliamentary sitting on Thursday, Dec. 6.
Up to now, Chinese organisations, which in the past had made objections and representations to the Elections Commission during the earlier stage of redelineation of the constituencies, have kept a strange and unhealthy silence – for on Thursday, the final decision on the Elections Commission’s recommendations would be taken by Members of Parliament deciding the political equation for the rest of the 1980s and 1990s.
I call on the Chinese organisations, associations and societies not to overlook the importance of the new parliamentary and state assembly constituencies in largely determining the political, economic, educational, cultural, religious and nation-building policies for the next two decades.
They have only two days left to make their voice heard, and they must do so immediately and with a great sense of urgency. The Elections Commission’s proposals violate the principle of ‘one man, one vote’ and would aggravate political inequality among the races.
It is important that strong public opinion must be expressed to put pressure on the other Barisan Nasional component parties like MCA, Gerakan and MIC to oppose the Election Commission’s proposals, and to support the DAP’s proposal on Thursday for Parliament to reject the Elections commission’s recommendatations.
If the Chinese organisations, societies and associations keep quiet at this most important phase of the redelineation of electoral constituencies, then it will be a most tragic example where the people have given away their most important political rights by sheer default.