Press Statement by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, in Malacca on Friday, 25.1.1985:
Call on Tan Koon Swan to make clear whether he is backing out of his public debate with me on the Bukit China issue.
On 23rd Nov. 1984, Tan Koon Swan made the public announcement that
he accepted my challenge to him to a public debate on the betrayal of the
historic cultural, religious and political rights of Malaysian Chinese by
the Tan Koon Swan MCA faction on the Bukit China issue, although he said he
could only have the debate in February after he had returned from abroad.
As events turned out, Tan Koon Swan returned from overseas in the
first week of January, but he had been evading the subject since then.
Although in November, I had tried to get Tan Koon Swan to agree to
a debate by December, for Tan Koon Swan could give no reason why he could not
spare three hours for a debate on such a crucial question as Bukit China in
a period of two or three months, I am prepared at any time to debate with
Tan Koon Swan on Bukit China because his faction’s role on the Bukit China
issue was clearly most destructive and detrimental to the mainstream aspirations
of the Chinese community and thinking Malaysians as a whole.
Last weekend, in Perak, I asked Tan Koon Swan to give the confirmation
that his acceptance of my public debate on Bukit China is still valid, and to
name the date for such a debate, which should be before the Chinese New Year on
Feb 20, within 48 hours.
Five days have passed since then, without a word from Tan Koon Swan.
I call on Tan Koon Swan to make clear whether he is backing out of the
public debate on Bukit China with me, and if so, he should have the courage
to publicly admit instead of running into hiding. If not, he should name a date
by before Chinese New Year for the Bukit China public debate to be held, without
any more evasions!
If there is no reply within the next 48 hours from Tan Koon Swan,
then I will not pursue the matter anymore, for I will conclude that Tan Koon
Swan has ‘chickened’ out because he knows that he cannot give any convincing
reason to justify the Tan Koon Swan MCA faction’s role in the Bukit China issue
in the last eight months; as in secretly giving support to the Malacca Chief
Minister to try to forcibly level and develop Bukit China.
Call on Oo Gin Sun to produce documentary evidence to prove that
SATRIA UTARA was involved in direct China trade for its order of
410,000 crates of Mandarin oranges, and to state whether SATRIA UTARA
Had repeatedly failed to produce L.C.’s for the shipment of oranges
The Deputy M nister of Trade and Industry, Oo Gin Sun, has denied that
SATRIA UTARA was actually importing its 410,000 crates of Mandarin oranges
through a third country, namely Hong Kong, claiming that there was ample
proof that SATRIA UTARA was involved in direct China trade.
I challenge Oo Gin Sun to produce to documentary evidence to prove
that SATRIA UTARA was involved in direct China trade, by showing all the
contracts and exchange of papers on the monopoly deal of 410,000 crates of
Mandarin oranges. This point must be thoroughly cleared up, for if it is
true that SATRIA UTARA was in fact going to bring in its monopoly of 410,000
crates of Chinese Mandarin oranges through a third party, then the whole
Ministry of Trade and Pernas stinks and action must be taken
not only against Oo Gin Sun, who as Deputy Minister is in charge
of China Trade, but the entire Ministry of Trade division and Pernas responsible
for the same trade.
I also call on Oo Gin Sun to explain whether it is not true that SATRIA
UTARA had run into difficulty with regard to its 410,000 crates of Mandarin oranges
because this bumiputera monopoly firm had not been able to present Letters of Credit
(LCs) on the stipulated dates contracted, resulting in the missing of shipments
of the Chinese Mandarin oranges.
It has been reported that the Ministry of Trade and Industry will be
relenting, and would issue some APs to traditional importers of Chinese Mandarin
The question is whether this is because, more than anything else, t
he inability of the monopoly bumiputera firm to bring in the 410,000 crates
of Mandarin oranges, or because of an admission by the Ministry of Trade and
Industry that it is wrong in principle to try to create a monopoly for any
product from China?
There must be a full inquiry into the Chinese Mandarin oranges
scandal of Oo Gin Sun, for the ordinary Malaysians cannot be treated as
‘consumer captives’ to be squeezed by either the government or monopoly minded
companies. If the people do not get to the bottom of the Chinese Mandarin
oranges scandal, then in future, attempts would be made to create
monopolies in other products, but in a more sophisticated manner after
their lesson this time.