Press Conference Statement by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Saturday July 27, 1985:
DAP launches Save Sim Kie Chon Campaign, headed by Sdr. Lee Lam Thye, with first activity a nation-wide signature campaign
The DAP has decide to launch a nation-wide Save Sim Kie Chon Campaign, as we believe that it will be manifestly unfair and unjust for Sim Kie Chon to be executed in violation of Article 8 of the Malaysian Constitution which guarantees equality of persons before the law. If ex-Cabinet Minister, Mochtar Hashim, who was convicted of a more serious offence than Sim Kie Chon as he had discharged a firearm and killed the Negeri Sembilan State Assembly Speaker, Datuk Taha, could have his death penalty commuted to life imprisonment, why shouldn’t Sim Kie Chon be spared his life when his offence is very much lighter?
Furthermore, as there is no evidence on record in Court that Sim was involved in subversive activity or organised violence, humanitarian reasons cry out for the commutation of Sim’s death sentence to life imprisonment. I have no doubt that if the Internal Security Act had not provided for the mandatory death penalty, which removed from the judges the discretion of fixing sentence in accordance with the gravity of the offence, Sim would not have been sentenced to death.
The DAP’s Save Sim Kie Chon Campaign committee will be headed by DAP Deputy Secretary-General, Sdr. Lee Lam Thye (DAP MP for Kuala Lumpur Bandar) and will have as its first activity the launching of a nation-wide signature campaign to secure public support to appeal to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to exercise his prerogative of mercy to commute the death penalty of Sim Kie Chon to life imprisonment.
The Save Sim Kie Chon Campaign Committee comprises the following:
Chairman: Sdr. Lee Lam Thye, DAP Deputy Secretary-General and MP for Kuala Lumpur Bandar
Deputy Chairman: Sdr. Karpal Singh, DAP/Deputy Chairman/National and MP for Jelutong
Vice Chairmen: Sdr. Dr. Tan Seng Giaw, DAP National Vice Chairman and MP for Kepong
Sdr. Fadzlan Yahya, DAP National Vice Chairman and Perak Assemblyman for Pasir Bedemar
Joint Secretaries: Sdr. P. Patto, DAP Deputy Secretary-General
Sdr. Sim Kwang Yang, DAP Director of Political Bureau and MP for Kuching
Sdr. Gooi Hock Seng, DAP International Secretary and MP for Bukit Bendera
Treasurer: Sdr. Lee Kaw
Publicity Secretary: Sdr. Liew Ah Kim
State Representatives: Sdr.Teoh Teik Huat (Penang)
Sdr. George John (Kedah/Perlis)
Sdr. Ting Chek Ming (Perak)
Sdr. Clift Tan (Federal Territory)
Sdr. Lip Tuck Chee (Pahang)
Sdr. Hu Sepang (Negeri Sembilan)
Sdr. Dr. Oon Hong Geok (Selangor)
Sdr. Lai Keun Ban (Malacca)
Sdr. S.K. Song (Johore)
Sdr. Kang Sam Chuan (Kelantan)
Sdr. Fung Ket Wing (Sabah)
Sdr. Ling Sie Ming (Sarawak)
Assistant Secretaries: Madhaven Nair\
The State Representatives will form and head the DAP State Save Sim Kie Chon Campaign Committee in each state.
The petition to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong for clemency for Sim Kie Chon, Which will be the appeal to be signed in the Save Sim Kie
Chon signature campaign, reads as follows:
“Seri Paduka Baginda
Yang di Pertuan Agong,
We, the people of Malaysia, petition Your Majesty to exercise your prerogative of mercy to pardon Sim Kie Chon, 28, and commute his death penalty to life imprisonment.
Sim was convicted and sentenced to death under the Internal Security Act, which provides for mandatory death sentence, for unlawful possession of firearms. His offence is lighter than that of former Cabinet Minister, Mochtar Hashim, who was convicted of discharging a firearm and killing former Negeri Sembilan State Assembly Speaker, Datuk Taha. Mochtar Hashim’ is death sentence was committed to life imprisonment.
We also appeal to Your Majesty to show clemency on humanitarian grounds.”
Call on Attorney-General, Tan Sri Abu Talib, to explain whether he had recommended the pardon of Mochtar Hashim while rejecting Sim’s appeal for pardon, and to give his reasons
In a parliamentary democracy, where power resides in the people, everyone must be subject to the Constitution, the laws and even more important, public opinion.
Sim Kie Chon’s case had made Malaysians feel that the Pardons Board had acted unfairly in discriminating between Mochtar Hashim and Sim, when the former had committed a heavier offence in taking the life of the former Negeri Sembilan State Assembly Speaker, while Sim had not even discharged his revolver, let alone harmed anyone.
Mochtar Hashim’s position as former Minister could not be the basis of commuting his death sentence, for then, there would be clear discrimination between the strong and weak, the rich and poor, which violates Article 8 of the constitution on equality of all Malaysians.
As the Attorney-General is the most important member of the Pardons Board, and Articles 42(9) provides that ‘before tendering their advice on any matter, a Pardons Board shall consider any written opinion which the Attorney General may have delivered thereon’, I call on the Attorney-General, Tan Sri Abu Talib Othman, to let Malaysians know whether he had recommended the pardon and commutation of death sentence of Mochtar Hashim while recommending the rejection of Sim’s appeal for pardon. If the Attorney-General had done this, he should give his reasons to justify his action in the bar of public opinion.
During the Supreme Court hearing of Sim’s appeal in Ipoh on Monday, July 22, 1985, the Senior Federal Counsel Mohd . Rauff bin Nabi Box, argued that pardon was granted on considerations of ‘mercy and policy’. What are the elements of this ‘policy’ which form the basis of the Attorney-General’s recommendation to the Pardons Board? Surely, the Malaysian public have the right to know whether it is the Attorney-General’s ‘policy’ to recommend commutation in all criminal offences involving top government leaders, and for any such ‘policy’ guide to be openly questioned and even challenged!
Call for firm action by authorities against community leaders and politicians who sell and furnish recommendations to illegal Indonesian immigrants
The DAP calls for firm action by the authorities against politicians and community leaders who sell or furnish recommendation letters to illegal Indonesian immigrants to ‘legalise their stay’ in the country.
Such letters are being sold $60 to $80 each.
During last week’s Parliament meeting, I gave to the Deputy Home Affairs Minister, Radzi Sheik Ahmad, a copy of a recommendation letter signed by a penghulu in Pontian to an illegal Indonesian immigrant to remain in the country, so that he could take action.
The Kukup Assemblymen in Johore, Ahmad Abdullah, has said in response to public expose by the Johore DAP State Chairman, K.S.Song, that his personal secretary, Abdul Moez Haji Hasbullah, had issued 20 letters using his letterheads, his name and chop, recommending jobs for illegal Indonesian immigrants.
This is a very serious matter, and it is most shocking that Ahmad Abdullah is taking it very lightly.
What would have happened, for instance, if a DAP MP or Assemblyman had been exposed of having provided recommendation letters to help illegal immigrants of Chinese or Indian descent in Malaysia, so that they could stay and find jobs? I am sure that such DAP MPs and Assemblymen would be accused of disloyalty, with demands for their withdrawal of their citizenship! The outcry would have been equally intense if it is merely the use of letter-head, named and chop of a DAP MP or Assemblyman by the ‘private secretary’!
The Kukup Assemblyman should turn over his personal secretary to the police and authorities for action to be taken, and if he is not prepared to do so, then he should resign as Assemblyman for the area.
I estimate that there are 800,000 to one million illegal Indonesian immigrants in Malaysia. I do not believe it is possible for such a great presence of illegal Indonesian immigrants in the country without Malaysians, including officials and community leaders, actively helping and harbouring the illegals.
I call on the government to introduce legislation to make it a offence punishable with jail sentence for any Malaysian to help, harbour and in any way bring in illegal Indonesian immigrants in the country.