Press Conference Statement by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, in Ipoh on Sunday, July 28, 1985.
Call on Malaysians of all races to respond to the Save Sim Kie Chon signature campaign in the way the people responded to the DAP’s Save l3-condemned signature campaign in 1968.
I come to Ipoh today to understand the latest developments in the Kampong Pisang issue; where over 2,000 people who had been staying in the area for over three generations, face the bleak prospect of eviction from their homes, workshops, foundries, losing not only their roof but also their rice-bowls; with the makings of another blow-up as in Kampong Bercham or even Thean Teik estate in Penang.
The people of Kampong Pisang deserve the fullest support from all right-thinking Malaysians who want to see social justice in our country, where the poor and the ordinary rakyat are not exploited,
downtrodden or bullied by the rich, highly-influential and powerful, whether they are individuals,
companies or the Government itself.
I have also come to officially launch the Save Sim Kie Chon signature campaign in Perak, as part of the nation-wide Mission of Mercy that the DAP had launched yesterday to mobilise public support for a petition of clemency to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to spare the life of Sim Kie Chon, 26, by commuting
his death sentence to life imprisonment.
No Malaysian could be convinced as to why Sim Kie Chon, who was convicted of unlawful possession of a revolver, should suffer the supreme penalty of death former Cabinet Minister, Mochtar Hashim, who killed the Negri Sembilan state Assembly Speaker, Datuk Taha, had his death sentence commuted to life imprisonment.
Malaysians have the right to insist that Article 8 of the Malaysian Constitution which guarantees equality of all Malaysians before the law, should be observed both in the spirit and letter.
With the pardon given to Mochtar Hashim, the execution of Sim Kie Chon would be manifestly unjust, and will be a blot on the international reputation of Malaysia.
Malaysians who love the country must be concerned enough to protect our national reputation in the world, by appealing to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong for clemency for Sim Kie Chon, to commute his death sentence to life imprisonment.
I call on all Malaysians to respond to the Save Sim Kie Chon Signature Campaign in the way that Malaysians responded to the DAP’s nation-wide Save the l3-condemned Signature Campaign in 1968, which led to their commutation. I am sure Malaysians would still remember that in 1963, 13
Malaysian youths who were convicted of consorting with the Indonesian Confrontationists were sentenced to death and were to be executed. As a result of a nation-wide appeal, the then Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman, intervened to recommend clemency for them.
I am confident that if Malaysians respond as massively as in l968, there is a good chance that Sim may be saved from the gallows. This, will not only spare Sim’s life, it would spare Malaysia’s reputation in the
world from being tarnished as a country where we have harsh and draconian laws, and where there is discrimination in the treatment of offenders.
I regret that my attempt to adjourn the Dewan Rakyat last Friday to discuss Sim Kie Chon’s case was rejected by the Speaker, for if all MPs could add their voice to the Petition of Mercy, it would help to save Sim’s life. I would therefore call on all MPs, including all MCA, Gerakan, MIC, UMNO, Sabah and Sarawak Barisan MPs to come forward to appeal for Sim’s commutation of death penalty to life imprisonment.
DAP has no time for trouble-makers who are trying to serve Barisan Nasional objectives to disrupt the Party.
Recently, the DAP in Perak was the target of a campaign to try to destroy the party image and disrupt party unity. The Barisan Nasional parties, as in the past before every general elections, made used of DAP malcontents to try to stir up a DAP ‘crisis’.
The Bsrisan Nasional component parties like UMNO, MCA, Gerakan know that their party splits and power struggles have affected their image seriously. The MCA is the worst, for the Neo Yee Pan
and Tan Koon Swan factions have shown that for their own power positions, they are prepared
to sacrifice the rights and status of the Malaysian Chinese in political, economic, educational, cultural and religious fields. The MCA power struggle has reached a position where one MCA faction is using the
UMNO to try to down the other MCA faction! Those who shout loudly about ‘racial dignity’ have no qualms in getting UMNO to intervene in MCA affairs to prop up their fighting chances in the MCA power struggle. The Gerakan is also torn apart by internal dissensions, as evidenced by the hundreds and thousands of members resigning from the party.
The DAP, on the other hand, has proved that although we were badly defeated in the 1982 general eledtion, we continued to champion the rights and interests of the people. The DAP stands in sharp contrast to the self-seeking power struggle in the MCA and Gerakan. For this reason, there are those in the Barisan parties who want to engineer splits and troubles in the DAP to give the people the impression
that the MCA and Gerakan are not so bad after all, as the DAP also have internal troubles.
Let me state here, that we in the DAP have no time for political clowns and puppets who have been instigated by the Barisan Nasional masters to create trouble for the DAP.
The DAP has no room for opportunists and trouble-makers. There are those who claim that they have spent $100,000 on the DAP in the last three years, and how could they be expelled from the party.
I am not aware that Perak DAP had received $100,000 from any party member in the last three
years, but even assuming that it is true, no amount of money can buy the DAP over, or make the DAP leadership neglect the importance of discipline, commitment and sincerity in the party.
Let me tell the trouble-makers whose only aim in life appears to be to treats attack the DAP: They can do their worst. The DAP has no time for them. We have more important things to concern ourselves.