Does Barisan Nasional operates on the ‘consensus’ of its component member parties or under the dictatorial commands of Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed.

Press Conference Statement by Parliamentary Opposition Leader DAP Secretary- General and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, in Malacca on Monday, 12.8.1985 at 11.30 a.m.

Does Barisan Nasional operates on the ‘consensus’ of its component member parties or under the dictatorial commands of Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed.

I find the statement by the Chairman of the MCA Ad Hoc Committee to verify the MCA party membership list, Ghaffar Baba, yesterday most interesting and revealing in throwing light as to the exact nature of the Barisan Nasional.

Ghaffar Baba, who is also Barisan Nasional. Secretary-General, had said that the ad hoc committee into the MCA membership list had stopped functioning two week ago. He declined to comment on whether the Barisan Nasional Supreme Council meeting on August 17 would discuss possible expulsion of MCA to get it to solve its problems outside the l1party coalition.

Ghaffar Baba said that whether or not the MCA’s crisis was on the agenda depended on the Prime Minister and the Barisan Chairman, DEltuk Sen Dr. Mahathir Mohnmed.

This raises the very important question as to whether the Barisan Nasional operates on the con5ensu of its component member parties or under the dictatorial Commands of one man, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed.

It was Ghaffar Baba himself who, in the present term of Parliament, denied the DAP criticism in the Dewan Rakyat that the Barisan Nasional is not a coalition of equals. In his capacity as Barisan Nasional Secretary-General, he said that all parties in Barisan Nasional are equal, that they operate on a basis of ‘consensus’ and UNNO never bullies or imposes it will or views on the other parties, however small or weak.

If the Barisan Nasional operates by consensus of its component parties, then the calling of a meeting, and in particular its agenda, must also be the result of consensus. But clearly in this case, MCA leaders had not agreed that the MCA crisis should be the agenda for the BN Supreme Council meeting on August 17.

Ghaffar’s statement that it was up to Datuk Sri Dr. Mahathir to decide on this matter would disprove Ghaffar’s claim that the BN is a coalition of equals which operates on ‘consensus’ of its component parties. In fact, from Ghaffar Baba’s statement, it would appear that, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir operates like a ‘dictator in the BN Supreme Council, dictating the agenda and the decisions.

From Datuk Mak Hon Kam’s statement yesterday that the MCA problems should be settled by MCA itself, the question is whether Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir himself could override the objections of MCA for the placement of the MCA crisis on the BN Supreme Council agenda on August 17.

The Malacca Chief Minister Datuk Seri Abdul Rahim Thamby Cik said yesterday that UNNO had a responsibility to help solve the MCA crisis in view of the coming general elections. Would Abdul Rahim Thamby Cik publicly concede that the MCA would also have a right and responsibility to help solve any UMNO crisis that would arise?

From the statements issued by the Tan Koon Swan MCA faction, it is clear that they are fully in support of UMNO intervention of MCA party affairs. But they have failed to answer this pertinent question: If MCA, which claims to represent the five million Malaysian Chinese, loses the right of self- determination to manage and decide internal party affairs, where is its , autonomy to help decide the future of Malaysian Chinese.

The MCA power crisis to have changed character after 18 months of conflict: from a conflict between the Neo and Tan factions for power in MCA, its has degenerated into which faction could get UMNO to intervene to help which faction to win in the MCA power struggle.

Considering that the Tan Koon Swan MCA faction had provided support to the Malacca Chief Minister, Datuk Seri Abdul Rahim Thamby Cik, during the Bukit China controversy, no one will be surprised that the Malacca Chief Minister is now rewarding the Tan Koon Swan MCA faction by taking sides in the MCA power struggle.

Welcome warning by Radzi against politicians helping illegal Indonesian immigrants

I welcome the warning given by the Deputy Home Affairs Minister, Radzi Sheikh Ahmad, to politicians not to issue letters of recommendations to help illegal Indonesian immigrants to stay and find work in Malaysia.

The time is past however for issuing of warning. What is needed is action. The Deputy Home Affairs Minister said his Ministry had one such letter issued by a politician in Johore. The secretary to the UMNO Assemblyman for Kukup, Abdul Moez Haji Hasbullah, had openly. Admitted issuing 20 such letters, and in Parliament I handed to Radzi a recommendation letter to an illegal Indonesian immigrant issued by a Penghulu in Pontian.

It is now over two weeks since the case of political and local leaders helping illegal Indonesian immigrants to stay and remain in Malaysia had come to public light, but so far the Johore police had not taken any positive action.

I call on the Bukit Aman Police Headquarters special police investigating squad to deal with the problems of illegal Indonesian immigrants, and in particular to deal with Malaysians who are responsible for aiding, harbouring and giving employment to illegal Indonesian immigrants.

The laws of the country should be amended if necessary to make it a dustodial offence for any Malaysian or person in Malaysia to help illegal Indonesian immigrants to enter, remain or find work in Malaysia in any manner. In fact, from the short and long-term viewpoint, the problem of illegal Indonesian immigrants must be elevated to a national problem as serious as the national drug problem itself !