Press Conference Statement by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary- General and MP for Kita Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, in Malacca on Tuesday, 13.8.1985 at 12 noon.
What is Gerakan’s stand and role in the UMNO proposal that MCA leave Barisan Nasional until resolution of MCA crisis.
Two nights ago, four major Chinese organisations in Selangor met in Kuala Lumpur to discuss the possibility of MCA being asked to leave Barisan Nasional and its after-effects on the Chinese community. There was also a proposal to take a common public stand declaring that if MCA leave Barisan Nasional, it would not result in a political vacuum which would be disadvantageous to the Chinese community.
I agree with this view, that whether MCA is inside or outside the Barisan Nasional, makes no material difference to the Chinese in Malaysia. In fact, in the forty months since MCA’s ‘great political breakthrough’ in the April 1982 general elections, there had never been such an unprecedented erosion of the political, economic, educational, cultural and religious rights of the Malaysian Chinese. Both the Neo Yee Pan and Tan Koon Swan factions must bear full responsibi1ity together with the Gerakan, for this shocking political situation. In fact, looking back at the last 40 months, I would say that if the MCA had not been in the Barisan Nasional, things could not have been so bad!
However, the basic question unfolding in the country with the approach of the Barisan Nasional Supreme Council meeting on August 17, is whether the one internal affairs of MCA, a party which claims to champion the five million Malaysian Chinese, should be solved through the interference or coercion of other communities parties representing other communities.
If the UMNO is prepared to concede, in principle a well as in practice, that other parties like MCA or MIC could interfere in UMNO’s internal party affairs, and amend the UMNO party constitution to put this into effect, then it is all right for UMNO to interfere in MCA’s internal party affairs. Otherwise, a very unhealthy precedent would be set in Malaysia, affecting not only internal party matters but also policies which have far—reaching consequences on the multi— racial population of the country.
This is why I would say that if the four major Chinese organisations in Selangor should come out with a joint public stand on the MCA’s being asked to leave Barisan Nasional without touching on this important issue, the joint statement would be missing an fundamental question.
For the same reason, the Gerakan’s stand and role in the UMNO’s proposal that MCA leave Barisan Nasional until resolution of MCA crisis is also very interesting and pertinent. Undoubtedly, both the Tan Koon Swan MCA faction and Gerakan would like the MCA to be asked to leave the Barisan Nasional although for different reasons.
I am not siding either the protagonists or opponents of the idea that MCA be asked to leave the Barisan Nasional, but more interested in the fundamental question whether the Barisan Nosional is a coalition of equals, or whether the Barisan Nasional concept his developed to a stage where not only UMNO, but even other parties like Gerakan, accept the supremacy of UMNO to interfere in the internal party affairs and leadership determination of component member parties.
Attorney- General’s application for contempt proceedings is reason for stay of execution of Sim Kie Chon
Condemned Sim Kie Chon’s family has been asked to pay their last visit to Sim tomorrow, and by previous practice, Sim would be executed on the early hours of Thursday, 15th August 1985, and the family would be allowed to collect his corpse later the same day.
The Attorney—General, Tan Sri Abu Talib 0thmon, in his application for leave to institute contempt proceedings against Karen Singh, Sim’s counsel, said in his submission to the Supreme Court that he was appearing for the Pudu Prison Superintendent who was an interested party in the contempt proceedings. The Attorney-General said it would be dangerous for the Pudu Prisons Superintendent to execute Sim Kie Chon if it was true that the Supreme Court’s decision was not binding, as contended by Karam Singh.
The Attorney—General said :“No sane person would carry out a death sentence if it is not in conformation with the law, not authorised by the law and not confirmed by a court of law.
In view of the Attorney-General’s n submissions in the Supreme Court, which subsequently granted him leave to institute contempt proceedings, then the Attorney-General should see to it that the execution of Sim Kie Chon should be stayed until the final disposal of the contempt proceedings against Karen Singh.
This is as far as the Attorney-General’s own public submissions in the Supreme Court are concerned. However, from the national point of view, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, should intervene and stay the execution until the people’s campaign for clemency for Sim had an opportunity to make their appeals to the Yang di Pertuan Agong.
Why should the government authorities be in such a desperate rush to execute Sim Kie Chon, when on other matters of great public interest, like the 2.5 billion Bumiputra Malaysia Finance scandal and illegal Indonesian immigrant problem, there is no sense of urgency or even recognition of the magnitude of their problem?