Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, at the Malacca DAP Ceramah held at Meng Seng Charitable Association Hall in Malacca on Thursday, 10.4.1986 at 9.30 p.m.
Call on Malacca Chief Minister, Datuk Seri Rahim Thamby Cik, to confirm that the Malacca State Government had withdraw its Bukit China quit rent demand and to apologise to the Malaysian Chinese community for trying to threaten the self-determination rights of Cheng Hon Teng Trustees over Bukit China
I find it most strange that when he announced that the Bukit China’s $3 million quit rent issue had been settled last week, the MCA Deputy President and Transport Minister, Datuk Dr. Ling Liong Sik, excluded English and Bahasa Malaysia press.
Is this a plot between Dr. Ling and the Malacca Chief minister, Datuk Abdul Rahim Thambiy Cik, whereby MCA could claim to the Chinese community that the Bukit China quit rent issue had been settled, while Datuk Seri Abdul Rahim could boast to the Malay community that the Bukit China issue is still ‘alive’?
Is this the reason why Datuk Dr. Ling said that the quit rent arrears are set aside, future Bukit China quit rent issues had not been settled and had to be resolved by the legal process?
The MCA has compromised the legal rights of Cheng Hoon Teng over Bukit China by conceding that Bukit China owes and have to pay quit rent to the Malacca State Government. In 1967, the Malacca State Government had officially informed Cheng Hoon Teng that Bukit China is exempted from quit rent, and in compromising Bukit China’s legal rights, MCA had again betrayed the Malaysian Chinese.
Who gives MCA and Datuk Ling the right to compromise away Bukit China’s legal rights? The Bukit China quit rent demand controversy cannot be settled unless:
(1) the Malacca Chief Minister admit that the State Government’s demand for Bukit China quit rent arrears and fines is unlawful and without basis; and
(2) assurance from the Malacca Chief Minister that the State Government would not make any future quit rent demand on Bukit China.
Datuk Ling Liong Sik was the first person to talk about $3 million quit rent demand for Bukit China. all along, the claim was for $2 million. Again, why should MCA be the first to concede that the Cheng Hoon Teng Trustees owe the Malacca State Government $3 million quit rent and arrears, and not merely $2 million – when in actual fact, the Cheng Hoon Teng Trustees owe the Malacca State Government not a single cent for Bukit China quit rent?
The Cheng Hoon Teng Trustees and the entire Malaysian Chinese community do not recognise the Malacca State Government’s legal right to claim $2 million quit rent – expect MCA, which increased the $2 million to $3 million! I want to ask Datuk Ling why he had gone against the wishes of the people in Malacca?
I call on the Malacca Chief Minister, Datuk Seri Abdul Rahim Thamby Cik, to confirm that the Malacca State Government had witdraw its Bukit China quit rent demand, whether for the past years or the future, and to apologise to the Malaysian Chinese for trying to threaten and deny the self-determination rights of the Cheng Hoon Teng Trustees and the Malaysian Chinese community over Bukit China.
The MCA had betrayed the Malacca people and the Malaysian Chinese enough over Bukit China, and Datuk LDr. Ling Liong Sik should stop add on the list of such MCA betrayals. It is fortunate that Datuk Dr. Ling’s MCA faction had not been allowed to sell out Bukit China to the Malacca State Government by the unity of the people, and we will not permit any more such betrayals.
2. Call on Malaysians to be prepared for the most undemocratic, unfair and unjust general elections
With his visit to Sarawak today, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, would have completed his tour of the various states in preparation for the general elections.
Clearly, the nation-wide tour of the states was planned as a prelude to the general elections, but since the planning of the nation-wide tour of the various states, many things had happened which had introduces new and unsettling into the Prime Minister’s general elections plan. The two main new factors arethe Sabah situation and the 2-M split in UMNO with Datuk Musa Hitam withdrawing from the Mahathri Government.
Although Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir wanted to have national elections to be held in early May, he has now to take into account the Sabah factor. He can still call national general elections to coincide with the Sabah state general elections, on 5 & 6th May but it would have to be the most undemocratic, unfair and unjust elections in Malaysian history.
This is because the Prime Minister would have to cut down the minimum election campaign period from the present legal provision of 14 days to seven days between Nomination and Polling Day. The Opposition would be gravely disadvantaged with the halving of the campaign period. In fact, the Opposition’s campaign wouldhave hardly warmed up when it is over, for polling to take place.
Malaysians must protest in the strongest possible terms possible if the Prime Minister decides on holding the most undemocratic, unfair and unjust elections by cutting by half the minimum campaign period.
During Tunku Abdul Rahman’s time, he allowed election campaigns lasting over a month. This is to enable the people to know what are the different policies and programmes presented by the competing candidates and political parties.
A shortage campaign period of only seven days would give the Ruling Parties all the advantages for they have the full control of the press, radio and television to saturate public consciousness about their propaganda, which is denied to the Opposition parties.
The Barisan Nasional Government also proposes to raise deposits for Parliamentary and State Assembly candidates. In the case of Parliamentary candidates, the maximum for deposits would be raised from $1,000 to $5,000. This would be most crippling for the Opposition, which is always facing chromic financial problem. As a result, the DAP may not be able to fields as many Parliamentary and State Assembly candidates that we want.
Despite the many obstacle that the DAP will face in the coming general elections, we are determined to give the Barisan Nasional the greatest challenge in DAP history. Our objective must be the denial of the Barisan’s two-third majority in Parliament, for this is a pre-condition for the restoration of the people’s lost rights, whether politically, economically, educationally, culturally or even in the relihious field.
The DAP believes that the coming general elections, whether in early May or in July, would be the last chance for Malaysians in influence basic nation-building policies. There would be more general elections in future, but they would not have great bearing or influence on fundamental issues as to what type of a Malaysian nation we want, for our basic rights wouldhave been lost, never to return.