DAP surprised by Tan Tiong Hong’s ‘interference’ in the Susie’s Case

By parliamentary opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for duta Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, in Malacca on Friday, May 23, 1986:

DAP surprised by Tan Tiong Hong’s ‘interference’ in the Susie’s Case.

The Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Dr. Tan Bong Hong, in a joint press conference with the Bar Council Chairman, Parani Gumaraswamy, announced that the Complaints Bureau together with the Bar Council would jointly wake up Susie’s Case to appeal Supreme Court.

I am surprised by Tan Tiong Hong’s ‘interference’ in the Susie’s Case. I can understand Tan Tiong Hong’s.

Tan Tiong Hong is seeing the Susie’s Case, purely from the party minimal point of view- in terms of the MCA stand point. When the various cases of Chinese girls below the age of minority being compulsorily removed from their family and converted into Islam came to public light at the end of last year, starting with the now famous Ng yee Kuan case, followed by Susie’s Case, the MCA was the first to be approached, but the leaders refused to help. What is worse, Kelantan MCA leaders told Ng Yee Kuan’s father, Ng Sin Man, to accept his ‘fate’ what he had lest his daughter.

MCA leaders claim that these are ‘sensitive’ issues which would be difficult to pursue. All the MCA lawyers refused to help in taking the matter to court.

When the DAP, through DAP MP for Bukit Bendera and lawyer, Gooi Fock Seng, was entrusted with the responsibility to defend the legal rights of the affected parents to regain custody of their children and the right to determine their religion, MCA leaders were still unsympathetic. They claim the DAP will abandon the cases half-way.

But after the Susie’s Case, which has highlighted the precarious action of the non-Muslim parents in the custody of their children, the MCA surprised that this would expose them to nation-wide criticism for their failure in safeguard the parental rights of Malaysian Chinese to look after their children without interference or threat of family break-up.

Tan Tiong Hong has therefore thought up the plot to get Susie’s father, Teoh Eng Huat, to agree to the complaints Bureau and the Bar Council pursuing the appeal to Supreme Court, although Tan Tiong Hong knows that Teoh Eng Huat’s bensel, Gooi Hock Seng, had already been instructed to ammence appeal proceedings. So far as I know, Gooi Hock Seng had already completed all the appeal papers, which are being filed.

I am not surprised by Tan Tiong Hong’s action, because this is typical of the unprincipled and dishonorable manner he acts in politics. Malaysians will not forget the manner he tried to create a big issue out if his own falling into a drain during the Raub by-election in May 1983. Teoh Eng Huat had faet taken down to KL from Kuala Terengganu without knowing what was happening.

We do not mind who become the counsel for Teoh Eng Huat in the Susie’s case appeal at the Supreme Court, but there are certain proper ways of doing things. I hope Param conventionally can explain to the Malaysian public.

MCA’s $23 million: Tan Koon Swan’s explanation yesterday conflict with his explanation last December on his rescue of Pan El.

The $23 million controversial sum of Multi-Purpose is becoming more and more bizarre. The explanation by Tan Koon Swan about the circumstances of the ‘loss’ of the $23 million by MPH last November, conflict with his explanation last December on his attempts to save Pan El.

Tan Koon Swan said yesterday that on November 21, 1985, the MPH Board passed a resolution authorizing the company to make a $23 million investment in Pan EL, to relieve MPH of its shipping company which was facing heavy losses, and authorized the sun to be disbursed on Tan Koon Swan’s instructions.

But on 3rd December 1985, after the collapse of Pan EL and the three-day closure of the stock exchanges of Malaysia and Singapore, Tan Koon Swan mid that he had been having ‘sleepless nights’ for the past two weeks “trying to come out with a financial package to help save Pan EL’s problems”.

This means that when the MPH Board met on 21st Nov. 1985, Koon Swan was already unable to sleep over Pan EL’s problems. Clearly, at that time, he could still sleep over MPH’s problems. But how, we are to believe that even at that date, Tan Koon Swan was trying to save MPH from its shipping losses, rather than save Pan EL.

Pan EL shareholders have expressed to me their great shock at the latest revelations, for this was in total conflict with the picture that Tan Koon Swan presented last year, that out of the ‘goodness of his heart’, Tan Koon Swan went to the rescue of Pan EL without any personal interest.

What is involved here is not just what exactly transpired in last November, as to whether Tan Koon Swan was trying to save Pan EL or Multi-Purpose or merely himself, but the question of the credibility of the President, of MCA, which claims to represent five million Malaysian Chinese.

I call on the MCA central Executive Committee to publicly announce their agreement that a public inquiry be established into this matter, to ascertain the exact circumstances leading to the pay-out of $23 million of MPH funds into Pan EL- resulting in a total loss.

If as Tan Koon Swan explained, this decision was taken by the MPH with full knowledge of the circumstances of Pan EL, then it is most unfair whether legally or morally, that Tan Koon Swan should bear the full $23 million. This should be the moral responsibility of every MPH to share in its losses, including the MPH chairman, Datuk Lee San Choon, and the MCA youth Leader and Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Kee Yong Wee, who was also a MPH Board Member for the full year in 1985.

If the MPH Board are so ‘heartless’ as to make Tan Koon Swan to bear responsibility for the $23 million, when it is public knowledge that Tan Koon Swan is hard-pressed for money, then the MPH Board Members owe the people an explanation for their ‘merciless’ conduct. The press have reported that the balance of $5 million had not been paid, as the cheque was not presented for payment. Has this $5 million cheque been cleared now?

I am note that Tan Koon Swan is now talking about legal and moral responsibility, that although legally is not liable, morally he assumed responsibility, this is most commendable. Only that he must be consistent. Tan Koon Swan was responsible for tens of thousands of people using their hard-earned savings to buy MPH shares, and were also prevailed not to sell by Koon Swan who phoned up from London- or they would not have to face so great a lost where MPH shares is struggling between 35 to 40 cents a share. Will Tan Koon Swan assume the moral responsibility for their loss by reimbursing them- as by offering to buy every MPH share for $4 each?

If Tan Koon Swan is not prepared to bear the moral responsibility for the losses suffered by the MPH shareholders, for listening and believing in him, why is he bearing the moral responsibility for the $23 million losses, when it was a decision of the Multi-Purpose Board?