Tan Koon Swan is going round the country issue blank cheques which are not meant to be honoured

by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, in Malacca on Sunday, 8th June 7 1986:

Tan Koon Swan is going round the country issue blank cheques which are not meant to be honoured

The MCA President, Tan Koon Swan, said in Johore Bahru yesterday that the MCA would not support the extension of the New Economic Policy. A day earlier iin Kluang, Tan Koon Swan said that the MCA will take steps to amend the Federal Constitution if the Supreme Court ruled that parents do not have in the choice of religion of their children in the Susie Teoh case.

Tan Koon Swan and other MCA leaders are now making it their full-time job to issue political blank cheques which are not meant to be honoured.

UMNO leaders, including the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, have made it clear that the NEP policy of bumiputra quotas and percentages would be continued after 1990, even if the same name is not used.

Are Tan Koon Swan and MCA prepared to make a stand that the Barisan Nasional election manifesto should contain a clear-out commitment that the NEP would not be extended after 1990, not only in name, but more important, the ‘bumiputraism first’ policy as contained in the NEP?

Are Tan Koon Swan and MCA prepared to pull cut of Barisan Nasional if the Barisan Nasional general election manifesto does not contain such an open pledge of no extension of NEP after 1990 in any form?

In fact, from the Prime minister’s recent interview with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). It is clear that the Barisan Nasional Government is preparing the ground for an extension of the NEP after 1990.

Dr. Mahathir told the ABC interview that “the government was temporarily its programme to transfer economic wealth to indigenous Malaysians because of poor economic growth.” Dr. Mahathir said the NEP programme to restructure the Malaysian economy would be held “in abeyance, more or less, except in the areas where there is growth”.

The Prime Minister added: “At the moment there is no growth so we have decided we will not go ahead with the kind of restructuring we planned for.”

What Dr. Mahathir meant in this ABC interview telecast over ABC last week was unambiguous and unmistakable, that the NEP would be extended after 1990.

Tan Koon Swan and the MCA, nor for that matter Dr. Lim Keng Yaik and Gerakan, did not raise a single objection; yet when MCA leaders appeared before the Chinese audience, they boast and promise even the sky!

Does Tan Koon Swan really want the Malaysian Chinese to believe that the MCA dare to go against the wishes of UMNO in the extension of the NEP after 1990, especially in the spirit of the NEP if not the name?

Did the MCA oppose the NEP with its ‘bumiputra-first’ policy when it was formulated and implemented? Did the MCA oppose the ‘One Language, One Culture’ Policy, the Islamisation process and the continued political power of the Malaysian Chinese in the redrawing of Parliamentary constituencies which all happed after 1982 general elections?

Just like Tan Koon Swan’s pledge in Kluang to amend the Constitution of the Supreme Court rules that parents do not have the right to determine the religion of their children below 18 years, who is Tan Koon Swan trying to bluff? Tan Koon Swan and MCA cannot even get half a clause, Section 21(2) of the 1961 Education Act repealed, and now he talks about wanting to amend the Constitution which requires two-third majority!

These are the ‘political’ blank cheques Tan Koon Swan and the MCA leaders are going round the country issuing, having no intention of honouring them whatsoever.

In any event, where would be Tan Koon Swan in 1990 or after? After 22-month MCA power struggle with Neo Yee Pan, Tan Koon Swan is still fighting for his political survival although he has won the MCA Presidency.

No-one would be particularly surprised if Tan Koon Swan does not last very long as MCA President – and what happens to all his ‘political’ blank cheques? During the recent MCA-Gerakan quarrel, there were a lot of accusations about ‘lame ducks’ and ‘dead ducks’, but Tan Koon Swan is clearly a ‘lame duck’ President of MCA.

Dr. Lim Keng Yaik should be ashamed of himself for putting the blame and the press as a ‘scapegoat’ for his threats and ultimatum to leave Barisan Nasional

Gerakan President, Lim Keng Yaik, has reiterated in Kulai that he is now confident that the Gerakan would ‘get a fair deal’ in the allocation of Barisan Nasional seats in the coming general elections. This confirm the public view that all that Dr. Lim Keng Yaik and Gerakan are interested are a few more parliamentary and state assembly seats, to get a ‘fair deal’ for Gerakan, but they are not bothered or concerned the ‘unfair deal’ given to the people by the Barisan Nasional government.

Why is the Gerakan leadership only concerned about MCA scandals, but have nothing to say about UMNO Scandals, like the BMF, UMBC and EPF Scandals? Gerakan’s ‘double standards’ in picking on MCA Scandals, like Pan El and Multi-Purpose Holdings, while blind to UMNO Scandals, have many reasons. On of course, is its political opportunism and unprincipled action to want to curry the favour of UMNO leaders and displace MCA’s position in Barisan Nasional. Secondly, Gerakan leaders have also ‘skeletons in the cupboard’, their own scandals, which the UMNO could use against them if they attack the UMNO scandals.

Dr. Lim Keng Yaik should be thoroughly ashamed of himself that he is now resorting to the ‘coward’s’ role to make the press the scapegoat for his threats and ultimatum to leave Barisan Nasional if Gerakan does not get a fair allocation of seats.

Malaysian newspaper readers know that Gerakan leaders from Dr. Lim downwards had been threatening a pull-out from Barisan Nasional, and this was no ‘invention’ or ‘exaggeration’ of the press.

I have no doubt that if there is a full public into whether the press was the ‘villain’ for the recent Gerakan controversy in the Barisan Nasional, Dr. Lim Keng Yaik would have been proved to be a liar.

Dr. Lim Keng Yaik should apologise to the press for blaming them for inventing Gerakan threats of wanting to pull out of Barisan Nasional. A political leader who dare not own up publicly for what he had said and done cannot be trusted with the future of the people of Malaysia.