By Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General And MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Monday, July 7, 1986:
Tan Koon Swan wants me to challenge him wherever he stands, but why is he as MCA Preside, running away to Johore to stand in a MCA seat with the highest percentage of Malay voters?
From today’s various press reports, it would appear that TAN Koon Swan wants me to challenge him whever he stands in the next general elections, but why is he, as MCA President, running away to Johore to stand in a MCA seat with the highest percentage of Malay voters.
Tan Koon Swan and MCA leaders claims that they are the champions of the Malaysian Chinese, but they are all looking for constituencies with the lowest percentage of Chinese voters. They are indeed a special breed of MCA leaders!
Tan Koon Swan should not forget that he still owes me a public debate when in 1984, he said he was prepared to accept my challenge to a public debate for him to explain why he supported the Malacca Chief Minister, Datik Abdul Rahim Thamby Cik, in his plan to demolish Bukit China in Malacca and excavate the graves to make way for commercial and housing development. Tan Koon Swan and his MCA faction at that time even submitted a plan to desecrate Bukit China, but thanks to the DAP’s Save Bukit China Campaign, and the people’s firm and principled stand refusing to compromise on any desecration of Bukit China, Bukit China has been saved.
Is Tan Koon Swan prepared to honour his ‘debt’ of a public debate to me. I am not surprised if he cannot honour this ‘debt’, for he has so many debts today, whether to Pan El or Multi-Purpose, or many other concerns!
The MCA is now a most pathetic party under the leadership of Tan Koon Swan. For instance, Datuk Lee Kim Sai is beginning to distance himself from Tan Koon Swan because yesterday he refused to answer reporter questions about whether Tan Koon Swan’s trial in Singapore would affect MCA’s credibility.
The Nik Rashid case is another good example. Why is it the MCA dare not accept Nik Rashid’s challenge to a public debate, but first of all, get Nik Rashid sacked from public service for infringing public service discipline? But MCA dare not do both – dare not accept the challenge to a public debate, and dare not get Nik Rashid sacked as Director of ITM.