Press Conference Statement by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General And MP for Kota Melaka ,Lim Kit Siang, at the Subang International Airport before departure for the Kota Kinabalu for a five-day visit to Sabah on Tuesday, 8th July 1986 at 9 a.m.
Lim Kit Siang challenges Tan Koon Swan to a parliamentary contest in the Kota Melaka constituency in the next general elections.
In response to a speculative political report, MCA President, Tan Koon Swan, said that he welcomed my challenge to him and is prepared to meet me in a contest in the coming general elections.
Last night, at a Malacca DAP ceramah to launch my new book, ’Malaysia-Crisis of Identity’, I took up Tan Koon Swan on his open invitation, and challenged him to contest against me for parliamentary seat in Kota Melaka in the next general elections.
Since Tan Koon Swan said he was prepared to meet me in any constituency, I hope he would have the courage to accept.MCA Secretary-General even said that the MCA leaders do not challenge others, but do do not run away from challenges. Now that I have issued a clear and specific challenge to Tan Koon Swan to contest in Kota Melaka parliamentary seat in next general elections, I hope he would not chicken out, especially as I issued this challenge on Tan Koon Swan’s invitation.
Tan Koon Swan cannot cleanse his sin over Bukit China by monetary compensations
It would be most appropriate for Tan Koon Swan to contest in Kota Melaka, for it would give him a chance to justify his action in 1984 in giving full support to the Malacca Chief Minister, Datuk Abdul Rahim Thamby Cik, to demolish Bukit China in Malacca and destroy the graves for commercial and housing development.
In fact, Tan Koon Swan still ow me a ‘public debate’ on Bukit China. In November 1984, he accepted my challenge to a public debate for him to justify his support for Malacca Chief Minister to demolish and develop Bukit China. In fact, Tan Koon Swan and his faction submitted a plan for the commercial and housing development of Bukit China.
However, Tan Koon Swan had claimed in November 1984 that he would be free for such a public debate until about February 1985, and it is now July 1986, and for the last 17 months, he hadconveniently forgotten about it.
Two days ago, Tan Koon Swan went to Malacca to announce and hand over a certificate of $10 million tax exemption for Bukit China beautification funds.
The Bukit China beautification plans have not yet been approved, and yet Tan Koon Swan was more interested in announcing a $10 million tax exemption than in getting the beautification plans approved. He is using a credit card of a company which had not been registered!
It is no use having a tax exemption certificate for $10 million for beautification of Bukit China; Tan Koon Swan should get the government to contribute $10 million – which is very different from tax exemption for $10 million!
Tan Koon Swan’s action is typically MCA leaders, who think all questions could be reduced to monetary terms and resolved with money; the question being, how much. I want to tell Tan Koon Swan that no amount of his money, or tax exempt certificate, could wash away his great sin in 1984 in giving support to the Malacca Chief Minister to demolish the Bukit China in Malacca.
If Tan Koon Swan thinks that what he did in 1984 on the Bukit China is right and honourable, is he prepared to accept my challenge to him to contest against me in the Kota Melaka parliamentary seat in the coming general elections?