By Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General, MP for Tanjung and Assemblyman for Kampong Kolam, in Penang on Saturday, 4.10.1986:
DAP suggests that the Penang State Assembly should elect Dr. Chandra Muzaffar as Senator to start the process to restoring the Senate as a serious, responsible and deliberative second Chamber of Parliament.
There is a vacancy for a Senator for Penang to be filled by the Penang State Assembly, and the DAP suggests that the State Assembly of Penang should set the political lead in Malaysia to start the process to restore the Senate as a serious, responsible and deliberative second Chamber of Parliament.
For the last 29 years, the Senate has failed to make any political impact in Malaysian parliamentary or political affairs, and could as well had not existed at all, except for the vast sums of public funds that must be spent for the upkeep of the Senate and the Senators.
The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, had recently joined two Cabinet Ministers to talk about the need to retrench the civil servants. The Senate qualifies to be the first institution to be retrenched.
The time has come to make the Senate a meaningful second Chamber of Parliament where distinguished Malaysians are appointed to give the benefit of their experience, knowledge and expertise to complement the Dewan Rakyat – and not to turn the Senate into a political rubbish dump to put in Barisan Nasional leaders who cannot get elected in the general elections.
There is talk that the Penang Gerakan State Government proposes to appoint the Gerakan State Chairman, Tan Ghim Hwa, as Senator, who failed in his election as Assemblymen for Batu Lanchang. If Tan Chim Hwa has any political decency, he should decline the Senatorship. He should follow the example of his party colleague, Koh Tsu Koon.
The DAP suggests that Penang should be the forefront of political reforms in Malaysia, and the first step is to make the Senate more meaningful by sending to the Dewan Negara Senators who would be a credit to Penang and Malaysia – a distinguished Senator whom all in Penang and Malaysia could be that of.
I would urge the Penang Chief Minister, Dr. Lim Chong Eu, to nominate Barisan parties, but a loud and clear voice for all Malaysians as well as the public conscience of Malaysia.
Penang does not want a Senator who is a party hack of one of the component Barisan parties, but a loud and clear voice for all Malaysians as well as the public conscience of Malaysia.
Mr. Chandra Muzaffar’s courage, conviction and commitment to the national interest needs no introduction, and I have no doubt that Penang would be doing both herself and the country a great national service by appointing Dr. Chandra Muzaffar a Senator. The first effect of such an appointment would be to make the Senate wake up from its 29-year-slumber, turning it into a Chamber which would be the focus of national attention.
This reason alone would have justified Dr. Chandra’s appointment – although there are many other reasons which would justify Dr. Chandra’s appointment. I hope that if my proposal get the support of the people of Penang, they should make their voice heard and known to the Benang State Government and the Barisan Assemblymen.
Another case of Administrative Injustice: a headmaster for nice years who was demoted to Senior Assistant for no apparent reason
The Malaysian Government has caused a great number of administrative injustices and wrongs, not only to the public, but also to government servants, and there does not seem to be any effective machinery to rectify these government wrongs.
I came across another case of gross administrative injustice, where a headmaster of a secondary schol school for years was demoted to a Senior Assistant for no apparent reason.
The victim of administrative injustice is Lui Shean Siew, 51, a Nanyang University graduate in Chinese Studies in 1960 and a graduate of the Singapore University 1967 with B.A. Honours.
He taught in SMJK Tsung Hua, Kuala Kangsar in 1970, transferred to SMJK Ayer Tawar in 1973, and in April 1977 was appointed as Headmaster of the SMJK Air Tawar by the Perak Director of Education, Syed Abu Bakar Barakbah.
He served as principal of SMJK Air Tawar, which is a ‘A’ Grade school, till Feb. 1986 after which he was transferred to ‘B’ Grade SMJK Krian, Parit Buntar as Senior Assistant.
Here, Lui suffered double demotion, being transferred from ‘A’ Grade School to ‘B’ Grade School, and reduced from Principal to Senior Assistant.
The Ministry of Education has refused, or probably unable, to give any reason for this double demotion.
What is trebly unjust, in his nine years as Principal of SMJK Ayer Tawar, Lui was only paid his Principal’s allowance for only two years in 1980 and 1981.
Where could Lui get redress and justice? He approached the then Deputy Education Minister, Ng Cheng Kiat, in March this year, who later told him that he was not qualified to be Principal of a ‘A’ Grade Secondary school. If he was not qualified, why was he officially appointed and acted as Principal for 9 years? He approached Datuk Ling Liong Sik, and informed Datuk Dr. Lim Keng Yaik, but got no help from them whatsoever.
I call on the Education Minister, Anwar Ibrahim, to correct this gross injustice to Lui Shean Siew.