By Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General, MP for Tanjung and Assemblyman for Kampong Kolam, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Thursday, 6th Nov 1986:
Why didn’t the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, or any senior UMNO leader, issue a directive that no UMNO leader, branch or member should undermine inter-racial harmony in describing non-Malays as ‘kaum pendatang’ or ‘kaum asing’?
MCA President Datuk Dr.Ling Liong Sik said yesterday that the UMNO-MCA row over the Selangor MCA resolution was resolved at yesterday’s Cabinet meeting, with the Cabinet accepting that Selangor MCA resolution was not intended to question the special status of the Malays as enshrined in the Constitution, and the agreement that labeling non-Malay Malaysians as pendatang should be stopped.
The first question that comes to mind is why the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, or any senior UMNO leader like Deputy Prime Minister, Ghaffar Baba or the Education Minister and UMNO Youth Leader, Anwar Ibrahim, did not issue a statement after Cabinet meeting with a directive that no UMNO leader, branch or member should undermine inter-racial harmony by describing non-Malays as ‘kaum pendatang’ or ‘kaum asing’?
When did the MCA President, Datuk Dr Lim Liong Sik, get the authority and power to tell UMNO leaders, branches and members what they should or should not do, when Datuk Dr Ling Liong Sik’s faction, then headed by Tan Koon Swan, had to hand over the MCA to Ghaffar Baba during the 22-month power struggle with the Neo Yee Pan faction? In fact, over the Selangor MCA resolution, UMNO Youth exco member Mohamad Nazri Abdul Aziz Yeop even told the MCA “to get out of the Barisan Nasional before the Barisan Nasional to expel the party”!
The words of the MCA President are often times of less weight than an UMNO Youth Executive Councillor. In May, the MCA President, Tan Koon Swan said in Kota Bharu that the Barisan Nasional Government would amend Section 21(2) of the 1961 Education Act at the next Parliament meeting in July and if Parliament was dissolved before then, the amendments would be carried in the Barisan Nasional’s manifesto and be implemented in the first Parliament meeting after the general elections. All these promises have not come to pass.
The Malaysian people of all communities have come to learn that any serious important announcements, especially affecting inter-racial relations, must come from UMNO leaders, and if certain statements are made only by MCA Ministers and leaders with their UMNO counterparts keeping ominously silent, then they have very low credibility.
I want to ask Datuk Dr Ling Liong Sik what is there to prevent UMNO leaders, including Ministers, from continuing to describe non-Malay
Malaysians as ‘kaum pendatang’ or ‘kaum asing’ inside and outside Parliament? I am glad however that MCA leaders are waking up to the need to object to these highly offensive references, for in the past, the DAP MPs are the only ones who stand up to object to extremist UMNO leader speeches in Parliament about ‘kaum asing’ or ‘kaum pendatang’ with MCA MPs giving support to UMNO MPs in their ‘showdown’ with the DAP MPs.
If Datuk Dr Ling Liong Sik has any political influence, then he should ask Dr. Mahathir Mohamed to publicly make a clear statement directing all UMNO leaders, including Ministers, to stop using terms of ‘kaum pendatang’ or ‘kaum asing’ in reference to non- Malay Malaysians or they will be deemed as unfit to be Malaysian political leaders and will be dismissed from all government and party posts. If Datuk Dr Ling cannot get the Prime Minister to come out with an open public stand, then he will understand if nobody believes his claim that the issue had been resolved in Cabinet yesterday.
DAP commends PBS for its stand against the OSA (Amendment) Bill 1986
The DAP commends the Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) for its public stand against the Official Secrets Act (Amendment) Bill, and hopes that more Barisan Nasional parties and leaders, Ministers and MPs, would have the public courage to speak up against the Bill.
There is no doubt that the OSA (Amendment) Bill 1986 will tarnish Malaysia’s international image, for it will advertise Malaysia as a nation where the Government is more interested in protecting the corrupt and untrustworthy in government, rather than in exposing and bringing to book all in government who had abused their power and breached public trust.
Yesterday the Cabinet had a meeting, and the Malaysian public have a right to know whether the people’s growing opposition to the OSA (Amendment) Bill 1986 was brought up. Surely, the OSA (Amendment) Bill in Cabinet for reconsideration or whether his announcement that the Gerakan Central Council opposes the OSA Amendment Bill is only meant for newspaper consumption.