Press Statement by Parliamentary Opposition Leader and DAP Secretary- General, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on 28th March 1987
MCA President, Datuk Dr. Ling Liong Sik and MCA leaders owe the 5 million Chinese and the Malaysian people an apology for the way they handled the Tan Koon Swan resignation matter
MCA President, Datuk Dr. Ling Liong Sik and the MCA leadership owe the 5 million Chinese and the Malaysian people an apology and explanation for the disgraceful manner in which they handled the Tan Koon Swan matter as they showed no regard to political morality or to the honour and dignity of the Malaysian Chinese and the Malaysian nation as a whole.
Furthermore, this shameful episode also showed that the new MCA leadership is completely impotent in the Barisan leadership and MCA’s stocks have never been so low as of now.
In actual fact, in another 8 days time, the Gopeng Parliamentary seat would have automatically fallen vacant because of the inability of Tan Koon Swan, serving 2 years jail in Changi Prison, to take his seat in Parliament.
What is all the rigmarole of Tan Koon Swan resigning on April 3 when 2 days later with or without his resignation, the Gopeng seat will have fallen vacant?
If Datuk Ling and MCA leaders had felt strongly that despite Tank Koon Swan’s admission to criminal breach of trust charges in Singapore and his present 2 years jail sentence in Singapore, he should be allowed to continue as Gopeng MP, he should have the political ability, influence and power to persuade UMNO leaders, to agree to a formula to stay on as MP.
Of course, any such suggestion will expose the MCA and the Chinese community to depths of contempt and is a most dishonourable thing to do. But to continue as Gopeng MP and yet finally to prove that they had no political ability to get UMNO political leaders to agree, is to subject the Malaysian Chinese to double dishonour and shame!
Can Datuk Dr. Ling Liong Sik explain why Tan Koon Swan’s letter of March 14, the day he and Datuk Lee Kim Sai met Tan Koon Swan in Singapore, states that the resignation as Gopeng MP will be as of April 33, and not instantly? Why hang on for another 20 days, after subjecting the Gopeng people, the Chinese community and the people to seven months of dishonor unless this is to give Datuk Dr. Ling and the MCA leaders a final period to beg UMNO leaders to allow tan Koon Swan to remain as Gopeng MP.
IF this was the case, then the MCA leaders are more politically short-sighted than expected. They should have realized that such a request will be highly unacceptable under normal circumstances and it would be impossible for UMNO leaders to accept when UMNO itself is at present at the midst of an unprecedented party power struggle.
For seven months, the MCA leadership had allowed the Malaysian Chinese community to be a laughing stock. The Malaysian Chinese must ask whether a party which allows the community to become a laughing stock for so long can be expected to do what is right for the community and nation in the difficult months to come.