Press Statement by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Thursday, 30.4.1987:
DAP will definitely be contesting in the Gopeng parliamentary by-election
I confirm that I met MCA President, Datuk Dr. Ling Liong Sik, yesterday in Kuala Lumpur for 1½ hours. I must stress that this is a ‘private’ rather than a ‘secret’ meeting.
Both of us agreed that the discussions will remain ‘private’ to both parties, and as such I have nothing to say about our discussions, except that they dealt with the national political problems, and in particular the ten areas which I had referred to in Ipoh last Saturday, relating to the dilemma faced by the Malaysian Chinese thirty years after Merdeka.
I reiterate that I am prepared to meet any political leader to discuss the problems of the country and people, which was why in the past I had met the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, the Deputy Prime Minister, Ghaffar Baba, Datuk Musa Hitam when he was Deputy Prime Minister, and Cabinet Ministers like Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, Daim Zainuddin, Datuk Abdullah Badawi, Nawar Ibrahim, Tengku Ahmad Rithaudeen and others.
I am concerned however that despite our agreement to keep the discussions ‘private’, one local newwpaper had quoted MCA sources to give its version of what had transpired in the 1½ hour meeting.
2. Gopeng by-election
I will attend the DAP Gopeng by-election committee meeting in Ipoh on Saturday, 2nd May 1987 as the DAP will definitely be contesting in the by-election.
The DAP will explain the importance of the Gopeng by-election, not only to the Gopeng voters but to the people and nation.
3. Lee Kim Sai should stop wriggling out of the challenge to declare whether he would resign as Minister if it is proved that MCA Ministers had supported Cabinet decision which rejected ‘dollar-for-dollar’ refund to co-operative depositors
The MCA leadership appears to be conducting a ‘relay’ attack on me on the $1.5 billion Co-operative Finance Scandal issue, with the Health Minister and MCA Vice President, Datuk Chan Siang Sun, entering the arena, after Datuk Dr. Ling Liong Sik and Datuk Lee Kim Sai.
I am prepared to take on all the MCA national leaders, but it would appear that the MCA national leaders are one after another running away from the issues and challenges I had issued.
What is very clear is that Datuk Lee Kim Sai is trying to wriggle out of my challenge to him as to whether he would resign as Minister if it could be proved that the MCA Ministers had supported a Cabinet decision which rejected the ‘dollar-to-dollar’ refund to the 588,000 co-operative depositors. If my allegation in Ipoh last Saturday, that MCA Ministers had in Cabinet opposed the ‘dollar-to-dollar’ refund last November is a pack of lies, then Datuk Lee Kim Sai should courageously accept my challenge and declare that he would resign as Minister if it could be proved that the MCA Ministers had supported a Cabinet decision which rejected the ‘dollar-to-dollar’ refund principle to the depositors.
Datuk Lee Kim Sai should realize that despite the Official Secret Act and cabinet secrecy, there are ways of knowing what MCA Ministers did in Cabinet.
The fact that Datuk Lee dare not frontally accept my challenge and declare that he would resign as Minister if it could be proved that MCA Ministers had supported a Cabinet decision last November rejecting the principle of ‘dollar-to-dollar’ refund to the co-operative depositors is itself an admission that MCA Ministers had been telling lies to the depositors and the Malaysian public.
MCA Ministers and leaders should realize that if the tell one lie, they have to tell one thousand lies to cover the first lie. MCA Ministers must be prepared to openly admit that in Cabinet last November, they had made the great mistake of supporting a Cabinet decision which rejected the principle of ‘dollar-for-dollar’ refund to the 588,000 co-operative depositors, and pledge that they will redeem their political negligence and irresponsibility by getting the Cabinet to adopt a new decision which accepted the principle of ‘dollar-to-dollar’ refund to the 588,000 co-operative depositors.
The top MCA Ministers appear to have found the co-operative scandal issue too ‘hot’ to handle in an open argument and debate with the DAP, and this is why Datuk Dr. Ling Liong Sik has passed the buck to Datuk Lee Kim Sai, who had in turn passed the buck to Datuk Chan Siang Sum.
I must confess I had never come across a more confused, childish and woolly statement than the one issued by Datuk Chan Siang Sun. it is clear he knows very little about the $1.5 billion co-operative Financial Scandal Issue.
In fact he could only issue statements prepared by paid MCA propagandists, without really understanding what he had put his signature to. This is why I will not bother to ask him to any public debate on the $1.5 billion Co-operative Finance Scandal Issue, for this will frighten the life out of him!