Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lm Kit Siang, at a DAP Gopeng Parliamentary ceramah in Gopeng on Wednesday, 13.5.1987 at 8.30 p.m.
DAP letting out a long line to catch big fish, to focus public attention on the lack of political ethics, morality, integrity and principles of the MCA and its leaders
The MCA had planned long and hard for the Gopeng by-election strategy, and in order to parry the DAP’s anticipated attacks on the scandal-ridden MCA and its leader, have decided on two tactics to be used in Gopeng.
Firstly, to try to cast public doubts on the integrity, credibility, and principles of the DAP and its leaders, particularly on myself. This is why for the past few weeks, the MCA had issued several statements questioning what has happened to various monies collected or associated with the DAP.
Secondly, to present a ‘Mr. Clean’ as their candidate, with the objective of trying to convince the Gopeng voters that the MCA is associated with ‘cleanliness’.
I know that the people had been surprised that I had not responded to the various statements issued by various lowly MCA leaders directed at me with regard to various funds or monies. I also know that DAP members and supporters were confused and even upset, for I had departed from my usual practice of immediately responding to these type of baseless attacks.
I had refrained from immediately responding, because I had seen through the purpose of such attacks right from the start, and I decided to let out a long line to catch big fish. I know the MCA leaders would make a big song and dance out of this, thinking that they had me cornered. But the greater noise they make of these purported DAP funds or monies, the more they are focusing public attention on the important questions of political ethics, morality, integrity and princkple of political leaders.
The DAP wants the question of political ethics, morality, integrity and principles to be a central issue in the Gopeng by-election, for public focus of these issues will demonstrate the shocking lack of political ethics, morality, integrity and principles on the part of the MCA Ministers and leaders.
The DAP has nothing to hide, and are prepared anytime to account for our actions. DAP leaders go to jail for fighting for the basic rights of the people, in the manner that Sdr. Chain Heng kai, Chan Kok Kit and I myself had been detained for long periods without trial. But MCA leaders go to jail because of corruption, breach of truct, cheating and stealing public funds. DAP leaders are arrested and prosecuted in court for championing the rights of the people, like Sdr. Lau Dak Kee, Sdr. P. Patto, Sdr. Liew Ah Kim, Sdr. Mahadevan Nair, Sdr. Fung Ket Wing, Sdr. Karpal Singh and others, for trying to Save Bukit China, or for trying to expose government corruption, but MCA leaders are arrested and charged in court for not for the people’s issues, but because of their personal greed, in trying to defraud either the government or the people!
DAP leaders are prepared to stand up to be compared with MCA leaders for a public scrutiny of our respective political morality, integrity and principles, for we have nothing to hide. But MCA leaders will never dare to stand up for such a comparative scrutiny, for MCA leaders have many sins and crimes to cover up.
All that the MCA could raise to question the political ethics, morality, integrity and principle of DAP are the purported queries about the funds or monies associated with the DAP. But the DAP’s charges against the MCA leaders for their lack of political ethics, morality, integrity and principles could fill several volumes!
I will deal with the MCA charges against the DAP many of which are just ‘nonsensical’.
Firstly, with regard to the Save Bukit China fund. The DAP has announced the total amount collected in 1985, and it was reported in the press. We had written to the Bukit China trustees, Cheng Hoon Teng Temple to turn over the money, and it had asked the DAP to keep it until they are ready to accept the collection. If the MCA leaders do not read newspapers, and want to keep asking questions which could be found in the newspapers, there is no need for the DAP to continue to ‘educate’ them.
Secondly, there is no such thing as a Esso Defence Fund.
Thirdly, I had announced in Penang last October that I would be contributing my monthly Malacca pension as Malacca Assemblyman for purposes of helping poor Malaysians to further their higher studies. Unlike MCA leaders, I purpose to keep my word. It is my intention to launch the programme when my Malacca pension had been accumulated for a year, from October 1986, I am not asking for thanks or appreciation from MCA in my decision to devote my monthly Malacca pension to help young Malaysians to further higher studies. But the MCA must be very desperate to look for examples of DAP leaders defrauding public funds, when my proposal to devote my monthly Malacca pension to help young Malaysians pursue higher studies is being painted as a gross crime equivalent to embezzlement of the standards of the $2.5 billion BMF scandal, Tan Koon Swan’s Pan E1 Scandal, or the $1.5 billion Co-operative Finance Scandal.
The MCA should explain what has happened to the $10 million Chan Ming Thiam Education Fund, which for the last seven years, had failed to fulfil the trust of the former banker.
MCA leaders and Ministers dare not ask the questions about the purported DAP funds and monies, for they know they would be severely exposed.
The MCA has the Tan Koon Swan, Kee Yong Wee and Wang Choon Wing scandals. There is also the scandal of the MCA deputy Minister who was reported as having permanent residence status in another country. Twice in the March meeting of Parliament, MCA deputy President Kok Wee Kiat was challenged by DAP Mp for Jelutong, Sdr. Karpal Singh, to deny that he (Kok Wee Kiat) was the Deputy Minister referred to, and that he had Canadian permanent residence status, and on both occasions, Datuk Kok, who was in the House, dare not stand up to deny!
Now, in the Gopeng by-election, the MCA has put up ‘Mr. Clean’, but after three days, the MCA has found that it has not been able to convince the public that Dr. Ting Chew Peh is ‘Mr. Clean’.
Even UMNO Ministers and leaders are quite skeptical that Dr. Ting Chew Peh is the best example of ‘Mr. Clean’. This is probably the reason why the Deputy UMNO President and Deputy Prime Minister, Ghaffar baba, has cancelled his campaign trip to Gopeng.