by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary – General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Thursday, 30th Nov. 1989:
What games is the MCA Central Committee up to in producing two stands, telling Chinese press that it ‘endorses’ while the Bahasa Malaysia and English press that it merely ‘appreciates’ the conditional resignations of the eight Selangor MCA Assemblymen?
After reading today’s newspaper about the three – paragraph statement issued by the MCA President, Datuk Dr. Ling Liong Sik, after the three – hour meeting of the MCA leadership as to what game it is up to.
That the MCA national leadership is not sincere and thoroughly without principle is highlighted by its remarkable ability to procedure two stands ion a three – paragraph statement. This is done by giving a different version of the three – paragraph statement in different languages.
Thus, to the Chinese press, to impress the Chinese community that the MCA national leadership meant ‘business’, and to fortify talk deliberately spread by MCA grassroots leaders like the MCA MP for Ampang Jaya that the MCA leadership is seriously considering pulling out of Barisan Nasional, the three – paragraph statement said that the MCA Central Committee ‘endorses’ the action of the eight Selangor MCA Assemblymen to collectively resign on December 15 if the Selangor Islamic Administration Enactment is not suitably amended in the coming Selangor State Assembly.
In using the word ‘endorse’, the MCA Central Committee wanted to make it clear that the threatened conditional resignations of the eight MCA Selangor State Assemblymen have the support of the national leadership, regardless of the reactions of the Prime Minister or the Selagor Mentri Besar, and signified that the MCA Central Committee would face and accept Assemblymen going through with their threatened resignations on Dec. 15.
However, when the three – paragraph statement was given to the Bahasa Malaysia and English newspaper, there had been a ‘sea – change’ of the MCA stand, where the MCA Central Committee’s ‘endorsement’ of the eight MCA stand, where the MCA Selangor Assemblymen had been dropped, and replaced with a neutral and uncommitted position. For the Bahasa Malaysia and English papers, the three – paragraph MCA Central Committee statement merely stated that it ‘appreciates’ the position taken by the eight MCA Selangor State Assemblymen.
In substituting the word ‘appreciates’ for ‘appreciates’, the MCA national leadership wants to sell readers of the Bahasa Malaysia and English media, and in particular the UMNO leadership, that it has not given approval for the actions of the eight MCA Selangor Assemblymen to threaten resignations on Dec. 15, but it nonetheless wanted to express its ‘appreciation’ for their position.
Similarly, I am sure that if passed, the MCA Central Committee would also express its ‘appreciation’ for the stand expressed by the Prime Minister that he would ot allow the Selangor State Government to be ‘blackmailed’ by the eight Selangor MCA Assemblymen. The MCA Central Committee will similarly ‘appreciate’ the position of the Selangor Mentri Besar, Tan Sri Mohamed Taib, that he would not ‘bow to threats’ by the eight Selangor MCA Assemblymen.
In face, I am sure not doubt that the MCA Central Committee had previously ‘appreciate’ my statement yesterday that the eight MCA Selangor Assemblymen should be sacked, and the people who should submit their resignations should be the MCA Ministers and top national leaders.
I also have no doubt that the MCA Central Committee had previously ‘appreciated’ the support given by the eight MCA Selangor Assemblymen for the passage of the Selangor Islamic Administration Enactment, especially as MCA National Youth Leader, Datuk Yap Pian Hon, had publicly stated that the eight of them were only following party instructions.
Finally, the MCA Central Committee would ‘appreciate’ if the eight Selangor MCA Assemblymen withdraw their resignations even when thee has been no amendment to the Selangor Islamic Administration Enactment by December 15!
In other words, to ‘appreciate’ does not express any stand it is neutral, stand – less and totally without principles.
The first question now is, how could the MCA Central Committee, after a three – hour meeting, produce a three – paragraph statement with two different positions one on one same issue, one for the Chinese press and a different one for the Bahasa Malaysia and English media. What credibility or integrity can national MCA leaders expect to enjoy, when they are prepared to be so dishonest about their political positions – saying one thing to one community, and telling the opposite thing to other communities?
Secondly, why are the MCA national leaders so foolish and stupid to think that they can get away with such political dishonesty and trickery? Don’t they know that in Malaysia today, Malaysians who are mutli – lingual and read different language newspaper are common – place and such trickery of the three – paragraph MCA Central Committee would be found out instantly?
MCA National leadership not prepared to give full bacing to the eight Selangor MCA Assemblymen
Apart from the deplorable dishonesty and trickery of the three – paragraph MCA Central Committee statement, one other aspect is also crystal clear – that the MCA Central Committee is not prepared to give full backing to the eight Selangor MCA Assemblymen.
The evasive replies of Datuk Dr. Ling Liong Sik to questions from the reporters after the MCA Central Committees is most pathetic. When asked whether the issue of the eight Selangor MCA Assemblymen was discussed in yesterday’s Cabinet meeting, he used the Official Secret Act to avoid an answer. In the past, both MCA and other Barisan Nasional Ministers had not allowed the Official Secrets Act to prevent them from telling the press whether a particular issue had been discussed in the Cabinet. Why should Datuk Dr. Ling have to resort to the Official Secrets Act yesterday?
When asked whether State Assemblymen in other states would follow the example of the eight Selangor MCA Assemblymen, Datuk Dr. ling said this would not affect the other States. Does this mean that Datuk Dr. Ling wat to localize this issue in Selangor, and put the final blame on the eight Selangor Assemblymen, and allow the national MCA leaders who had claimed that the issue had been resolved to disclaim their responsibility?
The most pathetic is the denial by the MCA President that MCA leaders had previously claimed that the issue had been resolved. Datuk Dr. Ling should refer back to the statement made up by the MCA Deputy President, Lee Kim Sai, on August 19, saying that the MCA Disciplinary Committee would not pursue the disciplinary action against the eight MCA Selangor Assemblymen as the Prime Minister. This ‘satisfactory resolved’ as announced by the Prime Minister. This was reported in all the Chinese press on 20th August 1989, including the MCA – owned newspaper, Thung Bao. How could Dr. Ling deny what had appeared in all the newspaper? In face, on the next day, another MCA Minister, Ng Cheng Kiat, was also reported in the press as stating that the issue had been resolved, but as the Prime Minister had not wanted to give the details, he would not want to talk about them.
After four months, an issue which had been resolved in the ‘Barisan Nasianl Spirit’ could suddenly be found to be unresolved after all. How untrustworthy and unreliable could the MCA be? Is Datuk Dr. Ling proposing to refer Lee Kim Sai and Ng Cheng Kiat to the MCA Disciplinary Committee for misleading the Malaysian people, and in particular the Chinese community?