By Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General, and MP for Tunjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Penang on Saturday, March 10, 1990.
Raja Dato Ariffin and Election Commission Chairman and members invited to a Monday date in Petaling Jaya for Lim Kit Siang to repeat outside Parliament his allegation that the Election Commission has lost its independence
In Parliament yesterday, the Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Raja Dato Ariffin bin Raja Sulaiman, challenged me to repeat outside the Dewan Rakyat my allegation during the debate on the supplementary estimates that the Election Commission has lost its independence, and threatened that if I repeated such allegation outside the House, the Election Commission would institute action against me.
I had immediately accepted Raja Dato Ariffin’s challenge and declared that I would repeat what I said outside the House and I also gave notice that I would invite the Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department to be present for the occasion at a time and place to be determined.
I hereby publicly invite Dato Ariffin, as well as the Chairman and Members of the Election Commission, to the DAP Headquarters at No. 24, Jalan 20/9, Paramount Garden, on Monday, 12th March 1990, where I will be publicly repeating my allegation against the Election Commission for its lack of independence, and they are all entitled to bring along their panel of lawyers as well as their tape-recorders (including videotape-recorders if they want) to record the proceeding, so that they could institute whatever action they want against me.
Since Raja Dato Ariffin made this challenge to me in the Dewan Rakyat yesterday, I hope he would have the courage to turn up at the DAP Headquarters on Monday to see his challenge being accepted.
Dr. Lim Chong Eu cannot convince the public that his motion to rescind the motion to refer Khoo Kay Por to the Committee of Privileges is right even if he repeats it every day
In the past three days, Penang Chief Minister, Dr. Lim Chong Eu, has been daily declaring that the Penang Speaker, Datuk Ooi Ean Kwong, had made a mistake in deciding that the Assembly had adopted the DAP motion to refer senior Gerakan Executive Councillor, Datuk Khoo Kay Por, to the Committee of Privileges for lying in the Assembly.
Dr Lim should know that even if he repeats that he is right everyday for the next one month, he could not make a wrong into a right.
Dr. Lim should also realise that just because he has a majority in the State Assembly, he could not use his majority to convert a wrong into a right.
What Dr. Lim had done in the Assembly on Wednesday to rescind the motion to refer Datuk Khoo Kay Por to the Committee of Privileges was a clear abuse of the Barisan Nasional majority as well as abuse of the Assembly Standing Orders and conventional parliamentary practices, This was why all the ten DAP Assemblymen walked out in protest for the first time in the State Assembly.
At his press conference yesterday, Dr. Lim said that the Barisan Nasional did not consider it wourthwhile to debate the DAP motion by Assemblyman for Bukit Glugor, Karpal Singh, to refer Datuk Kho Kay for to the Committee of Privileges, last Tuesday and had waited for a vote to be taken.
This is a lame excuse and completely untrue. The reason no one from the Barisan Nasional stood up to defend Datuk Khoo Por and oppose the motion during the debate was because everyone of them heard Datuk Khoo Por lying in the house, stating during the question time that the criminal proceedings against the Penang Island Municipal Coucil (MPPP) Secretary, Lakhbir Singh, for assault was “not serious”, and later denying that he had said so when censured by the DAP in the House.
Ooi Eam Kwong should publicly replay the Assembly tape-recording
Every Barisan Assemblyman and Assemblywoman saw and heard Datuk Khoo Kay Por lying, and everyone was too ashamed to stand up to defend him. Even Dr. Lim Chong Eu was uncharacteristically silent, and this was why when there was no objection whatsoever to the motion, the Speaker ruled that the motion had been adopted to refer Datuk Khoo Kay Por to the Committee of Privileges.
There were ample time and opoortunities for an experienced Parliamentarian like Dr. Lim Chong Eu to insist on a vote for the motion, if he was so minded. But on that day in question, i.e. last Tuesday, Dr. Lim was not so minded as he had admitted that Datuk Khoo had earlier said the case against Lakhbir Singh was “not serious”, and was therefore also too ashamed to openly defend Datuk Khor.
It was only the next day, when all the press gave the motion referring Datuk Khor to the Committee of Privileges front-page national coverage, that Dr. Lim felt that the political embarrassment was greater than the shame he felt the day earlier, and abused his majority in the Assembly to rescind the motion.
Kapal Singh and I had in fact challenged in the State Assembly that the tape of the proceedings be played to ascertain whether Datuk Khoo had said Lakhbir Singh’s case was “not serious”, and a short while later, denied that he had ever said that.
DAP calls on the Speaker, Datuk Ooi Ean Kwong, to publicly replay the Penang Assembly proceedings of last Tuesday for the people of Penang to decide once and for all, whether Datuk Khoo Kay Por had lied in the house.
DAP will let matter rest if Datuk Khor is prepared to admit that he had made a mistake when he said Lakhbir Singh’s case was “not serious” because of Bahasa Malaysia problem
Dr. Lim Chong Eu has claimed that Datuk Khor had made a mistake because of his problem with Bahasa Malaysia. I had said in the Assembly that if Datuk Khor had genuinely made a mistake, whether because of Bahasa Malaysia problem or for any other problem, and openly admitted it, the DAP would not pursue the matter. What the DAP cannot accept is for Datuk Khor to openly deny what he had said in the Assembly, and when pressed, insisted that he had never said it instead of admitting a mistake because Bahasa Malaysia problem.
In fact, up to now, Datuk Khor had never admitted that he had made a mistake because of Bahasa Malaysia problem. It is Dr. Lim Chong Eu who is making this claim, which has never been endorsed by Datuk Khor.
Is Datuk Khor prepared to openly and publicly say that he was wrong when he had said during question time in the State Assembly on Tuesday that Lakhbir Singh’s case was “not serious”, and that his mistake arose from his problem with Bahasa Malaysia?
If Datuk Khor is prepared to publicly admit this mistake, the DAP will let this matter rest. But if Datuk Khor still insists that he had never said the Lakhbir Singh’s case was “not serious”, then the DAP will insist that for the sake of the dignity and integrity of the Penang Assembly, there must be a full investigation, and that the tape-recording of the relevant proceedings be made public.
On Thursday, Dr. Lim Chong Eu alleged in the Assembly that the DAP had planned and orchestrated the events in the Penang Assembly culminating in the motion rescinding the Speaker’s ruling that Datuk Khor had been referred to the Committee of Privileges.
If this was true, then the DAP must also have been responsible for orchestrating Dr. Lim Chong Eu’s motion to rescind the Speaker’s ruling. Now that we know Dr. Lim Chong Eu is prepared to be ‘orchestrated’ by the DAP, we will tell him what his next move should be!