Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, at the Conference of DAP National and State leaders held at Federal Hotel, Kuala Lumpur on Sunday, March 18, 1990at 9.30 a.m.
MCA has got the most muddled, confused and direction-less national leadership in 41 years of party history
Last Sunday, at the 41st MCA anniversary celebrations in Kuala Lumpur, MCA President, Datuk Dr.Ling Liong Sik, accused the DAP of wanting to establish an Islamic State by co-operating with PAS.
Four days later in Parliament, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr.Mahathir Mohamed, warned the DAP and what he described as “our friends”, the Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism and Sikkhism (MCCBCHS), “not to play with fire” for a nation-wide campaign opposing any imposition of Islamic laws on non-Muslim Malaysians.
Datuk Dr.Ling Liong Sik should synchronise his act with Datuk Seri Dr.Mahathir, instead of being publicly exposed as being so completely out of line from the official position taken by the Prime Minister.
The DAP cannot possibly do these two things which we have been accused of, for they are completely contradictory and at cross purpose.
If Liong Sik is right in his accusation, that the DAP is co-operating with PAS to establish an Islamic State, the Dr.Mahathir must be very wrong for we would not want an Islamic State and at the same time be co-operating with the MCCBCHS in a nation-wide campaign to oppose any imposition of Islamic laws on non-Muslim Malaysians.
Similarly, if Dr.Mahathir is rightly that the DAP is “playing with fire” by co-operating with MCCBCHS in a nation-wide campaign to oppose the imposition of Islamic laws on non-Muslim Malaysians, then Liong Sik must be very wrong in alleging that the DAP is co-operating with PAS to establish an Islamic State.
Dr.Mahathir has made Liong Sik look very foolish, as a political leader who is very shallow in his thinking and does not enjoy the confidence of the Prime Minister
I wan now to ask Liong Sik: who was right, he or Dr.Mahathir? Was Dr.Mahathir wrong in his speech in Parliament last Thursday, or was Liong Sik wrong, in his speech at the 41st MCA anniversary last Sunday. Dr.Mahathir, in saying diametrically opposite thing from that of Liong Sik, has made Liong Sik look very foolish, as a political leader who is very shallow in his thinking and does not enjoy the confidence of the Prime Minister.
If Liong Sik dare not publicly say Dr.Mahathir was wrong in his Parliamentary speech last Thursday, then it is an admission by him that his Presidential speech at the 41st MCA anniversary accusing the DAP of wanting to create an Islamic State by co-operating with PAS is a downright lie.
This must be the first time in the 41-year history of the MCA that the MCA President delivered a Presidential Address on an important party function which is based on a lie- and what’s more, a lie which is publicly exposed in a matter of four days by none other than the
Barisan Nasional President in his capacity as Prime Minister!
After Dr.Mahathir’s allegations in Parliament against the DAP last Thursday, which showed that what the MCA President said the previous Sunday was untrue and baseless, a person with a sense of honour and self-respect would have quietly resigned from the Cabinet and stepped down as MCA President. But I do not expect any MCA leader to do any such honourable thing.
In fact, I find that the MCA has got the most muddled, confused and directionless national leadership in its 41-year party history.
Both Dr.Mahathir and Liong Sik are wrong in their baseless allegations
I wan first to make it clear that in actual fact, both allegations by Liong Sik and Dr.Mahathir are groundless and baseless. The DAP is not co-operating with PAS to create an Islamic State, and there is absolutely no truth in the allegation that the Dap is “playing with fire” with MCCBCHS to create racial and religious hatred and conflict. The MCCBCHS has openly declared its commitment to “peace and understanding between the peoples of different faiths”.
The DAP is fully committed to a democratic Malaysia, to be achieved by peaceful and constitutional means, and we condemn any resort to violent or other unlawful means just as we equally condemn any attempt to fan racial and religious hatred and conflict in the country.
The DAP cannot agree with the accusation of the Prime Minister that the MCCBCHS campaign to urge the Government not to impose Islamic laws on on-Muslims is designed to arouse inter-religious hatred. How can a campaign, aimed at ensuring the fullest respect by all concerned of the constitutional guarantee of freedom of worship, using fully democratic and peaceful means, arouse inter-religious hatred?
The Prime Minister asked the DAP, describing us “their friends”, to advise the MCCBCHS to call off their national campaign. Firstly, let me put on the record that the DAP has absolutely nothing to do with the campaign by the MCCBCHS. It was made solely by MCCBCHS on its own decision, without any prior consultation or discussion with the DAP.
The DAP is not involved in the MCCBCHS campaign, whether in the original decision-making or in the campaign. The DAP has not discussed with the MCCBCHS or any of its officials on its campaign.
The DAP has however expressed its support, once the MCCBCHS campaign was made public in the press, as it represented the legitimate concerns and anxieties by non-Muslim Malaysian about increasing encroachments of their fundamental Constitutional right to freedom of religion.
So long as the MCCBCHS keeps its campaign fully within the bounds of the law, adhering strictly to peaceful means, the MCCBCHS is perfectly within its rights to conduct its campaign.
Call on Liong Sik to declare MCA stand on MCCBCHS campaign
I must remind the Prime Minster that history has shown that threats cannot resolve religious problems, but only discussion and goodwill,
I have no doubt that all patriotic Malaysians have the goodwill and desire to resolve all religious problems through discussion and the conference table. The government, however, must not shut the door to discussion with the MCCBCHS.
I had said earlier that the MCA has got the most muddled, confused and directionless national leadership in its 41-year party history.
The MCA leaders should have understood fully the intentions and reasons for the MCCBCHS campaign, and they have a great responsibility to ensure that the Cabinet and the Prime Minister have a proper and correct picture of the concerns and aspirations of non-Muslim Malaysians, including the MCCBCHS.
If the Prime Minister has a wrong impression or conclusion about the MCCBCHS campaign, to the extent that he accused it of wanting to fan inter-religious hatred, then this must mean that the MCA Minister (as well as Gerakan and MIC Ministers) have failed the people in their duty to keep the Cabinet and the Prime Minister properly informed of the legitimate concerns and aspirations of non-Muslim Malaysians.
Or does ling Liong Sik fully agree with Dr.Mahathir that the MCCBCHS wants to fan inter-religious hatred through their campaign. Liong Sik owes not only MCCBCHS, but the entire Malaysian people, a satisfactory explanation whether the MCA Minister fully agree with the Prime Minister on what he aid about the MCCBCHS campaign, and how the Prime Minister came to have such a biased and distorted viewpoint.
Or is Dr.Mahathir’s views on the MCCBCHS shaped by the views and reports given the the MCA Ministers?
Is Datuk Dr.Ling Liong Sik prepared to lead his other three MCA Minister into the next Cabinet meeting to correct Dr.Mahathir’s wrong impression about the MCCBCHS, and to get the Prime Minister to retract his statement in Parliament accusing the MCCBCHS of wanting to create inter-religious hatred?
I had said two weeks ago that Datuk Dr.Ling Liong Sik does not seem to know how to carry out his responsibility and duties as MCA President and senior MCA Caninet Minister. This was why I had announced that the DAP has asked the DAP MP for Bukit Bendera, Gooi Hock Seng, to adopt the MCA Presidency to advise and guide Liong Sik as MCA President and senior MCA Minister.
It is now clear that all the other three MCA Minister are equally lost about their duties and responsibilities, and this is why the Prime Minister could make such wrong baseless allegations against the MCCBCHS in Parliament last Thursday.
DAP ‘adopts’ all the four MCA Minister and their MCA party positions
DAP is now suggesting the ‘adoption’ of the other three MCA Minister and their MCA party positions to advise and guide them in their responsibility and duty. Sdr.Lau Dak Kee, DAP MP for Pasir Pinji, will ‘adopt’ the MCA Deputy Presidency and the housing Ministry of Lee Kim Sai. Sdr.Hu Sepang will ‘adopt’ the MCA Secretary-Generalship and the Health Ministry of Ng Cheng Kiat, while Sdr.Chift Tan, MP for Sungei Besi, will adopt the MCA Vice Presedency and Labour Ministry of Lim Ah Lek.
The MCA President, Deputy President and other national leaders have so lost their bearings that they could openly support the candidate of Shuaib Lazim, an undischarged bankrupt on Nomination Day of March 12 in the Pantai Merdeka state by-election in Kedah.
In fact, the MCA President has become so lost that he could openly go against the interests of the MCA members themselves, as shown by his latest stand on the issue of the KSM-Multi Purpose Investment Fund (KSMMPIF).
No wonder that on the Vijandran pornographic videotapes scandal, the MCA Ministers have no stand apart from the one dictated by UMNO. Similarly on the grave issue of the independence of the Election Commission, and UMNO Baru’s directive to Election Commission to conduct a snap voters’ registration exercise to register 300,000 UMNO Baru members, MCA has no objection.
In fact, in the secret top-level MCA study on the MCA defeats in the 1986 general elections, the MCA wanted more Malay voters to be registered in constituencies to be contested by the MCA! In other words, MCA would fully support UMNO Baru interfering with the independence of the Election Commission provided more Malay votes are added to constituencies to be contested by the MCA