Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, to the DAP National Publicity Bureau meeting in Petaling Jaya on Thursday, March 22, 1990 at 10 am
Challenge to Liong Sik to explain whether the MCA’s 41st anniversary ‘boat people’ advertisement is a symbol that the Malaysian Chinese have become a ‘boat people’ or the MCA leadership has ‘boat people’ mentality
On 8th October 1989, the MCA launched with great fanfare its so-called Malaysian Unity Plan (MUP) on its “Vision Beyond 1990”.
Five months have passed, and nobody really understands what is this MUP of the MCA. However, the MCA has lucidly and succintly projected to the Malaysian people the meaning of its MUP when it celebrated its 41st MCA anniversary recently.
On 11th March 1990, MCA splashed over $50,000 and took out full-page advertisements in Chinese and English-language newspapers lavishly projecting its “Vision Beyond 1990” in its MUP, which was highlighted by a boat full of people heading for the future.
What struck everyone who saw the MCA 41st party anniversary advertisement was that it depicted a ‘boat people’. I challenge the MCA President, Datuk Seri Dr.Ling Liong Sik, to explain whether it was meant to be symbolic of five million Malaysian Chinese who have or will soon become a ‘boat people’ (suggesting that the Malaysian Chinese will one day become like the Vietnamese refugees suffering unspeakable hardship as ‘boat people’) or that the MCA national leadership has got a ‘boat people’ mentality.
MCA members reject MCA leadership’s post-1990 ‘boat people’ vision
I believe it is not just the Malaysian Chinese populace who are deeply offended and insulted by the MCA leaders’ ‘boat people’ mentality, even the ordinary MCA members object strongly to the post-1990 ‘boat people’ vision of the MUP of the present MCA National leadership.
Nobody is surprised that the MCA national leadership has developed this ‘boat people’ mentality. The MCA national leaders have reduced MCA to a marginal political party which deals only with the politics of marginalisation, and has long lost concern about fundamental rights and interests of the people and country.
The MCA President, Datuk Dr.Ling Liong Sik, regards as his greatest achievement that the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr.Mahathir Mohamed, is no longer angry with him, after he had spent sixty weeks placating the Prime Minister for going off on a protest six-week leave which achieved absolutely nothing.
The MCA Deputy President, Datuk Lee Kim Sai, on the other hand, regards as his greatest achievement his restoration of the Datukship after twice begging the Sultan of Selangor for forgiveness for his wrongs. As a result, he got over 400 Selangor braches to take even more pages of advertisements in the Chinese press than the 41st MCA anniversary ‘boat people’ advertisement to extol “Truth and Justice Prevails Forever”, although no one is sure what is this ;truth and justice; when Kim Sai had admitted his wrongs and twice begged for forgiveness!
MCA leaders are fighting for breadcrumbs under the table
MCA leaders are now only fighting for breadcrumbs under the table and not for the right to sit on the table to particular in the cutting up of the Malaysian bread for fair and equitable distribution to all Malaysians. This has been beautifully put by one top leader in the present MCA leadership as “MCA being part of the house but not part of the power”.
The next step from “MCA being part of the house but not part of the power” political philosophy of the MCA is logically the ‘boat people’ mentality as depicted in the MCA’s 41st anniversary advertisement splashed.
The ‘boat people’ mentality and the politics of marginalisation of the MCA can best be seen by the total inability and unwillingness of the MCA leadership to take a stand on political principles and issues which are at variance with UMNO ‘Big Brother’.
The stand of UMNO Baru is the stand of MCA!
This can be seen by the MCA stand (or more correctly, lack of stand) on the Vijandran pornographic videotapes scandal; the UMNO Baru interference with the independence of the Election Commission; the national campaign of the Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism and Sikkhism (MCCBCHS) to oppose any imposition of Islamic laws on non-Muslim Malaysians; the DAP’s call for a Royal Commission of Inquiry to conduct public investigations into the funding, politics of money and corruption of all political parties; the abuses of power, the violation of human rights and democratic principles as in Operation Lalang mass arrests under the ISA, the sacking of Lord President Tun Salleh Abas and two Supreme Court Judges, Tan Sri Wan Sulaiman and Datuk George Seah and the attack on the principle of the independence of the Judiciary.
On all these major issue of the nation, the MCA has only one stand: i.e. whatever is the stand of UMNO Baru is the stand of MCA!
It is this MCA complex which is responsible for the eight MCAS Selangor Assemblymen gibing full support to UMNO Baru in the Selangor Assembly on July 19, 1989 to legislate the Selangor Islamic Law Administration Enactment. In this sense, MCA National Youth Leaders, Datuk Yap Pian Hon’s later complaint that the eight Selangor MCA Assemblymen were merely following party orders, was very correct.
UMNO have the right and power to lay down the policies for MCA
The MCA national leaders’ acceptance of the right and power of UMNO to lay down the policies for the MCA has been taken to the most extreme stage by Liong Sik and Kim Sai recently, to the extent that it has affected MCA offensives against the DAP.
For instance, Liong Sik accused the DAP of wanting to create an Islamic State by co-operating with PAS two weeks ago, but when I challenged Liong Sik whether MCA would dare to declare that if U