Press Conference Statement by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Penang on Monday, 23rd April 1990 at 11.30 a.m.
Challenge to Keng Yaik to produce proof of secret meetings between DAP and PAS within 48 hours
The pressure arising from the approach of the general elections is making many political leaders do and say the most extraordinary things.
The latest example is the Gerakan President, Datuk Dr. Lim Keng Yaik. It is reported in today’s press that Keng Yaik has alleged that DAP and PAS leaders are making arguments to have secret meetings despite openly saying that they cannot work together for the next general elections.
According to the Beritex yesterday, the Gerakan President said he had been informed by a “very reliable source” two days ago that one such meeting being planned was between PAS Information Chief, Subky Latif, and a DAP leader, to be held in Jakarta.
Dr. Lim also told newsmen after opening the Selangor Gerakan Liaison Assembly in Petaling Jaya yesterday that Semangat 46 was acting as the “go-between” for the two opposition parties to meet.
The press quoted Dr. Lim as saying: “It is without doubt that there is some form of a tie-up between them. Of course, Lim Kit Siang (DAP Secretary-General) won’t go and meet Fadzil Nor (PAS President) but let’s not be lulled into complacence that they cannot work together.”
The press report added:
“Claiming that the DAP and PAS were not giving a true picture of their co-operation, Dr. Lim said he was certain that their leaders could not deny that they were set for talks.
“Openly their strategy is to show that they cannot work together but secretly they are making arrangements to meet.’”
When I first read Keng Yaik’s allegation over Bertitex yesterday, I did not know whether I should be angry or amused by it.
Firstly, I clearly, definitively and unequivocally deny that the DAP and PAS are set for talks, destroying Keng Yaik’s baseless certainty that there would be no denial that the DAP and PAS are set for talks.
In two newspapers, i.e. Utusan Malaysia and Sin Chew Jit Poh, Keng Yaik said that he would be no denial that the DAP denies his allegations which are:
1. that A DAP Youth leader and a PAS Youth leader are to have a secret meeting in Jakarta; I do not know whether this is a separate meeting from the one allegedly between PAS Information Chief, Subky Latif and a DAP leader also in Jakarta, as I am not aware that Subky Latif is a Pemuda PAS leader.
2. that “Saya (Keng Yaik) juga mendapat maklumat bahawa banyak perjumpaan sulit diadakan di antara pemimpin kedua-dua belah pihak.”
I deny both allegations by Keng Yaik, and challenge Keng Yaik to produce his proof which he said he would do, in the event of a DAP denial. I invite him to name the place, date and time for him to produce the proof, and I will be present. If Keng Yaik does not respond in 48 hours, i.e. by Wednesday, April 25 at 11.30 a.m., I will name the place, date and time for Keng Yaik to produce the proof.
Keng Yaik has made very serious allegations, claiming that he has proof. I will not permit him to get away with such wild and irresponsible allegations.
Keng Yaik is the first political leader in Malaysia who peddle fairly tales as political facts and truths
Secondly, I want to congratulate Dr. Lim Keng Yaik for pioneering a new path in Malaysian politics, where political leaders purvey fairly tales as political facts and truths.
Keng Yaik concocted the fairy tale that the DAP and PAS were making arrangement for secret meetings, and that from “a reliable source” Sobky Latif and a DAP leader are to meet in Jakarta.
There is no iota of truth in Keng Yaik’s fairy tale, and the “reliable source” he talks about can only be his own fevered imagination!
Another example of fairly tale and lie concoted by Keng Yaik against DAP
This is not the first time that Keng Yaik has peddled fairly tales, untruths and downright lies as political facts and truths.
I will give another recent example. In an article in the 9th April 1990 edition of Mister Weekly, Keng Yaik said he is ‘afraid’ of me, and dare not have meeting with me. Keng Yaik said that “in meetings with Kit Siang, if the contents of the subjects of discussion are not adequate, Kit Siang would accuse him of being insincere; if he says too much, Kit Siang would use it later to attack him”.
The article reported that Keng Yaik had a ‘closed door’ meeting with me in 1987, and although to date, the details of the meeting had never been made public, I had used the materials from the ‘closed door’ meeting with Keng Yaik to attack Gerakan.
The whole tenor of Keng Yaik’s comments in the article is that I am not an honourable person, whose word cannot be trusted, as I could use discussions at purely private meetings for public political advantage.
I want to say that Keng Yaik’s allegation is a downright lie, as I never had a private ‘closed door’ meeting with Keng Yaik in 1987. This is just a fairy tale concocted by Keng Yaik, just as he had concocted another fairy tale yesterday that the DAP and PAS are arranging for secret meetings in Jakarta and various parts of the world.
I challenge Keng Yaik to openly state where and when I had a private ‘closed door’ meeting with him in 1987.
It is a great shame that a national political leader, and who is Cabinet Minister to boot, could tell such such a lie just to score a political point against the Opposition.
If I am not a man of honour, I would have said a lot of things, including the things which Keng Yaik and other Gerakan leaders had told me and other DAP officials about the UMNO, MCA, Gerakan, Dr. Lim Chong Eu and Senator Lim Chien Aun. If Keng Yaik wants the DAP to divulge these things, we are prepared to oblige!
Now Keng Yaik is telling one lie after another, the latest one being about DAP and PAS. No wonder, the Penang Chief Minister, Dr. Lim Chong Eu, never had much respect for the Gerakan President as he does not think Keng Yaik has the qualities and suffient weight to be the leader of a serious political party.
Keng Yaik wants to kill three birds with one stone
Keng Yaik in fact had three objectives in telling the lie about the DAP and PAS yesterday. He wanted to kill three birds with one stone.
Firstly, he wanted to damage the image and credibility of the DAP, but accusing the DAP of arranging for secret meetings with PAS leaders, as if planning some devilish and dastardly purpose.
Secondly, he wanted to district public attention from his losing proxy battle he had waged against Chong Eu.
Keng Yaik had come to Penang during the Chinese New Year in February this year to publicly hint to Chong Eu that it was time for him to retire as Penang Chief Minister, by naming two successors decided by the Gerakan, namely Dr. Goh Cheng Teik and Dr. Koh Tsu Koon.
Instead of taking the hint, chonf Eu dug his toes in and prepared for the looming battle with Keng Yaik that he knew was inevitable, unless he was prepared to bow to Gerakan pressure and step down as Penang Chief Minister in the next general elections on be reduced to a mere figurehead.
To demonstrate that he was still in full control of the Penang situation, he defied Gerakan national, state and local wishes and nominated his son, Lim Chien Aun, as Senator. He also cultivated powerful support in UMNO, both at Federal and State level.
When the proxy struggle over his son’s nomination as Senator was at full swing, Chong Eu garnered the open and public support not only of the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, but also of the Penang UMNO Chairman and Education Minister, Anwar Ibrahim. Two days ago, even the UMNO Youth leader, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, openly declared his public support for Chong Eu.
Keng Yaik checkmated and completely outwitted and outsmarted by Chong Eu in the Gerakan power struggle
Chong Eu could now continue as Penang Chief Minister without any support from any Gerakan Assemblyman. This is because with the support of the 12 UMNO State Assemblymen, his position as Penang Chief Minister is unshakeable by Gerakan.
However intensely the Gerakan leadership dislikes Chong Eu as Penang Chief Minister, it would be unthinkable for the Gerakan to direct its Assemblymen to support a motion of no confidence to vote out Chong Eu as Chief Minister in the State Assembly, and antagonize the UMNO and the Prime Minister.
The same applies for the next general elections – so long as UMNO supports Chong Eu as Penang Chief Minister, he need not bother about the support of a single Gerakan Assemblyman.
Keng Yaik knows that he has been checkmated and completely outsmarted and outwitted by the power play of Chong Eu.
In order to distract public attention from his political embarrassment at being outwitted and outsmarted by Chong Eu, Keng Yaik is now opening a new front and a new controversy by attacking the DAP with the allegation of fictitious secret meetings with PAS.
Keng Yaik has also a third objective in peddling his fairy tale yesterday. He is trying to create the impression that if there is any meeting between DAP and PAS leader, it must be for evil and and dishonourable motives.
I believe that when Keng Yaik was a MCA Minister in the early 1970s, before he was sacked from the MCA and had to jump to Gerakan to get a new lease of political life, he had no qualms or reservations about teaming up with PAS in the Cabinet and Government.
Is Keng Yaik suggesting that only he and the Gerakan can work with PAS, but not other political parties?
Keng Yaik’s crazy statements have a method and motive
Although Keng Yaik has the appellation of a ‘foolish doctor’, I credit him with considerable political shrewdness and cunning. He may make crazy statements but they are made with a political purpose.
Keng Yaik knows that the DAP will never agree with the PAS objective of an Islamic State. But what Keng Yaik is clearly worried is that if PAS should agree to put side the Islamic State issue for the present, and co-operate with the DAP to save democracy, restore human rights and fight for socio-economic justice, then the Gerakan and the Barisan Nasional can be in big trouble.
Keng Yaik is shouting at the top of his voice that the DAP and PAS are arranging for secret meetings, so that there could be no such meeting!
The DAP has no plans at present for any meeting with PAS, and we have no co-operation or understanding with PAS, but only with Semangat 46. But clearly, Gerakan and other Barisan Nasional parties are very worried about the prospects in the next general elections, that it could make them say and do a lot of extraordinary things.