Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, at a ‘Towards Tanjung 2’ dinner organized by Taiping DAP Branch in Taiping on Tuesday, 8th May 1990 at 9 p.m.
Call on Education Minister, Anwar Ibrahim, to explain how long a time he intends to give MPs to study the Education Bill 1990 or he expects all MPs to blindly and unthinkingly vote in support of it in Parliament
Education Minister, Anwar Ibrahim, said that the Education Bill 1990 would be presented at next month’s Dewan Raktyat meeting from June 11 to 22 to be enacted into law.
I want to ask Anwar how long a time he intends to give MPs to study the Education Bill 1990 before a debate and vote, or does he expect all MPs to blindly and unthinkingly vote in support of it, just because he is introducing it?
It is no surprise for the Barisan Nasional MPs to act in this fashion, for it will not be the first time for them to support a Bill without knowing or understanding what is inside it. But DAP and other Opposition MPs are not prepared to be so irresponsible.
DAP MPs will strongly protest in Parliament if MPs, as well as the Malaysian public, are not giving ample time to study and debate the new provisions in the 1990 Education Bill.
If the Education Minister uses undemocratic methods to formulate a new Education Act, the new education law cannot be fully acceptable to the people because it would have been drawn up without taking fully into account the democratic wishes of the people.
Kerk Choo Ting who ‘attack into the BN to rectify the BN’ in 1982 has now become an apologist for the human right violations in the Country
Gerakan has announced that its candidate for the Taiping parliamentary constituency to replace Paul Leong in the next general elections is its Deputy President, Kerk Choo Ting.
In fact, Kerk was slated to contest in the Nibong Tebal parliamentary constituency in the 1986 general elections, as the Gerakan leadership did not want the serving MP there, Dr. Goh Cheng Teik, to return to Parliament.
This plan was upset in the last minute, as the Penang Chief Minister, Dr. Lim Chong Eu, did not agree to fielding Dr. Goh Cheng Teik in one of the Penang State seats. Dr. Goh was sent back to Nibong Tebal, and Kerk Choo Ting missed the opportunity to contest in the last general elections.
This time, of course, the Gerakan leadership is determined to field Dr. Goh Cheng Teik for a Penang State seat. When Gerakan President, Dr. Lim Keng Yaik, decided in 1986 to move Dr. Goh from Parliamentary to Penang State seat, it was not because Dr. Goh was Parliamentary to Penang State seat, it was not because Dr. Goh was suitable to succeed Dr. Lim Chong Eu, but to remove Dr. Goh Cheng Teik from the Federal political scence, as Dr. Lim Keng Teik did not think that Dr. Goh was suitable material to be Gerakan Deputy Minister.
Now, a person whom Dr. Lim Keng Yaik did not regard as suitable material to be Gerakan Deputy Minister is boosted as most suitable material to be the Penang Chief Minister to replace Dr. Lim Chong Eu!
Kerk Choo Ting’s political history is well known. In 1982, he led the ‘attack into the Barisan Nasional, to rectify the Barisan Nasional’, but eight years later, he was been completely rectified by the Barisan Nasional!
Before his ‘attack into the Barisan Nasional, to rectify the Barisan Nasional’ in 1982, Kerk was one of the articulate voices for human rights and democratic freedoms in Malaysia.
But today, he has become an opologist for all the violations of human rights and democratic freedoms of the Barisan Nasional Government.
Only last Friday, Kerk Choo Ting took part in a forum on ‘Pressure Groups and Party Politics’ organized by Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall, where Kerk said that “when pressure groups put pressure on the ruling government, if the ‘pressure’ is applied right, the authorities would be thankful; if the ‘pressure’ is painful, then the authorities will have ‘Operation Lalang’; if the ‘pressure’ is about to topple the authorities, they will bring out guns and cannons”. (China Press, 6.5.90 p.3)
I find this a very important statement, as it represented the political philosophy of the No.2 man of one of the component parties in the ruling Barisan Nasional, who hopes to be elected into Parliament in the next elections.
What Kerk said is nothing less than to legitimize the Operation Lalang mass arrests in October/November 1987, and to suggest that if the authorities should use even more draconian measures as to bring out ‘the guns and cannons’ against dissenters and pressure groups, it is nothing surprising, and not something which Gerakan would be upset about.
As one of the Operation Lalang detainees and victims, I take the strongest objection to such reference by Kerk Choo Ting, for he was suggesting that there was nothing wrong on the part of the Barisan Nasional Government in launching Operation Lalang in 1987, or if abother such Operation Lalng is launched in the future for mass arrest of opposition leaders and government critics!
Kerk should give a reckoning of his ‘attack into Barisan to rectify Barisan record 1982-19990
What are these ‘pressure groups’ whom the government will be thankful for applying the ‘right pressure’? I presume they must be groups like those demanding actions to be taken against Tun Suffian for criticizing politicians for having ‘a primitive mentality’; those who attack the Election Watch for questioning the independence of the Election Commission; those who denounced Malaysians concerned about environment and quality of life, such as those opposed to the Papan radioactive waste dump, the destruction of the tropical rainforests in Sarawak. These will be ‘approved’ pressure groups who would apply their ‘pressures’ rightly to get government’s appreciation!
Kerk Choo Ting has travelled a long distance in the past eight years when he ‘attacked into the Barisan to rectify the Barisan’.
I think he owes all Malaysians, and in particular the people of Taiping, whom he is asking for their votes, to give a reckoning of his eight-year record of his ‘attack into the BN to rectify the BN’, or whether he had in actual fact be rectified by the BN!