Ghafar’s speech about Tunku is in very poor taste

Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-¬General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, at the DAP Cera¬mah at Sungei Siput on Monday, 21st May 1990 at 8 p.m.

Ghafar’s speech about Tunku is in very poor taste

Deputy Prime Minister, Ghafar Baba’s speech yesterday at the Federal Territory UMNO Wanita’s Hari Raya luncheon on Tunku Abdul Rahman is in very poor taste.

Ghafar said: “Saya sayangkan dia. Dia suka saya dan saya suka dia malah Tunku pernah keluar duit sendiri meminta saya belajar di luar negeri tetapi saya tidak mahu. Sekarang Tunku masuk gelanggang semula.

“Apakah yang Tunku mahu lagi? Kalau Tunku sakit, kerajaan akan tanggung perbelanjaan walaupun ke langit biru. Bila dia meninggal, kita akan kebumikan sebagai pahlawan lebih dari Tun Abdul Razak dan Tun Dr. Ismail.”

This is in very poor taste, for Ghafar gives the clear impression that what the UMNO Baru leadership wants the Tunku to do is just to wait for his last days, and not pay any concern to what is happening around him, even if the policies of the present government are destroying democracy and the very basis of nation-building as provided for by the Merdeka Constitution of 1957.

That the Government should bear all necessary medical expenses incurred by Tunku is the least the country can do to Bapa Malaysia and Bapa Merdeka, and is not something for Ghafar or the Barisan Nasional government to boast about.

Tunku Abdul Rahman is the best example of a political leader who had entered politics to serve the people and country, and not to serve himself. He is unlike so many other UMNO political leaders who have accumulated great wealth and fortune – and at times colossal debts – for themselves or for their relatives because of the abuse of their political position and power.

It is precisely because of Tunku’s proven and undoubted selflessness and patriotism that he should be heard with respect, in particular by the present UMNO Baru and Barisan Nasional leaders.

Call on the Prime.Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, not to allow the University of Malaya to
continue to be used as a battleground for UMNO power struggle

For three months, the University of Malaya had become the battleground for an intense UMNO power struggle by proxy.

The Vice Chancellor of Universiti Malaya, Professor Syed Hussein Alatas, was first attacked in Parliament by UMNO Baru MPs for the appointment of non-Malay faculty deans.

This has now escalated to demands for his removal follow¬ing highly-publicized reports about the Anti-Corruption Agency raids and questionings of the Vice Chancellor in the University of Malaya.

The public does not know about the nature of the ACA ac¬tions and are in no position to draw any conclusions. However, what the public are very concerned is that the University of Malaya has become the battle-ground of a UMNO power struggle.

What is going on in the University of Malaya is no less than a proxy battle between two powerful UMNO factions, positioning themselves for the UMNO Baru leadership stakes in the 1990s.

If University of Malaya continues to become a proxy battle-¬ground of UMNO factions, it would destroy University of Malaya’s Academic tradition and demoralise University staff and students.

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, should intervene immediately, and put a stop to the University of Malaya from continuing to be a UMNO proxy battleground and ensure that the new campus spirit in the University of Malaya because of resumed recognition of the importance of merit and academic excellence for¬ university appointments is not dampened and destroyed.