Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, at the ‘Towards Tanjugn Two’ Dinner organised by the Perak DAP Defend Four-Win Six Special Task Force in Ipoh on Friday, 8th June 1990 at 8 p.m.
DAP Central Executive Committee will study the MTUC’s Minimum Labour Programme and women organisations’ Manifesto for the 1990s next week
The DAP Central Executive Committee will meet in Petaling Jaya next Thursday, and it will among other things, study the Minimum Labour Programme prepared by the Malaysian Trades Union Congress and the Manifesto for the 1990s endorsed by nine women’s organizations in Malaysia.
The DAP Central Executive Committee will also consider whether to endorse the MTUC’s Minimum Labour Programme and the Women Organisaions’ Manifesto for the 1990s.
The DAP had in the past 24 years consistently fought for the improvement of the status of both the workers and women in our society, and we are at one with the high priority given by the Minimum Labour Programme and the Manifesto for the 1990s for democracy, human rights, the independence of judiciary and the fight against corruption and all forms of exploitation.
The Women’s Organizations’ Manifesto for the 1990s on Democracy and Human Rights made a clarion call for democracy and human rights when it said:
“The last few years have seen the passing of laws and amendments to existing laws that have further restricted our freedom. One example is the Internal Security Act which provides for detention without trial. Parliament, instead of being responsive and accountable to the people, has over the years become a rubber stamp for the ruling parties to legislate more power for themselves.
“This concentration of power in the executive has been used to silence critics from all sectors – opposition parties, religious groups, social activities, etc.
“We want to say right now,
STOP THE NARROWING OF OUR DEMOCRATIC SPACE!”
This clarion statement and call or democracy and human rights should be a rallying cry for all Malaysians in the coming general elections.
Warning that the appointment of Ong Tee Kiat as Deputy Speaker could lead to repeated parliamentary rows
I must warn that the appointment of MCA MP for Ampang Jaya, Ong Tee Kiat, as Deputy Speaker when the Dewan Rakyat meets on Monday, June 11, 1990, to replace D.P.Vijandran, could lead to repeated parliamentary rows and scenes.
This is because in his one year in the Dewan Rakyat, Ong Tee Kiat has shown himself to be an MP who has no respect either for the Dewan Rakyat Standing Orders, and no regard for the right of the Opposition MPs to articulate the views of the people in Parliament. Ong Tee Kiat has also no sense of parliamentary traditions and conventions whatsoever.
In his one-year period in Parliament, Ong Tee Kiat was a highly offensive and obnoxious MP to the Opposition MPs, utterly disliked and regarded with contempt by the Opposition benches.
If the Barisan Nasional parliamentary leadership wants to use its brute majority to impose such a contentious and disagreeable MP on the Opposition by making him Deputy Speaker, then it must be held responsible if there are repeated parliamentary rows and scenes when Ong Tee Kiat takes the chair – for we would not expect any sense of fair play or decency from him from his one-year parliamentary performance in the Dewan Rakyat.
A Speaker or Deputy Speaker should be as non-contentious as possible, or who, despite his own political views, could be scrupulously fair when he takes the Chair. No Opposition MP expects Ong Tee Kiat to fit these qualifications from his parliamentary record.
I call on the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed to reconsider the decision o appoint Ong Tee Kiat as Deputy Speaker. The MCA has an acute problem because it has nobody else to propose for the Deputy Speaker post. But this is no good reason for imposing Ong Tee Kiat on the Dewan Rakyat.
The appointment of a Deputy Speaker should not be made strictly on the basis of spoils among the Barisan Nasional component parties.
The Opposition candidate for the Deputy Speaker’s post, Bukit Mertajam MP, Chian Heng Kai, who has been a MP for three terms, outshines and outclasses Ong Tee Kiat as a superior and better choice.
The Barisan Nasional leadership should concede that Ong Tee Kiat is one of the worst possible choices it could think of, and in the parliamentary interest, it should withdraw Ong Tee Kiat’s nomination, or withdraw the whip and allow Barisan Nasional MPs a free vote, and to elect Chian Heng Kiat as Deputy Speaker in preference over Ong Tee Kiat.