Mahathir must be very worried about the next general elections to be so personal in his attacks

By Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Tuesday, 19th June 1990:

Mahathir must be very worried about the next general elections to be so personal in his attacks

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, is getting very personal in his attacks on me and other Opposition Leaders. Dr. Mahathir must be getting very worried about the Barisan Nasional chances in the next general elections for him to indulge in such personal attacks.

Dr. Mahathir accused me of wanting build a Lim dynasty. Well, if I am building a Lim dynasty, then I must have been very successful, for there are two Lims in the Cabinet, Liong Sik and Keng Yaik, and one Lim as Penang Chief Minister, Chong Eu.

Dr. Mahathir accused me of nepotism and grooming Lim Guan Eng. When Dr. Mahathir wanted to detain me under the Internal Security Act during Operation Lalang in October 1987, I never asked him to also detain Guan Eng to ‘groom’ him. In actual fact, Dr. Mahathir has done much more than me to ‘groom’ Guan Eng.

I also never asked Dr. Mahathir that Guan Eng should be detained for 18 months under the ISA together with me to make both of us the longest-serving Operation Lalang detainees. Again, it is Dr. Mahathir who had further ‘groomed’ Guan Eng.

With Dr. Mahathir so kind to ‘groom’ Guan Eng, there is no need for me to ‘groom’ him at all.

Dr. Mahathir accused the DAP of promoting dictatorship. Malaysians know that at one time, one of Mahathir’s buddies was none other than the fallen Rumanian dictator, Nicolae Ceausescu, with whom Mahathir claims close affinity. When Dr. Mahathir keeps such company, no wonder human rights and democratic freedoms in Malaysia in the past few years suffered unprecedented assault and erosion.

Dr. Mahathir has also resorted to the old Barisan Nasional trick to try to drive a wedge between Sdr. Lee Lan Thye and me. If Dr. Mahathir has such a high respect for Lam Thye, then why did he allow the Deputy Human Resources Minister, Datuk K. Pathmanaban to launch an most dishonest and disgraceful attack on the character and integrity of Lam Thye in the Dewan Rakyat yesterday over the GSP issue?

In fact, Pathmanaban went so far as to question Lam Thye’s loyalty to Malaysia, when DAP leaders made it very clear in the House that the DAP wants GSP privileges for Malaysia to be retained? This was why Lam Thye lost his temper in the Dewan Rakyat for the first time and declared that he would never respect Pathmanaban anymore.

If Dr. Mahathir is sincere, then he should direct Datuk Pathmanaban to publicly apologise to Lam Thye for making the most dishonest, baseless and disgraceful attack on Lam Thye’s character, integrity and loyalty, and withdraw all such imputations he had made in the Dewan Rakyat yesterday.

As Pathmanaban was speaking on behalf of the Barisan Nasional government when he used such low and unethical tactics, Dr. Mahathir should also openly apologise to Lam Thye and the DAP.