Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, at the inaugural meeting of the Batu Pahat DAP Liaison Committee meeting held in Batu Pahat, Johore on Sunday, 24th June 1990 at 3 p.m.
Datuk K. Pathmanaban should be gentleman enough to publicly admit he does not have photograph of Lee Lam Thye and Terry Collingsworth in one picture and that his slurs on Lam Thye’s integrity were baseless
Parliament last week saw a most unhappy episode where the Deputy Human Resources Minister, Datuk K. Pathmanaban, used the protection of the House to make baseless and irresponsible allegations that the DAP Deputy Secretary-General and MP for Bukit Bintang, Sdr. Lee Lam Thye, had connived and colluded with the general counsel of the International Labour Rights Education and Research Fund(ILRERF), Terr Collingsworth to get Malaysia’s GSP privileges removed.
Datuk Pathmanaban even went one step further as to allege that he had photograph of Lam Thye beside Terry Collingsworth and his girl friend to prove such complicity between Lam Thye and Terry Collingsworth.
Lam Thye had instantly rebutted such allegations in Parliament, declaring that the DAP’s stand on the GSP is clear and unequivocal, that DAP wants the United States to retain the GSP to retain the GSP status for Malaysia.
Furthermore, Lam Thye declared that he had never met, known or discussed anything with Terry Collingsworth, and there could not be a photograph of him with Terry Collingsworth as claimed by Datuk Pathmanaban.
Datuk Pathmanaban should have been gentleman enough to accept Lam Thye’s clarifications and withdraw his allegations and slurs on Lam Thye’s character and integrity.
However, in the Dewan Rakyat, Datuk Pathmanaban chose to continue to ‘play politics’ by persisting in his allegation that Lam Thye had connived and colluded to get Malaysia’s GSP privileges withdrawn, and that he had a photograph of Lam Thye and Collingsworth together.
In actual fact, Pathmanaban had admitted to me twice, once on last Monday and the other occasion last Tuesday, when I specifically asked him whether he had photograph of Lam Thye and Collingsworth in one picture, that there was no such picture or photographic evidence.
Parliamentary reporters who saw the photographs produced by Pathmanaban also confirm that there was no single picture showing Lam Thye and Collingsworth together confirming Lam Thye’s clarification that he had never known, met or discussed anything with the American.
Collingsworth had, before he returned to the United States a few days ago, also issued a statement confirming that he had not met Lam Thye.
Unfortunately, Pathmanaban is only prepared to admit privately that he had no such photograph, while publicly maintaining the lie that there was such a photograph. This is most improper conduct for a political leader.
I advise Pathmanaban to be gentleman enough to publicly admit that he does not have any photograph showing Lam Thye and Terry Collingsworth in one picture, that his allegations and slurs against Lam Thye for conniving and colluding with Collingsworth to get Malaysia’s GSP status removed was baseless.
Pathmanaban must have the humility to admit his wrongs, and let the unhappy Parliamentary episode end on a right note. If Pathmanaban is prepared to openly admit that he had no such photograph, and that his allegations against Lam Thye was baseless, I would advise Lam Thye to withdraw his motion to refer Pathmanaban to the Committee of Privileges, which is on the Parliamentary Order Paper for tomorrow.