Press Statement by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Penang on Wednesday, July 11, 1990:
Ooi Ean Kwong’s account has proved that Lim Keng Yaik had lied when he claimed he had sent Penang Speaker to visit me in Kamunting to ask me not to waste my time in Opposition and to join the Barisan Nasional
About two weeks ago, I revealed the true nature of the secret Kamunting talks between the Penang Speaker, Datuk Ooi Ean Kwong, and myself when Ean Kwong visited me in Kamunting where I was being detained on 8th December 1988.
There was no instant reply or rebuttal by Ooi Ean Kwong about my account, which he would have done, if my version was untrue. He had to take two weeks before giving his version of the secret Kamunting talks, and after he was clearly directed by the Gerakan President at the Gerakan Central Committee meeting in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday to come out with some sort of account to challenge my version.
No wonder, when I met Ean Kwong at the Subang airport on Sunday evening, to catch a plane back to Penang after the Gerakan Central Committee meeting, he was behaving in a very unusual and guilty-conscious fashion. I had wondered why Ean Kwong had felt so ill at ease when he met me at the airport. Now I know the reason.
One fact stands out from Ooi Ean Kwong’s statement, despite its distortions, half-truths and lies. What Ean Kwong said in his statement is proof that the Gerakan President, Datuk Dr. Lim Keng Yaik, had lied when he claimed in Kuala Lumpur on June 10 that he had sent Ooi Ean Kwong to visit me in Kamunting to find out whether I needed Gerakan help to secure my release, and to advise me not to waste my time in the Opposition and to join the Barisan Nasional.
Ooi Ean Kwong’s statement has proved Keng Yaik to be a liar
In his statement, Ooi Ean Kwong should have highlighted this directive given to him by Keng Yaik for his visit to me in Kamunting. This is in fact the issue at contention between Keng Yaik and myself over the secret Kamunting talks. Ooi Ean Kwong could not openly and brazenly declare that he was sent to Kamunting by Keng Yaik with this objective, for it was not true.
Now, Keng Yaik has been proved to be a liar, not by me, but by his own Gerakan Penang Speaker, Ooi Ean Kwong!
In his statement, Ooi Ean Kwong sought to deny what I never said. Both Keng Yaik and Ean Kwong claimed that I had said that Ean Kwong came to see me in Kamunting to ask me to be the intermediary between Tengku Razaleigh and Keng Yaik. Both then asked why Keng Yaik should ask me to be the intermediary when Keng Yaik had known Razaleigh since 1956 and if Keng Yaik had wanted to meet Tengku Razaleigh, he would not need my help.
I agree totally that if Keng Yaik wanted to meet Tengku Razaleigh, he could do so without having to ask for my help. The fact is I had never made any claim that Ooi Ean Kwong came to Kamunting to ask me to be an intermediary between Keng Yaik and Tengku Razaleigh. This so-called claim by me is a complete concoction of Keng Yaik.
Keng Yaik can not only concoct lies, like the secret DAP-PAS Jakarta talks, he could also invent lies about himself and attribute them to the Opposition so that could attack the Opposition and deny what was never alleged in the first place! I am indeed surprised that Keng Yaik could be so politically bankrupt as to resort to such tactics.
Keng Yaik is now worried that UMNO Baru and the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, know that the Gerakan did not have absolute confidence in them.
In December 1988, the Gerakan leadership was seriously considering the option of teaming up with DAP and UMNO 46 forces to present an alternative to the UMNO Baru and Barisan Nasional – and hence the objective of Ean Kwong’s visit to me in Kamunting.
Even now, Keng Yaik thinks that UMNO Baru and Dr. Mahathir can lose power in the next general elections. This is why he could predict that PAS could win 25 Parliamentary seats at the UMNO Baru’s expense in the next general elections.
To regain the confidence of UMNO Baru and Dr. Mahathir, Keng Yaik and the other Gerakan leaders are now prepared to tell all sorts of falsehoods to cover the tracks of their lack of confidence in UMNO Baru and Dr. Mahathir, whether in 1988 or at present.
As Ean Kwong’s statement has proved my case, that Keng Yaik had lied a second time in 10 weeks – this time about the secret Kamunting talks – I do not want to waste my time on the distortions, half-truths and lies in Ooi Ean Kwong’s statement. I reserve the right, however, to reveal in full the talks Ean Kwong had with me in Kamunting on December 8, 1988, and even to produce evidence to substantiate my version, if Ean Kwong persists in his distortions, half-truths and lies.