Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, at Kandang Baru DAP Branch Anniversary dinner held at Kandang Baru New Village, Perak, on Tuesday, 17th July 1990 at 9 p.m.
Call on Liong Sik and Kim Sai to declare whether they could individually guarantee the Chinese Community that the 1986 Barisan Nasional promise to repeal Section 21(2) of the 1961 Education Act would be fulfilled before next general election
After two weeks of his Subang Airport announcement that he would contest for the MCA Presidency, both Lee Kim Sai and Ling Liong Sik had not been able to tell the Chinese community how each could do better than the other to protect and promote the rights of the Chinese community, the Malaysian people and the nation as a whole.
As far as the people could see in the last two weeks, there is no element of ‘justice’ or ‘public interest’ involved in the Ling-Lee fight, but merely ‘self-interest’ of one faction versus the ‘self-interest’ of another faction in the MCA.
This is why up to now, both the Ling and Lee camps in the MCA could not show the people what new directions and policies they propose to lead the Chinese community and the Malaysian people in the 1990s.
A lot of things have been said by both factions against each other in the past two weeks, and there are many question which the public would want clarification – from Ling Liong Sik, Lee Kim Sai, the four MCA Ministers, the MCA Presidential Council and the MCA Central Committee.
I will however not go into this for the moment, lest I be accused of wanting to side one faction against another.
Kim Sai had already accused me of wanting to help Liong Sik, when I pointed out that Kim Sai was having a grand holiday in Australia for three months, when he ran away from Malaysia to escape detention under the Internal Security Act during Operation Lalang in October 1987, and that he was drawing his full Ministerial pay, fixed allowances per month, as well as allowances on a daily basis on holiday overseas. For the three months, he was drawing about $20,000 a month as salary and fixed allowances, and another $30,000 a month for various overseas allowances – making a total of $50,000 a month for each of the three months he was in hiding in Australia!
If I now raise questions about various pertinent issues concerning Liong Sik, Liong Sik, would accuse me wanting to help Kim Sai. The DAP has no interest in who wins or loses in the Ling-Lee battle, for it has nothing to do with the betterment of the rights and welfare of the people, but only to further their own self-interests and their respective factions.
Which one of the two is prepared to announce that he would resign as MCA President and Cabinet Minister if he could not fulfill undertakings on Section 21(2) and the 1990 Education Bill?
However, I would want to ask both Liong Sik and Kim Sai to declare whether they could individually give a personal guarantee and undertaking that the 1986 Barisan Nasional general elections promise to repeal Section 21(2) of the 1961 Education Act would be honoured by before the next general elections.
In an exclusive interview recently, Liong Sik said he did not know whether the Education Bill 1990 would be made public before the next general elections.
My next question: What is the respective stand of Liong Sik and Kim Sai on the demand of the Chinese community that the whole Education Bill 1990 must be made public well before the next general elections.
Which one of them is prepared to declare that if elected as MCA President, he would stake his political future on these two commitments: that before the next general elections, there would firstly, be the repeal of Section 21(2) of the Education Act 1961, and secondly, the publication of the full contents of the 1990 Education Bill – and that he would resign as MCA President and Cabinet Minister if both these commitments could not be honoured?
If Liong Sik and Kim Sai are prepared to take meaningful stands on policy issues of great concern to the Chinese community, then the Ling-Lee fight would be meaningful to the Malaysian Chinese. Otherwise, it is nothing but the latest chapter in the endless MCA struggle for power for self-benefit and gain in its party history.