Reply by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, to Goh Cheng Teik’s column in Nanyang Siang Pao on Wednesday, 5th September 1990
Goh Cheng Taik is the classic example of the hypocritical Gerakan apologist for the Mahathir policies, abuses of power and scandals
Last Wednesday, Gerakan’s ideologue and theoretician, Dr. Goh Cheng Teik, wrote a sickeningly deceitful column in the Nanyang Siang Pao under the heading ‘Lim Fong Seng’s game of chess’, which drips with lies, poison and hypocrisy.
In fact, Dr. Goh is the classic example of the hypocritic Gerakan apologist of the Mahathir policies, abuses of power and scandals, although he is not the only one. I understand that the Gerakan would be fielding a trio of such high-powered hypocrites and apologists of Mahathir policies, abuses of powers and scandals in Penang in the next general elections.
Dr. Goh made a name for himself recently in writing a book entitled “Racial Politics in Malaysia” where he praised Dr. Mahathir as a ‘statesman’ for his Operation Lalang mass arrests of 106 Opposition leaders and government critics in October 1987.
By the same token, Dr. Goh’s esteem for Dr. Mahathir as a ‘statesman’ must have gone even higher with the sacking of the Lord President, Tun Salleh Abas and the two Supreme Court judges, Tan Sri Wan Suleiman and Datuk George Seah.
And Dr. Goh must have gone into ectasy at the numerous financial, economic and even moral scandals which erupted under the 10-year Mahathis rule, without undermining Dr. Mahathir’s authority.
In his column two days ago, Dr. Goh accused PAS and DAP of being extremist. Probably, this is the reason why Dr. Goh appluded Dr. Mahathir for arresting DAP MPs, Assemblymen and leaders under Operation Lalang, as well as Dong Jiao Zhong leaders like Sim moh Yee, Lim Fong Seng, Dr. Tuan Pik King and human rights activites like Dr. Chandra Muzaffar and Dr. Kua Kia Soong.
Cheng Teik’s whole column based on a life
Dr. Goh’s whole column is based on the life that the DAP and PAS has reached a pact for the coming general elections.
DAP leaders have said more than once that the DAP has not had any understanding, co-operation or relationship with PAS, but Dr. Goh prefers to believe in the lies of his leader, the Gerakan President, Datuk Dr. Lim Keng Yaik, who could even concoct the lie about the so-called secret DAP-PAS talks in Jakarta!
Dr. Goh asked what is the stand of the DAP on the imposition of the Islamic Laws on non-Muslims, and he gave the example of khalwat.
Gerakan leaders cowardly in their silence during the MCCBCHS campaign against the imposition of any Islamic law on non-Muslims
Either Dr. Goh is really ignorant or he wants to pretend that he is stupid. Malaysians will remember that it was the DAP who gave the fullest public support to the nation-wide campaign by the Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism and Sikkhism (MCCBCHS) when it launched a nation-wide campaign to oppose the imposition of any Islamic laws on non-Muslims, and I personally raised the MCCBCHS campaign in Parliament.
The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, even attacked the DAP because of our clear stand against the imposition of Islamic laws on non-Muslims. It was Dr. Goh and Gerakan who were cowardly in their silence during the nation-wide campaign of the MCCBCHS.
Again, Dr. Goh conveniently ignored the Selangor Islamic Law Administration Enactment, which was passed with the full support of the eight MCA Selangor Assemblymen. As Gerakan is also represented in the Barisan Nasional leadership whether in Selangor or at the national level, Gerakan is also a party to the Selangor Islamic Law Administration Enactment although it does not have an Assemblymen in the state.
Over the years, it is the DAP which had stood up for the rights of non-Muslims to the religious freedoms guaranteed them under the Constitution, while the Gerakan leaders, like Dr. Goh, were more interested in feathering their own nests in the corridors of power.
If Dr. Goh cares to read the allegations of detention made against DAP leaders under the Operation Lalang, he would find that in many cases, it was for standing up for the rights of non-Muslims against encroachment of their religious rights, including by the Islamisation process. Dr. Goh would not have written the rubbish he did on Wednesday if he refers to the allegations of detention of the DAP detainees under Operation Lalang.
DAP leaders, who have paid the price of their convictions with their liberties, have the right to ask the Gerakan leaders like Dr. Goh what they had done for religious and constitutional rights of all Malaysians apart from their pretensions and hypocrisy?
Gerakan doing Malaysia a great disservice by equating the call for multi-racialism as equally chauvinistic and extremist as a call for Islamic State
Finally, Dr. Goh claims that it is the DAP and PAS which are putting the communal pressures on the Barisan Nasional, claiming that if DAP does not blow the communal flames at MCA, Gerakan and MIC, while PAS does not blow the religious flame on UMNO, then the Barisan Nasional component parties can focus their energies to formulate policies which transcends race and religion and which benefit all the people.
The greatest disservice apologists like Dr. Goh and his ilk have done to the cause of multi-racialism is to label the struggle of the non-Malay communities to a rightful place under the Malaysian sun as ‘chauvinistic’, ‘communalistic’ and ‘extremist’.
These are precisely the same people who will also preach the theory of ‘internal response and external matching’ – when all that it means is that they want to have the opportunity to be Ministers, Deputy Ministers, Parliamentary Secretaries and the perks of office ‘inside’ the Government.
The other disservice is to equate the call for multi-racialism as equally extremist and unreasonable as the call for an Islamic State by the PAS, and that both should be rejected.
Finally, the emergence of the two-coalition has shown who are the real communalist, chauvinist and opportunist.
In the opposition co-operation comprising Semangat 46, DAP and AMPIF, we are all committed to win over the support of voters of all races. We want not only the Chinese votes, but also the Malay votes and Indian votes because they all make up the Malaysian electorate.
If the Barisan Nasional component parties are committed multi-racialists, they would have encouraged such a development and welcomed the emergence of a contest and competition of two multi-racial opposition fronts.
But this is not the case. UMNO on the one hand accuses Semangat 46 of betraying the Malays and the cause of Islam for joining up with DAP, while MCA and Gerakan (including Dr. Goh Cheng Teik) accuses the DAP of selling out the Chinese and Indians, and all non-Muslims, in co-operating with Semangat 46.
Surely, Dr. Goh has not lost all his sense of right and wrong not to know that such tactics is not only most immoral but sheer hypocrisy. However, having become the high-priest of such hypocrisy, Dr. Goh may have lost all sense of moral values and his political morality is the latest model that Dr. Mahathir has ordered for him