Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, lim Kit Siang, at the Petaling Jaya Election Committee meeting at DAP Sea Park Branch Premises on Thursday, 1990 at 8.30 p.m
DAP to launch a nation-wide campaign to protest against the detention of DAP MP for Sungei Besi, Tan Kok Wai and two others under the ISA over the ISA over the Cheras tolls issue
The Police should immediately release Tan Kok Wai, DAP MP for Sungai Besi, Lim Yit Chee, aide to DAP MP for Bukit Bintang, and Wong Ah Chee, chairman of the Cheras Residents Anti-Toll Action Committee who had been detained under the Internal Security Act for the past week because of the Cheras tolls issue.
Now that the Cabinet has responded to the DAP call to immediately suspend the Cheras tolls, the Cabinet should also get the Police to immediately release these three under the ISA.
Nobody can accept the statement by the Deputy Prime Minister, Ghafar Baba, that the government cannot intervene in the case of the ISA arrests by the police unless Malaysia had become a Police State.
It is only in a Police State that the Cabinet cannot intervene in police arrests, for in a Police State, the Police are supreme and even above the Cabinet.
The government and the police have had enough time to discover that last Friday’s demonstration by 10,000 Cheras residents is a spontaneous one by the people out of sheer frustration at the high=handed and unreasonable imposition of the Cheras toll on September 1, and the closing up of all access roads and slipways.
The demonstration was not organised either by the DAP or the Cheras Residents Anti-Toll Action Committee.
If anybody is to be blamed for last Friday’s demonstrations by the 10,000 Cheras residents, then it is the Cabinet Ministers and the government for allowing the Teratai S.K. Sdn. Bhd. for imposing such a high an unreasonable toll rates, after giving a promise that there would be no toll for at least a year.
The Police has no cause or justification to detain Kok Wai, Yit Chee and Ah Chee, unless the Police really believe that they are the ‘ringleaders’ of the ‘one per cent’ of the Cheras residents who, to use the words of the MCA President, Datuk Dr. Ling Liong Sik, are irresponsible and law-breakers in staging lat Friday’s spontaneous demonstrations against the Cheras tolls.
If Malaysia has not become a Police State, then the Police are answerable for every single action they have taken to the Home Minister, who is in turn answerable to the Cabinet. No Cabinet Minister therefore can shirk his responsibility for the detention under the ISA of Kok Wai, Yit Chee and Ah Chee by pushing it to the police!
As the MCA President, Datuk Dr. Ling Liong Sik, had in particular denounced the ‘one per cent’ in Cheras who are irresponsible and law-breakers, he should declare whether he oppose the Police detention of the DAP MP for Sungai Besi as well as Yit Chee and Ah Chee under the ISA over the Cheras tolls issue.
His silence can only mean that he is fully in support of he police detention of Kok Wai, Yit Chee and Ah Chee, for the Cabinet must be collectively responsible for every single police action unless repudiated by the Cabinet.
The same applies to all other MCA, Gerakan, MIC, UMNO and Barisan Nasional Ministers.
Unless the Cabinet Ministers come out immediately to repudiate the police action in detaining Kok Wai, Yit Chee and Ah Chee under the ISA, then it is no use their shedding crocodile tears by getting minor functionaries in their respective political parties to issue press statements expressing concern about their detention.
I challenge Liong Sik and Datuk Dr. Lim Keng Yaik, the Gerakan President, to explain whether the detention of Kok Wai, Yit Chee and Ah Chee were raised and discussed at last Wednesday’s Cabinet meeting.
The Barisan Nasional Cabinet is a great disappointment, for a Cabinet which could approve the Cheras toll rates without consideration whether it is high or low, or whether it is a crushing financial burden on the people, is not fit to continue to be in office.
I am not surprised if the Cabinet last Wednesday did not discuss the detention of DAP MP for Sungai Besi and two others under the ISA over the Cheras toll issue, with all the Ministers deluging themselves into thinking that they cannot discuss it as it is the sole prerogative of the police.
The people all over the country must question all the Barisan Nasional Ministers, Deputy Ministers, Parliamentary Secretaries, Members of Parliament and even State Assemblymen to demand them to explain why the Internal Security Act was used against toll protestors and a DAP MP for carrying out his duties as an elected representative of the people.
If the Police refuses to release Kok Wai, Yit Chee and Ah Chee, then the DAP will launch a nation-wide campaign to protest against their detention.
For this purpose, the DAP has formed a Committee to Protest Against the Detention of Tolls Protestors which will be headed by the DAP Director of Research, Dr. Kua Kia Soong.