By Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary General and MP for Tanjung. Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Wednesday, 10th April 1991:
Five tips to Rahim as to how Malacca can become a world tourist attraction because of the water shortage crisis
The Malacca Chief Minister, Tan Sri Rahim Tamby Cik, is blaming everybody but himself for the Malacca water crisis, the greatest man-made water disaster in Malaysia history.
At first Tan Sri Rahim said that the Melacca water shortage and the drying-up of the Durian Tunggal dam with its capacity of 20.4 million litres was due to sabotage. Than he said it was caused by seepage of the dam. His next target were the Malacca Water Authority (LAM) engineers and technicians, in particular the Acting General Manager, Thai Kian Tong and the Acting Production Manager, Khalid Nasir.
He next blamed the press for exaggerating the water crisis and frightening off tourists and foreign investors to Malacca. When attacked by both the National Union of Journalists and news media of all languages for talking ‘rubbish’, Tan Sri backtracked.
On Sunday, Tan Sri Rahim said that the Malacca water crisis was a ‘test of God’ The Malacca Chief Minister must have got this inspiration from the Malaysian Rubber Development Corporation (MARDEC) chief executive, Dr.Mahmood Abdul Kadir, who said last Friday that the contamination of the LAM main intake pumphouse by latex from the Mardec factory at Durian Tunggal on April 2 was ‘an act of God’.
Both Tan Sri Rahim and Dr.Mahmood must have felt very comfortable to put the blame on God, as God could not answer them!
What is shocking is that the Malacca Chief Minister could joke about the sufferings of the people of Malacca as a result of the Malacca water crisis at the expense of the 600,000 people in the state.
Last Sunday, Tan Sri Rahim said that Malacca might qualify to be listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the city with the most number of wells and the only place in the world where a dam dried out.
Tan Sri Rahim seems to be very proud that his greatest achievement as Chairman of the Malacca Water Authority is that the Durian Tunggal dam dried out!
May be, Tan Sri Rahim should try to make Malacca a world tourist Attraction as a result of the Malacca water orisis by selling these unique features of Malacca to draw tourists from all over the world to Malacca:
Firstly, Malacca as a city of wells. There should be a brochure on the over 2,000 wells in Malacca, pin-pointing the most famous well in the state, such as the Bukit China well and the wells where lives were lost during the water crisis. In this connection, it is fortunate that Tan Sri Rahim failed in his 1984 plan to demolish Bukit China, or there would not have been Bukit China wells to provide water for the people of Malacca;
Secondly, Malacca as the only place in the world where a dam with a capacity of 20.4 billion litres could mysteriously dry up; this tourist attraction could be further enhanced with the offer of a million ringgit prize for anyone who could discover the real cause of the drying up of the Durian Tunggal dam. Of course, one of the rules of this competition is that the accusing finger must never be pointed at the Malacca Chief Minister and the Malacca Water Authority Chairman! With this condition in the competition, nobody would be able to win the million ringgit prize!
Thirdly, Malacca as the only place where the treated waste from the Mardec and Myfex factories are the cleanest in the world – and this tourist attraction could be enhanced with a weekly programme of the Malacca Chief Minister leading the Malacca State Executive Councillors for a public drinking of the Mardec and Myfex treated ‘waste’ water. I am sure many tourists from all over the world come to Malacca just to see this ‘performance’!
Fourthly, Malacca as the ‘rain-making’ city, and this attraction could be further enhanced by giving money-back guarantees for the entire tourist expenses to Malacca if the rain-making failed to materialize on the date and time specified beforehand.
Fifthly, turn Malacca into a world centre to promote the Bahimian, which will impart among other things, the following art and techniques:
• New State provincial or local authorities could squeeze money from the Federal or central government by creating man-made crisis, as in the case of Malacca where the Federal Government was compelled to approve $283 million emergency allocation to the State as a result of the Malacca water crisis;
• How Ministers or executive chiefs could disclaim responsibility for scandals of negligence, inefficiency and incompetence; and
• The art of putting the blame on anybody else except oneself.