Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, at the Penang DAP 25th Anniversary dinner held at Fortune Restaurant, Penang on Sunday, 12th May 1991 at 8 p.m.
Ling Liong Sik should give a clear-out statement whether MCA is abandoning the proposal for a Malaysian Chinese Cultural City or whether he is staking his position as MCA President to proceed with it.
The claim by the MCA National Vice Chairman and Human Resources Minister, Datuk Lim Ah Lek, that the Cabinet had imposed a ban on public discussion of the MCA proposal for a Malaysian Chinese Cultural City was again exposed to be untrue when yesterday another UMNO Minister came out in the fiercest attack so far on the proposal.
UMNO Youth leader and Defence Minister, Datuk Najib Tun Razak, anounced after a special meeting of UMNO Youth that UMNO Youth rejected the MCA’s proposal to set up a Chinese Cultural Centre on two grounds that:
• It contravened the NationalCulture Policy aimed at building a united Malaysian nation; and
• It went against the vision of the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, of Malaysia as a fully developed nation in the year 2,020.
Najib’s also said that Dr. Mahathir, “who should have been consulted first, was not informed by the MCA of the matter.”
Who then are the ‘top UMNO leaders’ whom the MCA President, Datuk Dr. Ling Liong Sik, had claimed had “discussed, understood and accepted” the MCA proposal for a Chinese Cultural City?
All the top UMNO leaders had either disclaimed any knowledge about the MCA’s proposal for Chinese Cultural City or publicly expressed their opposition – from Dr. Mahathir to UMNO Deputy President, Ghafar Baba, UMNO Vice Precident Datuk Abdullah Badawi, UMNO Secretary-General Datuk Mohamed Rahmat and UMNO Youth Leader, Datuk Najib Razak.
The top MCA leadership has been very disappointing in their inconsistency and contradictions on their proposal for a Chinese Cultural City.
The MCA President said that the Chinese Cultural City proposal had been ‘discussed, understood and accepted’ by top UMNO leaders, but two UMNO Ministers have denied this, saying Liong Sik’s claim was ‘misleading and untrue’.
The MCA National Vice President claimed that the Cabinet had discussed the issue and had decided on a ban on public discussion of the proposal, but this has been denied by Najib who said that the issue had not been raised in Cabinet. Furthermore, no UMNO Minister is observing such a ‘ban’ – which can only mean that Datuk Lim Ah Lek was following the example of Datuk Dr. Ling Liong Sik is making ‘misleading and untrue’ statements.
Early this week, the chairman of the MCA Chinese Cultural City project, Datuk Loke Yuen Yow, said that the MCA would definitely go ahead with the Malaysian Chinese Cultural City project and that the MCA hopes to raise $5 million beginning with fund-raising activities next month.
In view of the call by Najib yesterday that the MCA should stop all activities to raise fund for the project, the MCA President, Datuk Ling Liong Sik should make a clear-cut statement whether the MCA is abandoning the Malaysian Chinese Cultural City or whether he is staking his position as MCA President to proceed with the project!