Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, at the DAP Prai by-election committee meeting held at Bagan on Sunday, June 30, 1991 at 8 p.m.
A vital by-election would have to be held if the important UMNO leader involved in the $70 million Malacca ammunition depot scandal is required to relinquish all public offices
The Penang Barisan Nasional leadership comprising the three Barisan Nasional ‘doctors’, namely Dr. Ibrahim Saad, Dr. Koh Tsu Koon and Dr. Kang Chin Seng, had wanted to exploit and distort the Lim Hock Seng issue as their opening salvo in the Prai by-election.
Their intention was to put the DAP on the defensive and create the impression that the DAP was in the thick of a great political, financial and even moral scandal and therefore undermine public support and confidence in the DAP.
The three Barisan Nasional ‘doctors’ did not realise the the whole issue could boomerang on them, for now, it is the three Barisan Nasional ‘doctors’ who are now on the defensive for three reasons.
Three reasons why the three Barisan Nasional ‘doctors’ are now on the defensive on the Lim Hock Seng issue
Firstly, their allegation that Lim Hock Seng had abused his position as elected representative for his direct pecuniary interest has been proved to be totally baseless and most frivolous, for after the DAP leadership had dismissed the allegation spearheaded by Dr. Ibrahim Saad, the Deputy Chief Minister and UMNO Secretary, the three Barisan Nasional ‘doctors’ could not produce any evidence to substantiate their allegation at all.
Secondly, in trying to accuse Lim Hock Seng of breach of privilege in the State Assembly on June 18 in moving a motion to regularise and legalise the 250-odd illegal factories in Penang, the three Barisan Nasional ‘doctors’ have only exposed their political inexperience, incompetence and immaturity, for if what they say was correct, then they should have stopped Lim Hock Seng from moving the motion or immediately referred him to the Committee of Privileges.
Thirdly, in trying to create the impression that the so-called Lim Hock Seng issue is a great political, financial and even moral scandal, the three Barisan Nasional ‘doctors’ have only exposed themselves as opportunistic and unprincipled political leaders who are blind to the really great political, financial and moral scandals in Penang and in Malaysia.
I will not deal with these really great political, financial and moral scandals involving Barisan Nasional leaders in Penang and Malaysia tonight, except to refer to one of the most current ones.
This is the $71 million Masjid Tanah ammunition depot scandal in Malacca, where all the depots constructed were so defective and unsafe that they posed a serious threat to the life not only of the military personnel at the depot but to the residents in Masjid Tanah.
If there is an explosion at the Masjid Tanah ammunition depot, the Sungai Buloh fireworks factory explosion which killed 24, injured over 100 people and destroyed over 150 houses, would be child’s play compared to a Masjid Tanah ammunition depot explosion!
Call on three Barisan Nasional ‘doctors’ to declare whether they would publicly demand the resignation of the top UMNO leader involved in the $70 million ammunition depot scandal?
The Defence Minister, Datuk Najib Tun Razak, had named Abdullah Ang, of the prisons ‘water-bed’ fame, as being one of the leading figures in the $71 million ammunition depot scandal.
Datuk Najib however has not responded to my public challenge why he named Abdullah Ang but not the name of an important UMNO leader also involved in the $71 million Malacca ammunition depot scandal.
A vital by-election would have to be held if the important UMNO leader involved in the $71 million ammunition depot scandal is forced to relinquish all public offices, not only to fill the vacancy created by him, but also to replace a very high and important government position currently held by him.
Is this the reason why the Barisan Nasional leaders, including the three Barisan Nasional ‘doctors’, pretend not to know anything about the involvement of the important UMNO leader in the $71 million ammunition depot scandal?
I call on the three Barisan Nasional ‘doctors’, Dr. Ibrahim Saad, Dr. Koh Tsu Koon and Dr. Kang Chin Seng, to publicly declare whether they would call on this important UMNO leader to resign from all public posts when his involvement in the $71 million ammunition depot scandal is established and made public?
Or do these three Barisan Nasional ‘doctors’ have double standards, where they could create a great public row in the Lim Hock Seng issue when there is absolutely nothing in their allegation against him, but where are blind, deaf and dumb in scandals involving tens, hundreds and even thousands of millions of ringgit?
Barisan Nasional delaying dates for the Prai by-election as they want Abdullah Badawi to be free to canvas for the Malay votes
The Barisan Nasional is delaying the dates for the Prai by-election, which should be held latest by August 17, 1991, as they want UMNO National Vice President and Foreign Minister, Datuk Abdullah Badawi to be free to canvas for the Malay votes in Prai.
Datuk Abdullah Badawi is currently away with the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, in the three-week tour of South American countries.
When Datuk Abdullah Badawi returns, he would be very busy in his capacity as Foreign Minister in connection with an international conference which Malaysia is hosting in the third week of July. As a result, there is a proposal in the Barisan Nasional that polling be held in August.
Prai by-election will be the most difficult by-election to be fought by the DAP in its 25-year history
This is further proof that the Barisan Nasional will marshal and mobilise all government, money, material and manpower resources in the Prai by-election, and this is why I will describe the Prai by-election as the most difficult to be fought by the DAP in our 25-year history.
The DAP will have the face the full onslaught not only of the money power of the Barisan Nasional parties, but the entire resources of both the Penang State Government and the Federal Government.
As usual, the Barisan Nasional will use every conceivable means to enhance its change of winning the by-election. If it could not win votes for its candidate, it would do its utmost to split the votes from the DAP. This is why the Barisan Nasional is so active in trying to sponsor independent candidates for the Prai by-election, even helping these prospective independent candidates to try to attract public attention by attacking the Barisan Nasional government!
The DAP will do its utmost to defend the Prai seat, although I do not have confidence of our chances of winning. However, it is not a lost cause, for with the full support of the voters of Prai, the DAP can still win the Prai seat, although it would be a most difficult and uphill battle.