I am still waiting for Liong Sik’s response to my challenge to him to public debates on the politics of DAP and MCA

By Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Tuesday, Octobeer 15, 1991:

I am still waiting for Liong Sik’s response to my challenge to him to public debates on the politics of DAP and MCA

I am still waiting for the response from the MCA President, Datuk Dr. Ling Liong Sik, to my challenge to him to nation-wide public debates in three languages on the politics of DAP and MCA.

It would appear that Liong Sik has not yet mustered up the courage to respond to my challenge, but has instead chosen to make speeches attacking the DAP, knowing that he would not have to face an immediate and instant challenge as to the veracity of his statements as in face-to-face public debates.

In his speech at the MCA Titiwangsa on Sunday night, Liong Sik trotted out a lot of half-truths and even untruths in his so called ‘all-out war’ against the DAP.

It is clear that Liong Sik does not know that he is talking about in the speeches which his staff had prepared for him for his ‘war against the DAP’ – and this must be a very important reason why Liong Sik dare not accept the challenge to public debates with me.

For instance, Liong Sik repeated on Sunday night that the DAP had not dared to respond to the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, as to the DAP’s stand on the Second Link between Johore and Singapore.

Liong Sik’s personal ignorance is understandable as he does not read the Chinese newspapers himself , but his ignorance as MCA President is inexcusable as he should make sure that his staff advise him correctly as to what had been published in the Chinese press, so that he would not be made to look very foolish.

Of course, if Liong Sik had not imposed a blanket ban on the statements of the DAP leaders in its English daily, the Star, he would be better informed than at present. As at present, Liong Sik must be the worst-informed party leader in Malaysia.

Liong Sik boasts a lot about the so-called contributions of the MCA in the National Economic Consultative Council, but he has not been able to date to give a satisfactory explanation why the four MCA Ministers had rejected the most important recommendation of the NECC report on the establishment of an independent monitoring mechanism to check against deviations, abuses of power, breach of trust and corruption of the National Development Policy.

I hope the MCA Presidential staff would advise Liong Sik that the call for an independent monitoring mechanism for the NDP is being taken up by the entire Chinese community and Malaysian society – as in the resolutions being passed by the various Chinese associations and societies.

Does Liong Sik now know that the Chinese in Malaysia want as citizens of the country?

Probably before Liong Sik commit greater follies in the ‘war against DAP’ – a war which he dare not provide the leadership by accepting my challenge to public debates – the MCA President should make sure that the MCA leadership now understand what the Malaysian Chinese want in Malaysia.

After the October general elections, the MCA leadership appointed professional consultants to find the answer to the question publicly asked by UMNO Ministers and leaders, as to what was it that the Chinese want in Malaysia.

Has Liong Sik and the MCA leadership received the findings of the professional survey as to what the Chinese want in Malaysia? Is so, why is the MCA leadership afraid to publicly release the findings of the professional consultants the MCA leadership had engaged to instruct the MCA leaders as to the thinking, aspirations and hopes of the Chinese in Malaysia?

I am prepared to give Liong Sik a concession to encourage him to accept my challenge to nation-wide public debates with me on the politics of DAP and MCA. I have no objection that in the public debates, Liong Sik is accompanied and assisted by the professional consultants who had conducted a survey for the MCA leadership to find out as to what the Chinese in Malaysia wanted as citizens of the country.

I really find it completely unthinkable, where the President of MCA, which claims to be the sole representative of the five million Malaysian Chinese and the third largest Chinese party in the world, can openly admit that he does not know what the Chinese in Malaysia want, and has to engage professional consultants to educate him.

Liong Sik should not declare ‘war on the DAP, but should declare war on the ignorance of the MCA and its leadership!