by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Friday, 17th January 1992:
If Lim Geok Chan wants to co-operate with the DAP, he should stop his malicious attacks against the Dao and stop advocating a negative and destructive political line for the Malaysian Chinese
The President of the Chinese Federation of Chinese Assembly Halls (Chinese Halls), Lim Geok Chan, said yesterday “that the Chinese Halls is prepared to co-operate with political parties in and out of office and hoped that they would not focus on it on every matter”.
He said that the Chinese Halls is a “people’s organisation, would strengthen its own work and role, and would not get involved in the individual affairs of other political parties, and ensure maximum reduction of disputes.”
The DAP is always open-minded and prepared to co-operate with the Chinese Halls, in the same that the DAP is prepared to co-operate with other civic organisations and political parties on matters of common interest.
If Lim Geok Chan wants to co-operate with the DAP, he must however stop his malicious remarks and attacks on the DAP and stop advocating a negative and destructive political line for the Malaysian Chinese. Furthermore, he should not hide behind the Chinese Halls whenever his malicious remarks about the DAP or his advocacy of a negative and destructive political line for the Malaysian Chinese provoked a response from the DAP. I refer in particular to four separate issues.
Lim Geok Chan made malicious attacks on DAP or advocated a negative or destructive political line on four issues in the past two months
Firstly, to put the record straight, it is Lim Geok Chan who took the offensive against the DAP when on November 24, he attacked the DAP for ‘wasting its time on impractical matters’ in the controversy between the DAP and the MCA on the MCA’s greatest concession in its 42-year party history in renouncing the constitutional right, basis, status and guarantee for Chinese primary schools and mother-tongue education. Lim Geok Chan also echoed MCA and Gerakan arguments as to how DAP leaders should perform their political duties. The DAP is prepared to respect the right of Chinese Halls leaders to criticise DAP leaders, but the Chinese Halls leaders must be similarly prepared to be criticised by the DAP.
Secondly, after the demolition of the Johore Bahru ancient temple wall last month, Lim Geok Chan said that this was the failure of MCA’s ‘politics of consultation’ and DAP’s ‘pressure politics’.
What is the explanation for Lim Geok Chan for making such a baseless and malicious attack on the DAp for being responsible for the demolition of the Johore Bahru ancient temple wall? Even MCA and Gerakan dare not make such a wild allegation. Was Lim Geok Chan acting for MCA and Gerakan to say things which MCA and Gerakan leaders dare not say?
In fact, if blame is to be apportioned for the demolition of the Johore Bahru ancient temple wall, Lim Geok Chan must bear a great responsibility for it represented his first great challenge and his first great failure after election as President of Chinese Halls. He never showed any concern or interest until the Johore Bahru ancient temple wall was demolished!!
I do not think Lim Geok Chan would deny that he is even now thoroughly unconcerned about the Johore Bahru ancient temple wall issue as he had asked what was wrong with taking the compensation money from the Johore Government for the ancient temple wall, for with the money, 50 such equally ‘large’ temples could be built!
Thirdly, after being elected President of Chinese Halls, Lim Geok Chan asked ‘what is left for the Chinese in Malaysia to be sold-out’? this is most negative and destructive political line among the Malaysian Chinese since Merdeka, and if this is the philosophy which is going to guide the Chinese Halls in its handling of the political, economic, educational, social, cultural, religious and citizenship issues facing the Malaysian Chinese in the 1990s, the Lim Geok Chan should not expect the DAP to remain silent.
Lim Geok Chan advocates a ‘politics of consultation’ based on having one’s shoulders patted by the Prime Minister
Fourthly, Lim Geok Chan has denied and rejected the contributions and struggle of the DAP in the past 25 years by dismissing the DAP’s political record as a failure after describing it as ‘pressure politics’. In its stead, Lim Geok Chan is advocating a new ‘politics of consultation’ which based on having one’s shoulders being patted by he Prime Minister!
In actual fact, Lim Geok Chan’s ‘politics of consultation’ is not very different from the ‘politics of consultation’ practised by the MCA and Gerakan in Barisan Nasional- as the important featre they have in common is that it is not based on a relationship of equality, mutual respect or principle.
When this having-one’s-shoulders-patted-by-the-Prime-Minister- ‘politics of consultation’ is based on the philosophy of ‘what is left for the Chinese in Malaysia to sell out’, we can say that Lim Geok Chan version of ‘politics of consultation’ is even worse than the MCA and Gerakan versions.
The DAP regards all these unequal and unprincipled versions of ‘politics of consultation’, whether advocated by MCA, Gerakan or Lim Geok Chan, as highly detrimental to the aspirations of Malaysians for justice, equality, freedom and democracy in Malaysia.
If these various versions of ‘politics of consultation’ are the route to the Vision 2020, then in the Malaysia of 2020, the question posed by Lim Geok Chan in 1991 as to ‘what is left for the Chinese to be sold out’ might become very apt!
By advocating his ‘politics of consultation’, Lim Geok Chan has entered into the political arena.
I am not asking Lim Geok Chan to stay out of politics, for this is the right of every Malaysian. However, when he is actively playing a political role, and advocating his version of ‘politics of consultation’, he cannot hide behind the back of the Chinese Halls when he provoked responses, criticisms and even attacks from the DAP or form others.