Press Conference Statement by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjong at Hotel Perdana on Monday, January 27, 1992 at 11.30 a.m.
Kit Siang sends urgent faxes to Liong Sik and Keng Yaik asking for five instances that the Chinese in Kelantan had been ‘oppressed’ and ‘persecuted’ by Islamisation measures which infringe their rights and interests.
I have this morning sent urgent faxes to the MCA President, Datuk Seri Dr. Ling Liong Sik and the Gerakan President, Datuk Seri Dr. Lim Keng Yaik, asking them to send me five instances that the Chinese in Kelantan had been ‘oppressed’ and ‘persecuted’ because of Islamisation measures which infringe the rights and interests of the non-Muslim Malaysians in the last 15 months.
My fax to Liong Sik and Keng Yaik reads:
“27th January 1992.
Datuk Seri Dr. Ling Liong Sik/Dr. Lim Keng Yaik,
Yang Berhormat Datuk,
Urgent request to MCA/Gerakan to furnish five instances that the Chinese in Kelantan had been ‘oppressed’ and ‘persecuted’ by Islamisation measures which infringed the rights and interests of non-Muslim Malaysians in the past 15 months
Together with other DAP leaders, I visited Pasir Mas, Tanah Merah, Machang, Kuala Krai, Gua Musang and Pulai yesterday after our arrival in Kota Bahru for our three-day visit to verify the MCA and Gerakan allegations that the Chinese in Kelantan had been ‘oppressed’ and ‘persecuted’ by Islamisation measures of the PAS-led Kelantan State Government which infringed the rights and interests of non-Muslim Malaysians in the past 15 months.
We have found widespread fear and apprehension among the Chinese in Kelantan of an impending host of Islamisation measures which will infringe their rights and interests as non-Muslim Malaysians which might be imposed in the future, such as
*Cessation of business on Fridays and during Muslim prayer times;
*Total ban on the public sale and consumption of liquor in Kelantan from July;
*Compulsory use of Jawi on signboards and advertisements;
*Ban on the use of women in advertisements; and
*Imposition of Hukum Hudud involving penalities like hand-chopping and stoning.
However, when we asked if anyone could give specific instances of Islamisation measures which had infringed the rights and interests of non-Muslims and ‘oppressed’ and ‘persecuted’ the Chinese, so that I could convey them to the Kelantan Mentri Besar, Haji Nik Aziz Nik Mat, during our meeting on Tuesday, I have not been able to come across such an instance.
This is the reason why I am sending you an urgent fax to send me within 24 hours, c/o Hotel Perdana, Fax 09-747621, by before 11 a.m. tomorrow (Tuesday 28th January 1992) five instances of ‘oppression’ and ‘persecution’ of the Chinese in Kelantan as a result of Islamisation measures by the Kelantan State Government which infringed on the rights and interests of the non-Muslims Malaysians.
I will raise these issues with the Kelantan Mentri Besar in our meeting tomorrow.
You will realise that it will be the height of irresponsibility if you cannot even furnish me with five examples of the ‘oppression’ and ‘persecution’ of the Chinese in Kelantan by Islamisation measures of the Kelantan State Government which infringed the rights and interests of non-Muslim Malaysians. This is because the MCA/Gerakan had launched a nation-wide propaganda campaign in the past few months about the Chinese in Kelantan being plunged into ‘deep waters and furnace heat’ as a result of the ‘oppression and persecution’ by the Kelantan State Government.
Is this the reason why you have not accepted my invitation to jointly visit Kelantan and meet the Kelantan Mentri Besar over the ‘oppression’ and ‘persecution’ of the Chinese in Kelantan by Islamisation measures which infringed the rights and interests of non-Muslims?
I wish to take this opportunity to remind you that my invitation to you to come to Kelantan to jointly meet the Kelantan Mentri Besar remains open until 2.30 p.m. tomorrow and I hope you will realise your responsibility to rise above political party and personal interests and accept my invitation.
(Lim Kit Siang)
Parliamentary Opposition Leader”
The urgent faxes were despatched to Liong Sik and Keng Yaik to the MCA and Gerakan Headquarters respectively in Kuala Lumpur before 9.30 a.m. this morning.
MCA and Gerakan had been very successful in creating the image that PAS is anti-Chinese and anti-non-Muslims especially outside Kelantan.
One conclusion we have reached in our first day of visit to Kelantan is that MCA and Gerakan had been very successful in creating the image that PAS is anti-Chinese and anti-non-Muslims especially among the Chinese outside Kelantan.
Outside Kelantan, the Chinese have been influenced by MCA and Gerakan to virtually form the firm and deep opinion that the Chinese in Kelantan have suffered grave oppression and persecution.
I think PAS has now got the worst image among the Chinese in the country in PAS history as anti-Chinese and anti-non-Muslim as oppressing and persecuting the Chinese in Kelantan as the result of the MCA and Gerakan propaganda campaign.
In Kelantan, the Chinese are worried and fearful that in the near future there would be a host of Islamisation measures which will oppress and persecute them and infringe non-Muslim rights and interests, although they have not been able to give the DAP delegation any instance of such oppression and persecution up to now.
Maybe there are such cases of oppression and persecution of the Chinese in Kelantan by Islamisation measures which infringe the rights of non-Muslims which have not been brought to our attention and this is why I have urgently faxed to Liong Sik and Keng Yaik to ask the MCA and Gerakan to furnish five instances each before our meeting with the Kelantan Mentri Besar tomorrow.
However, PAS must recognise the fact and reality that the Chinese in Kelantan are worried and fearful of its Islamisation measures, not for what it had implemented in the past 15 months, but for what it might implement in the future based on certain pronouncements by certain Kelantan PAS leaders.
If the Kelantan PAS Government leaders respect the rights, wishes and interests of the Chinese and non-Muslim Malaysians as they have repeatedly declared, then they must seriously address and resolve this problem of widespread apprehension and fear among the Chinese and non-Muslims about its policies and measures.
Wan Najib and Nordin Salleh should respect the verdict of the two by-elections and not take their seats in State Assembly unless they have got a fresh mandate from the voters.
Naji Wan Mohd. Najib Wan Mohamed and Haji Nordin Salleh have won the first round of their legal battle over the Limbongan and Sungei Pinang state assembly seats.
Threats of contempt and other legal consequences are being issued by the Wan Najib and Nordin, as well as Federal UMNO leaders, if they are not reinstated as State Assemblymen although appeal has been lodged against the High Court judgment to the Supreme Court.
However, although Wan Najib and Nordin Salleh have won the first round of their legal battle, they must never forget that they have not won hearts and minds of the voters of Limbongan and Sungei Pinang as shown very clearly by their decisive rejection in the two by-elections.
Whatever the final legal outcome of the case over these two seats, Wan Najib and Nordin Salleh must admit that they do not have the political morality to take their seats in the Kelantan State Assembly as Assemblymen for these two constituencies, as the voters in Limbongan and Sungei Pinang have clearly shown that they have no confidence in them as their Assemblymen.
The defeat of Wan Najib and Nordin Salleh in the people’s court in the two by-elections cannot be rectified by a legal victory, because such a legal victory does not confer political morality to both of them to take their seats as Assemblymen after being rejected by the voters in the two seats.
If the UMNO leaders believe in political morality, then Wan Najib and Nordin Salleh should not take their seats as Assemblymen for Limbongan and Sungei Pinang, unless they have a fresh and clear mandate from the two electorates by way of having new-elections.