by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Friday, January 31, 1992:
Why had the Kelantan Chinese organisation leaders like Chua Chee Seng and Tan Chee Joo kept silent for the past few months over nation-wide allegations that that the Chinese cannot eat or sell pork, drink beer publicly and Chinese women must cover their heads in Kelantan?
The Vice Chairman of the Kelantan Chinese Chamber of Commerce, Chua Chee Seng, had said that the visit of the DAP delegation to Kelantan ‘cannot help the Chinese to resolve the problems faced by the Chinese community’.
The Chairman of the Kelantan Chinese Schools Boards of Management, Tan Chee Joo, also said that the visit of the DAP delegation cannot produce ‘positive results’ for the Chinese community in Kelantan.
What has baffled me is why Kelantan Chinese organisation leaders like Chua Chee Seng and Tan Chee Joo have kept silent when in the past few months, nation-wide charges had been made that non-Muslim rights in Kelantan had been seriously infringed, and that the Chinese in Kelantan
(i) cannot eat or sell pork;
(ii) cannot drink beer publicly but must ‘hide and steathily’ drink;
(iii) cannot buy or sell liquor;
(iv) must stop business during Muslim prayers;
(v) cannot go to unisex saloons;
(vi) Chinese women must cover their heads and wear Islamic attire;
(vii) women cannot work night shift; and
(viii) Chinese signboards must be taken down and replaced with Jawi characters.
If these eight serious charges of the infringement of the rights of the Chinese and non-Muslims by the Islamisation measures of the PAS-led Kelantan State Government are true, then the Kelantan Chinese organisation leaders like Chua Chee Seng and Tan Chee Joo should have the courage to publicly say so. If these eights allegations are untrue, they too should have the responsibility and courage to publicly deny them.
Or have the Kelantan Chinese organisation leaders to wait until a DAP delegation visits Kelantan on a fact-finding mission before they realise that these eight allegations are not true?
The most important quality for a Chinese organisation leader is to have the courage to speak the truth, regardless of the consequences. It would appear that Kelantan Chinese organisation leaders like Chua Chee Seng and Tan Chee Joo lack this quality even now, as the Chinese in Malaysia are still waiting to hear from them whether the eight allegations about the infringement of the non-Muslim rights by the Kelantan State Government are true or false.