Comments to reporters by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, after attending the Penang Chinese Assembly Hall Chinese New Year get-together in Penang on Wednesday, 5th February 1992 at 10 a.m
It is Lim Keng Yaik who has ‘gone into fire and entered evil’ when Gerakan wants the Chinese outside Kelantan to believe in the eight allegations of ‘oppression’ and ‘persecution’ of the Chinese Kelantan when they are untrue
I had hoped that after the fact-finding visit of the DAP delegation to Kelantan early last week, the MCA and Gerakan leaders will be more rational and responsible and have the individual, party and ethnic self-respect to stop making wild and baseless allegations against the DAP.
My hope has proved to be very short-lived. On Saturday, Gerakan President, Datuk Dr. Lim Keng Yaik, made a most intemperate attack against me and accusing me of “so blind in politiking as to go into fire and enter evil”.
Keng Yaik said that in the past I had attacked Islamic extremism but that I have now become the defender of PAS.
The reason the DAP delegation visited Kelantan was to verify and ascertain, among other things, the truth of the MCA and Gerakan allegations about the ‘oppression’ and ‘persecution’ of the Chinese in Kelantan by the Islamisation measures of the PAS-led Kelantan State Government infringing their rights and interests.
We found, for instance, that the following eight allegations about the ‘oppression’ and ‘persecution’ of the Chinee in Kelantan, are untrue, namely that:
1. The Chinese in Kelantan cannot eat or sell pork;
2. They cannot drink beer publicly but must ‘hide and drink steathily’;
3. They cannot buy or sell liquor;
4. They must stop business during Muslim prayers;
5. They cannot go to unisex saloons;
6. Chinese women must cover their heads and wear Islamic attire;
7. Chinese women cannot work night shift; and
8. Chinese business signboards must be taken down and replaced with Jawi characters.
How did I go into fire and enter evil when I only reported what I saw, heard and learnt from the Chinese in Kelantan during the three-day visit of the DAP delegation to Kelantan?
Is Keng Yaik suggesting that I would not have ‘gone into fire and entered into evil’ if I had lied and announces at the end of my visit to Kelantan that all these eight allegations were true?
It is Keng Yaik, who for the sake of remaining in the good books of UMNO, who has ‘gone into fire and entered evil’ in persisting in wanting the Chinese outside Kelantan to believe that these eight allegations about the ‘oppression’ and ‘persecution’ of the Chinese in Kelantan are true.
If Keng Yaik had proof that any of these eight allegations are true, he would have flown to Kota Bahru with such proof during the visit of the DAP delegation to Kelantan, even if I had not extended an open invitation to him.
Keng Yaik is doing the greatest disservice to the cause of a secular Malaysia if he convinces Muslims to believe that opposition to a theocratic Islamic state is based lies and falsehoods like the eight Gerakan allegations of ‘oppression’ and ‘persecution’ of Chinese in Kelantan
The DAP’s stand against Islamic extremism and opposition to Islamic State remains unchanged. Keng Yaik seems to think that the way to show one’s opposition to Islamic extremism and opposition to Islamic State is to concoct and spread lies, such as the eight allegations about the ‘oppression’ and ‘persecution’ of the Chinese in Kelantan which are untrue and baseless.
Let me tell Keng Yaik that he is doing the greatest disservice to the cause of a secular Malaysia if he succeeds in convincing Muslims that there is no valid reason to oppose a theocratic Islamic state in Malaysia because the reasons given so far are just lies and falsehoods, like the eight allegations of ‘oppression’ and ‘persecution’ of the Chinese in Kelantan.
The people who see has really ‘gone into fire and entered evil’ as a result of irresponsible politiking.
On the same night as Keng Yaik was attacking me in Lenggong, the MCA Secretary-General Dr. Ting Chew Peh, attacked the DAP and in Gopeng and repeated the MCA charges about the oppression and persecution of the Chinese in Kelantan.
Obviously, Ting Chew Peh dare not say which one or whether all the eight MCA allegations about the Chinese not allowed to eat or sell pork, cannot drink beer publicly, cannot sell liquor, Chinese women must cover their head and cannot work night-shift, Chinese must stop business during Muslim prayers and must take down their signboards to be replaced with Jawi is true in Kelantan.
MCA and Gerakan leaders have said that there was no need for the MCA President, Datuk Dr. Ling Liong Sik and the Gerakan President, Datuk Dr. Lim Keng Yaik, to accept my invitation to them to visit Kelantan on the ground that the MCA and Gerakan Ministers and leaders had made many trips to Kelantan already.
The trouble with these trips by the MCA and Gerakan Ministers and leaders is that they do not go down to the ground to meet the people and find out the true facts. They just cocooned themselves in the air-conditioned comfort of their luxurious hotels and the company of their sycopants to ‘steathily drink beer’ to concoct lies and falsehoods to the Chinese outside Kelantan.
DAP prepared to have regular dialogues with MCA and Gerakan, just as DAP leaders are prepared to have dialogues with UMNO and PAS leaders
As we are only in the second day of the Chinese New Year of the Monkey, I do not want to say unkind things but to make a positive proposal.
I propose that the DAP, MCA and Gerakan leaders have regular dialogues on the problems faced by the people, particularly the Chinese in Malaysia.
The Islamic State and Islamisation measures detrimental to non-Muslim rights and interests, for instance, are very serious problems, and they should not be reduced to a farce by MCA and Gerakan leaders.
The DAP is always prepared to have dialogues with other political parties, whether MCA, Gerakan, UMNO or even PAS.
I hope that the MCA and Gerakan leaders can give a positive response to this proposal.
Hope that Liong Sik and Keng Yaik will give positive response to DAP proposal for a Three Lim ‘Year of Monkey’ Declaration on Islamic State and Islamisation measures
On the eve of the Chinese New Year of the Monkey, I proposed to Liong Sik and Keng Yaik that the MCA, Gerakan and DAP conclude a Three-Lim ‘Year of the Monkey’ Declaration on the three parties uncompromising rejection of the Islamic State concept and uncompromising opposition to Islamisation measures detrimental to the rights and interests of non-Muslim Malaysians.
I hope that Liong Sik and Keng Yaik will give positive response to this DAP proposal for a Three-Lim ‘Year of the Monkey’ Declaration. We can sign this Three-Lim ‘Year of the Money Declaration’ on Islamic State and Islamisation measures any date before Chap Goh Mei on 18th February 1992, as Chinese New Year celebrations last 15 days.
DAP is prepared to enter into such a public declaration on Islamic State and Islamisation measures and commit itself because our stand on them is clear and unequivocal. If MCA and Gerakan’s stand on Islamic State and Islamisation measures are as principled and honourable as that of DAP, then there is no reason for Liong Sik and Keng Yaik to reject the proposal of a Three-Lim ‘Year of the Monkey’ Declaration on Islamic State and Islamisation measures.