Speech (Part 2) by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, at the DAP Bukit Mertajam Chinese New Year reception at Bukit Mertajam on Sunday, 9th February 1992 at 10 a.m.
Even Penang MCA has lost confidence in Dr. Koh Tsu Koon over the appointment of the MPPP President and is proposing that MCA take over the post
One unusual news today is the proposal by the Penang MCA, which was completely wiped out in the Parliamentary and State Assembly general elections in Penang in October 1990, demanding for the post of the President of the Majlis Perbandaran Pulau Pinang (MPPP).
The appointment of the new Majlis Perbandaran Pulau Pinang (MPPP) President is the greatest ‘headache’ of Dr. Koh Tsu Koon since becoming Chief Minister of Penang.
Over this question, the Gerakan President, Datuk Dr. Lim Keng Yaik, had come to Penang twice to publicly intervene in what is basically a Penang State Government administrative problem.
In mid-December last year, after a three-hour Gerakan Central Executive Committee meeting in Penang, Keng Yaik publicly condemned the MPPP as “impotent and decedent”, and blamed it for causing the Gerakan to lose four State Assembly seats on the island during the 1990 general elections.
It was clear that Keng Yaik was publicly pressurising the Penang State Government to appoint a Gerakan man to be MPPP President. The question is why should Keng Yaik put public pressure on the Penang State Government when the Chief Minister is Dr. Koh Tsu Koon from Gerakan. The only answer is that although he is Chief Minister, Dr. Koh is not strong enough to appoint a Gerakan appointee as MPPP President.
This was why the political circles inside Penang as well as outside were not surprised when the Penang Deputy Chief Minister and Penang UMNO State Secretary, Dr. Ibrahim Saad, made public comments which were clearly directed at Keng Yaik, when he said: “Today, there is speculation of a politician or administrator being appointed as president of the Penang local government. Next, there will be further speculation that he will be a Malay, Chinese or Indian. When are all these going to stop?”
In early January, the Keng Yaik was given a public slap in the face when the Penang State Executive Council not only retained Datuk Kamaruzzaman Shariff as MPPP President, but re-appointed 20 of the 24 MPPP Councillors after Keng Yaik had publicly denounced them as ‘impotent and decadent’.
A week later, Keng Yaik returned to Penang a second time and again publicly pressurised the Penang State Government to appoint a Gerakan nominee to e the MPPP President.
This is the first time where the president of a political party had to repeatedly put public pressure on his own Chief Minister to carry out the Gerakan’s policy position – and raises the question whether the Penang Government is a Gerakan Government or UMNO Government.
But Keng Yaik was given this second slap in the face when Koh Tsu Koon announced at the end of January that although Datuk Kamaruzzaman Shariff was transferred as Penang state Secretary to Kuala Lumpur on February 1 as deputy director-general of PSD, Datuk Kamaruzzaman would continue as Acting MPPP President till end of February.
Kamaruzzaman made history in local government in running the MPPP by remote control from Kuala Lumpur
Datuk Kamaruzzaman has made history in local government in Malaysia, for he is the first person to run a Municipal Council by remote control, running the MPPP from Kuala Lumpur.
The Penang Chief Minister and the State Executive Council knew months in advance of the transfer of Datuk Kamaruzzaman to Kuala Lumpur on February 1. Why couldn’t a new MPPP President be appointed immediately on Datuk Kamaruzzaman’s transfer on Feb. 1, instead of asking him to continue to run MPPP from Kuala Lumpur by ‘remote control’?
DAP calls on Tsu Koon to make public the reservations and objections to the appointment of Tan Ghim Hwa as MPPP President
Clearly, there are many strong and powerful reservations and objections to the appointment of the Gerakan ‘hot-favourite’ Tan Ghim Hwa as MPPP President, and the people of Penang are entitled to know what are these reservations and objections, and from who – so that they could be weighed and considered by the people of Penang as well.
I do not know whether Keng Yaik has to come a Penang a third time to put public pressure on Dr. Koh Tsu Koon to appoint a Gerakan appointee as MPPP President.
But now, even the Penang MCA has lost confidence in Koh Tsu Koon in the appointment of the MPPP President. The Penang MCA statement said ‘the repeatedly delays in the appointment of the MPPP President is ‘all bad and no good’ for the Barisan Nasional, and proposed that the MCA should take over the post of MPPP President.
The Penang MCA statement said that only the MCA can provide a MPPP President which would ensure that the MPPP is no more ‘incompetent and decadent’.
A Gerakan leader who had confessed over a year ago that he ‘could not make the grade’ has again ‘not yet made the grade’
Over a year ago, a Gerakan leader confessed that he ‘could not make the grade’. Despite his attempts in the past 12 months to make a political mark for himself, this Gerakan leader has still failed to ‘make the grade’. Until this Gerakan leader has ‘made the grade’, no one is likely to take him seriously – including people in his own party.
Last year, because of my speech at the DAP Bukit Mertajam Chinese New Year party, I received a lawyer’s letter threatening me with legal action if I do not comply with his demand within seven days. When I instructed my lawyer, Karpal Singh, to reply to this lawyer who is desperately trying ‘to make the grade’ that he is authorised to accepted to accept the legal suit on my behalf, there was total silence and I have not heard from this lawyer since.
I do not know whether I will receive another lawyer’s letter after my speech today.