Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, at the Tanjong DAP Parliamentary Liaison Committee Chinese New Year reception held at Penang DAP Hqrs at Lorong Kinta, Penang, on Monday, 17th February 1992 at 8 p.m.
DAP admits that MCA and Gerakan presently have the most powerful propaganda and publicity machinery in their party history
I always believe in giving credit where is due, or acknowledging the strong points of our political opponents where they have strong points.
For this reason, I am prepared to publicly admit that the MCA and Gerakan presently have the most powerful propaganda and publicity machinery in their party history.
This is why it took them only about two months since the declaration of the ‘all-out war’ on the DAP by the MCA President. Datuk Dr. Ling Liong Sik, in early October to virtually convince Malaysians that the Chinese in Kelantan have been plugged into ‘deep waters and furnace heat’, and have been oppressed and persecuted by the Islamisation measures of the PAS-led Kelantan State Government infringing non-Muslim rights and interests.
Another measure of the power, success and effectiveness of the MCA and Gerakan propaganda machinery is that it could make the overwhelming majority of the Chinese Malaysians outside Kelantan to believe in all or some of the eight allegations spread by MCA and Gerakan propagandists about the ‘oppression’ and ‘persecution’ of the Chinese in Kelantan, viz: 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.
Even DAP members and supporters were influenced by this powerful MCA and Gerakan propaganda and publicity campaign about the ‘oppression’ and ‘persecution’ of the Chinese in Kelantan, and I know there are DAP leaders at all levels who did not think that it was a good idea to send a top DAP delegation on a fact-finding visit to Kelantan.
The DAP national leaders, however, have no reservations about going to Kelantan to find out the true facts, although we have no idea which of the eight MCA and Gerakan allegations about the ‘oppression’ and ‘persecution’ of the Chinese in Kelantan would be found to be true.
DAP leaders went to Kelantan firm in our political principle, firstly, that Islamic state is acceptable and unsuitable to Malaysia’s multi-racial, multi-cultural and multi-religious democratic society; and secondly, that we will not compromise in our opposition to Islamisation measures which infringe non-Muslim rights and interests.
DAP leaders went to Kelantan prepared to do three things:
Firstly, if anyone or more of the eight MCA/Gerakan allegations of the ‘oppression’ and ‘persecution’ of the Chinese in Kelantan are found to be true, to protest to the Kelantan Mentri Besar, Nik Aziz Mat and to demand their withdrawal so as to respect non-Muslim rights and interests;
Secondly, if there is confusion and uncertainty, to seek clarification and assurance from the Kelantan Mentri Besar, Nik Aziz Nik Mat, that the PAS-led Kelantan State Government would not introduce Islamisation measures which infringe non-Muslim rights and interests; or
Thirdly, prepared to state facts as found.
In our three-day visit to Kelantan, we found that there is absolutely no truth in these eight allegations by MCA and Gerakan, and on our return, we have repeatedly challenged the MCA and Gerakan leaders to prove that anyone of these eight allegations are true – but no MCA or Gerakan Minister or leader dared to take up the challenge.
This is why I say that the MCA and Gerakan have the most powerful propaganda and publicity machinery in their party history, for they have built a nation-wide propaganda campaign based on eight lies and they had succeed in making the people in the country believe they are true.
MCA and Gerakan Ministers dare not accept invitation to DAP Chinese New Year Open House because they know their propaganda campaign of lies is dishonest, dishonourable and disgraceful
If the DAP leaders had not made a visit to Kelantan to find out the true facts, the MCA and Gerakan propaganda and publicity machinery would have continued to poison the minds of the people in Malaysia, and in particular the Chinese outside Kelantan, of the great oppression and persecution of the Chinese in Kelantan.
The lesson to the MCA/Gerakan propagandist and publicists is this: Although they can take pride in being the most successful propagandists and publicists in MCA/Gerakan history, even making the people believe their lies, they should realise that ‘truth must finally prevail’, and that their propaganda campaign, however well-planned and executed, is bound to collapse like a nouse of cards when their lies are exposed.
This may be the reason why no MCA or Gerakan Ministers dare to accept the DAP invitation to the DAP Chinese New Year ‘Open House’ in Kuala Lumpur last Thursday, for they know what they have done in the propaganda campaign about the ‘oppression’ and ‘persecution’ of the Chinese in Kelantan is most dishonest, dishonourable and disgraceful.
Minister of Youth and Sports, Annuar Musa, has no confidence in MCA and Gerakan leaders
The Youth and Sports minister, Senator Haji Annuar Musa, who has also been appointed as the Federal Government representative in Kelantan, announced yesterday that he had appointed Mr. Wee Kok Teong to set up a committee “ascertain the problems faced by the Chinese in Kelantan arising from the implementation of Islamisation policies.”(China Press)
I find this a most shocking disclosure. Is the MCA President, Datuk Dr. Ling Liong Sik and the Gerakan President, Datuk Dr. Lim Keng Yaik, aware that the announcement by Annuar Musa yesterday tantamounts to a public announcement that the UMNO has no confidence whatsoever in the assertions, statements and speeches by the MCA and Gerakan leaders for the past three months?
Is this further an admission by the top MCA and Gerakan leaders that after three months of nation-wide campaign about the ‘oppression’ and ‘persecution’ of the Chinese in Kelantan, they could not produce a single iota of evidence to Annuar Musa or the Youth and Sports Minister would not have to make a special appointment to ascertain the effects of the Islamisation measures in Kelantan on the Chinese in Kelantan. Clearly Annuar must have asked the MCA and Gerakan leaders for such evidence and received blank answers, forcing him to set up a special committee instead.