Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, at the Johore DAP State Committee to review Party Reform held at DAP Taman Ungku Tunku Aminah branch, Johore Bahru on Saturday, 29th February 1992 at 4 p.m.
DAP to hold ceramahs in Jerai to expose the campaign of lies by MCA against the DAP about the ‘oppression’ and ‘persecution’ of the Chinese in Kelantan
Two days ago, the DAP gave the MCA 48 hours to admit and stop its baseless attacks against the DAP in the Jerai parliamentary by-election, in particular that the Chinese in Kelantan are in ‘deep waters and furnace heat’ and that the DAP must near responsibility for the ‘oppression’ and ‘persecution’ of the Chinese in Kelantan by the PAS-led State Government.
I had warned that the DAP may be compelled to explain the true facts to the people of Jerai, in particular the Chinese voters, if the MCA is unrepentant in its campaign of lies and falsehoods against the DAP.
I do not expect the MCA leadership to have the intellectual honesty and political courage to admit within the 48 hours that it had been conducting a campaign of lies against the DAP or admit that the eight allegations MCA Ministers have been spreading about the ‘persecution’ and ‘oppression’ of the Chinese in Kelantan have turned out to be their eight big ‘condemnations’ because they are all lies, namely:
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.
I had however expected the MCA leadership to take note of the DAP’s warning and stop its baseless attacks on the DAP in Jerai. The DAP would have been prepared to let the matter rest, for the 48 hours warning would have achieved some effect.
But I have been proved wrong. The MCA leadership has decided to continue its campaign of lies and baseless attacks against the DAP in Jerai by-election and is in fact challenging the DAP to go to Jerai.
It is very significant that the political secretary to the MCA President, Lim Si Cheng, led the attack on the DAP in Jerai after the DAP’s 48-hour warning.
Lim Si Cheng repeated the MCA line that the DAP had become the defender of PAS, and that the 48-hours notice was an excuse for the DAP to campaign for PAS in the Jerai by-election.
The DAP has decided to hold ceramahs in Jerai to expose the campaign of lies of the MCA for the following reasons:
Firstly, we cannot allow the MCA to create a ‘heads I win, tails you lose’ situation – where the DAP is accused of causing the ‘oppression’ and ‘persecution’ of the Chinese in Kelantan in the Jerai by-election, when the allegations are unfounded.
Secondly, this will be a lesson to MCA that it will not be allowed to continue to make baseless attacks against the DAP, and that the DAP will counter even in areas where the DAP has no branches or organisation like Jerai.
Thirdly, to prove the MCA leaders and strategists wrong that they could attack the DAP with impunity in Jerai, believing that the DAP will be afraid to counter its campaign of lies in Jerai for fear of being accused of supporting PAS.
Fourthly, to explain to the people of Jerai the stand of the DAP, the visit of the DAP leaders to Kelantan and our uncompromising opposition to the concept of an Islamic State and all Islamisation measures which infringe non-Muslim rights and interests, whether UMNO or PAS.
The DAP will hold ceramahs in Jerai not to support PAS in the Jerai by-election, but to expose the campaign of lies and falsehoods of the MCA leadership. It is up to the Chinese voters in Jerai to decide whether MCA leaders who could tell blatant lies and falsehoods without any sense of shame can be trusted or not.
Kedah DAP leaders have been instructed to make preparations for holding ceramahs in Jerai by-election. If the Kedah DAP leaders could organise ceramahs in Jerai before the polling day on Wednesday, March 4, then I will visit Jerai with other DAP leaders to expose the campaign of lies and falsehoods of the MCA in Jerai.