by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Penang on Tuesday, 24th March 1992:
Kit Siang asks Tan Ghim Hwa to state before the MPPP Council meeting on Thursday whether Gerakan would support the DAP in parliament to amend Section 23 of the Local Government Act.
MPPP President, Tan Ghim Hwa, challenged me last Wednesday to have the Local Government Act amended, in Parliament to open all local authorities’ committee meetings to the public.
I have accepted the challenge and announced my intention to move a private member’s bill in Parliament next month to amend Section 23 of the Local Government Act.
I am asking Tan Ghim Hwa to state before chairing the second MPPP full Council meeting on Thursday whether the Gerakan would support the DAP in Parliament to amend Section 23 of the Local Government Act to open all local authorities committee meetings to the public.
I want a public statement from Tan Ghim Hwa, for it is no use challenging me to move a motion in Parliament if the Gerakan is not prepared to support such a DAP motion.
It will be most irresponsible if Tan Ghim Hwa challenged me to move such a motion in Parliament,
and when I do so, the Gerakan not only refuses to support it but goes up to UMNO leaders to instigate them to kill the motion as by not even allowing time for it to be debated. Malaysians can still remember the time when Dr. Koh Tsu Koon helped UMNO MP’s to kill my motion in Parliament proposing the repeal of Section 21(2) of the Education Act 1961 by dragging out debate on irrelevant matters so that
the motion could not come up for debate.
If Tan Ghim Hwa is not prepared to publicly state that the Gerakan would support this DAP motion in Parliament, then his chal¬lenge was meaningless and nonsensical right from the beginning!
In this connection, the 600,000 ratepayers on the Penang Island are wondering whether Tan Ghim Hwa proposes to beat the record of his first MPPP full Council meeting, of four minutes with an even shorter second MPPP full Council meeting.
The Penang Chief Minister, Dr. Koh Tsu Koon, has advanced the theory of ‘the shorter the meeting, the greater the efficiency’.
When he defended Tan Ghim Hwa in the scandal of the four-minute MPPP full Council meeting,
Dr. Koh Tsu Koon claimed that the brief MPPP meeting reflected the amount preparation that went before the meeting.
By this logic, Tan Ghim Hwa cannot have a longer MPPP full Council meeting than the first meeting he chaired, or he would have become more inefficient in not putting as much preparation before the meeting.
In fact, by Koh Tsu Koon’s logic, Tan Ghim Hwa must always have a ‘shorter meeting than the previous one to prove that he is increasingly more efficient’
Is this what Dr. Koh Tsu Koon really meant – and is Tan Ghim Hwa therefore going to outdo himself
than the first MPPP Council meeting in having a shorter MPPP full Council meeting than four minutes?