by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Penang on Friday, 4td June 1993:
48-hour ultimatum to Dr. Koh Tsu Koon to explain his dishonest, undemocratic and unconstitutional attempt to violate the six-month rule requiring the Penang state assembly to meet at least once in six months
This is the first time in 30 months as Penang Chief Minister that Dr. Koh Tsu Koon has literally ‘disappeared’ from public view because of his inability to answer Penang DAP’s demands to explain his dishonest, undemocratic and unconstitutional attempt to violate the six-month rule requiring the Penang State Assembly to meet at least once in six months.
Nine days ago, I first exposed Koh Tsu Koon’s decision to violate the Penang state Constitution and the Penang State Assembly Standing Orders on the six-month rule by separating the official opening of the Penang State Assembly and its working State Assembly sittings.
The Penang Yang di Pertuan Negeri, Tun Dr. Hamdan Sheikh Tahir, will declare open the Penang State Assembly on Saturday, 12th June 1993 at 9.30 a.m., after which the State Assembly would be adjourned immediately for 11 days and would only start its working session on 23rd June 1993.
If the official opening and the working meetings of the Penang State Assembly could be separated in this fashion, then it could be separated not by 11 days, but even by 12 months – as having the offivial opening on the 1st January of the year and then adjourning the State Assembly to December 31 for the working meeting!
Koh Tsu Koon had tried to surprise Penang DAP Assemblymen with the 11-day adjournment of the Penang State Assembly on June 12 itself
What Dr. Koh Tsu Koon has decided is dishonest, undemocratic and unconstitutional for the following reasons:
‘Dishonest’ because he had tried to conceal his undemocratic and unconstitutional action from DAP Penang Assemblymen, hoping to surprise them with the 11-day adjournment on June 12 itself after the opening by the Yang di Partuan Negeri, giving them no time to react, object or protest;
However, Koh Tsu Koon’s ‘dishonest’ ploy failed because we have our own sources of information. If Koh Tsu Koon had honourable intentions about separating the official opening of the State Assembly from its working meetings, why didn’t he consult with the Penang DAP Assembly Opposition first?
In fact, even now, nine days after my first public expose, Tsu Koon had not acted honestly and gentlemanly in coming forward to explain why he had asked the State Exco last week to endorse his dishonest, undemocratic and unconstitutional proposal.
‘Undemocratic’ because he is trying to circumvent the ‘six-month rule’ which is aimed to hold the Chief Minister and the State Exco responsible and accountable to the Penang state Assembly for all their actions; and not to allow them to flout the principles of accountability by the simple expedient of not calling State Assembly meetings, and only after long intervals.
‘Unconstitutional’ because it is a clear and specific violation of the Penang State Constitution and the Penang State Assembly Standing Orders which requires the Penang State Assembly to meet at least once in six months.
Penang DAP Assemblymen are giving Dr. Koh Tsu Koon 48 hours to explain his dishonest, undemocratic and unconstitutional decision to violate the six-month rule in the Penang State Constitution and the Penang State Assembly Standing Orders.
If he continues to keep his ‘silence’ on the expiry of this 48-hour ultimatum, then the DAP Penang Assemblymen will adopt a series of measures to oppose this dishonest, undemocratic and unconstitutional action of the Penang Chief Minister.