by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Penang on Tuesday, June 8, 1993:
Tsu Koon should not get too emotional and hysterical over his failure to get two-thirds majority support in the Penang State Assembly last November to amend the State Constitution to increase three State Assembly seats, and should regard it as a lesson instead of as a humiliation
I am surprised by the emotional and hysterical reaction of Penang Chief Minister, Dr. Koh Tsu Koon to my invitation to him last Saturday to create history by ensuring that the 33-member Penang State Assembly unanimously support the DAP private member’s bill to amend the Penang State Constitution to increase six additional state assembly constituencies from 33 to 39 and the DAO motion asking Parliament to increase two additional Parliamentary constituencies from 11 to 13.
I had also said that I was prepared to meet Dr. Koh Tsu Koon to finds way whereby the Barisan Nasional Penang State Government and the Penang DAP opposition could take a common stand in the Penang State Assembly for the good and welfare of the people of Penang.
Dr. Koh Tsu Koon’s reaction yesterday was most emotional and hysterical. He said he was not prepared to meet me unless I agree to three conditions, namely:
Firstly, that I agree to the Barisan Nasional proposal last November for an increase of only three state assembly seats but no single parliamentary seat increase for Penang;
Secondly, that I must give this agreement ‘on white paper and black ink’;
Thirdly, that I make a statutory declaration that I would only agree to accept the Barisan Nasional’s original proposal of increase of three State Assembly seats.
I have met the present and previous Prime Ministers, many present and former Cabinet Ministers, many present and former Chief Ministers or Mentri-Mentri Besar, and nobody had imposed such ridiculous conditions for a meeting.
Dr. Koh Tsu Koon had said that he and the Penang Barisan Nasional State Exco members are not afraid to convene State Assembly meetings to face Penang DAP State Assemblymen, but if so, why has he laid down such ridiculous conditions for a mere meeting?
A normal and straight-thinking person would have realized that it would reflect most adversely on a person’s emotional stability and political judgment to publicly impose such ridiculous conditions for a meeting.
It is clear that Tsu Koon is still very emotional and hysterical whenever he is reminded of his defeat in the Penang State Assembly last November to secure two-thirds majority for the passage of the 1992 Penang State Constitution Amendment Bill to increase three state assembly seats and he would lose his normally good sense of judgment.
I would advise Tsu Koon to regard his failure to get two-thirds majority support in the Penang State Assembly last November to amend the State Constitution to increase three State Assembly seats as a good political lesson rather than as a public humiliation.
The political lesson to Tsu Koon is that when he heads a government which does not command two-thirds majority in the legislature, he should consult with the Opposition to work out a consensus before introducing any constitutional amendment.
Furthermore, his proposal to amend the State Constitution must be for the good of the people of Penang.
If there is a state referendum, overwhelming majority of Penangites would support DAP proposal of an increase of two parliamentary and six state seats
On the issue of increase of state assembly seats, I have no doubt that if there is a referendum among the people of Penang as to whether they support the Barisan Nasional Penang State Government proposal of having only an increase of three State Assembly seats with no increase of parliamentary seat, or the DAP proposal of having an increase of six state assembly seats and two Parliamentary seats, the overwhelming majority would support the DAP proposal.
Can Koh Tsu Koon give any convincing reason why he is sticking to the unpopular and unacceptable proposal of increase of three State Assembly seats with no increase of parliamentary seats and for his refusal to accept the DAP’s proposal for an increase of two parliamentary and six state assembly seats?
The only reason which Tsu Koon has for not wanting to accept the Penang DAP proposal is his pride and ego – but pride and ego must not become state policy and stand in the way of what is good for the people of Penang!
I would urge Dr. Koh Tsu Koon to set aside his pride and ego, and in the interests and welfare of the people and state of Penang, take the initiative to get the State Exco to endorse the Penang DAP proposal in the forthcoming State Assembly that there be an increase of six state assembly seats and two parliamentary seats for Penang State.