Silence of Gerakan over Speaker’s proposal to scrap two-thirds majority for constitutional amendment and its replacement with a simple majority is most ‘ominous’ and ‘extraordinary’


by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Penang on Thursday, 17th June, 1993:

Silence of Gerakan over Speaker’s proposal to scrap two-thirds majority for constitutional amendment and its replacement with a simple majority is most ‘ominous’ and ‘extraordinary’

The silence of Gerakan over Speaker’s proposal to scrap two-thirds majority for constitutional amendment and its replacement with a simple majority is most ‘ominous’ and ‘extraordinary’.

This is particularly so when there are certain leaders in the Gerakan who bear the special mission ‘To attack into the Barisan Nasional to rectify the Barisan Nasional’.

Have these Gerakan leaders, like Kerk Choo Ting, Dr. Koh Tsu Koon and Dr. Kang Chin Seng become so ‘totally rectified by the Barisan Nasional’ that they have no objections to the replacement of the two-thirds majority requirement with a simple majority rule for constitutional amendments as recently suggested by the Speaker, Tan Sri Zahir Ismail?

Do these ‘totally rectified’ Gerakan leaders understand the implications and repercussions when the two-thirds requirement for constitutional amendments is replaced by a simple majority rule?

MCA Deputy President and Health Minister, Datuk Lee Kim Sai, is the first Barisan Nasional leader to express his opposition to the proposal to replace the two-thirds majority requirement for constitutional amendments with a simple majority rule. Kim Sai should be commended for his forthright position except that his days in the MCA leaderships are numbered.

Sak Cheng Lum’s statement is representative of MCA mainstream leadership while Kim Sai is only giving his personal position

It is significant, however, that Kim Sai made it clear that this was his ‘personal’ position. He is being very careful as although he is MCA Deputy President, he has no powers to speak on behalf of the MCA at all.

Everybody knows that Kim Sai is not in the mainstream of MCA politics and although he had already announced that he would not contest in the next general elections and would then leaves the Cabinet, it is an open question as to whether he would be allowed to remain in the Cabinet until the next general elections.

In terms of being representative of MCA leadership, the MCA Deputy Secretary-General, Dr. Sak Cheng Lum, for instance definitely speaks with greater authority than Kim Sai.

This is why Dr. Sak Cheng Lum’s statement two days ago that the MCA would consider the Speaker’s proposal to scarp the two-thirds majority rule for constitutional amendments and its replacement by a simple majority rule is more significant that Kim Sai’s personal opposition to the proposal.

The people are entitled to a straight-forward answer from the MCA mainstream political leadership as to whether the MCA is considering the Speaker’s proposal to abolish the two-thirds requirement for constitutional amendments or whether it rejects the proposal altogether.

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