By Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Fri, 13th August, 1993:
I have instructed my lawyers to initiate defamation proceedings against Star for its libellous column today which insinuated that I had misappropriated funds collected for DAP Save-Bukit China and Oppose-Quit-Rent campaign
I have instructed my lawyers to initiate defamation proceedings against Star for its libellous column today which insinuated that I had misappropriated funds collected for DAP Save-Bukit China and Oppose-Quit-Rent campaign in 1984.
That political column in the Star today, under the heading “Kit Siang must practise what he preaches”, said:
“The Democratic Action Party must really come clean over its collections for the Save Bukit China fund. As the donations came from the people, Lim Kit Siang has a duty to make this knowledge public.
“Kit Siang is just being arrogant and obstinate in refusing to make clear this issue. He had often accused the Barisan Nasional Government of arrogance for not responding to some of his question both inside and outside Parliament.
“What he is doing now is no different. One sees little wrong in disclosing the true amount he has collected in a series of dinners and other activities organised to pay for the quit rent for the hill.
“If he expects others to follow his exacting standard of transparency in what others are doing surely it is only natural that he plays by the same rules. The delay may create the impression that he has something to hide.
“People expect both the ruling party and the opposition to be answerable to them in case involving cash donations. Now that the trustees no longer need the money for the quit rent, such collections should be handed back to the donors.
“The problem has been resolved by MCA vice president Lim Ah Leck after discussions with the Malacca Government to drastically reduce the quit rent to be paid by the Bukit China trustees.
“The Opposition has been politicising the issue for several years and managed to get some political mileage out of the controversy. It is a matter of interest and concern to the Chinese community.
“It is pointless to challenge MCA president Ling Liong Sik to a debate on this issue. The donations are no longer required and so the proper course of action for Kit Siang and the DAP is to return the money to the people.
“The only reason this cannot be done is perhaps that no receipts were issued when the donations were made. If this should be the case, then it was a curious way of raising money for a worthy cause.
“It is an offence for any individual or group to collect money from the people for a specific cause and uses the proceeds for other purposes. So it is better for the DAP to put the matter to rest as soon as possible.”
The Star political column today is not a piece of fair comment but a malicious political writing as part of the MCA character-assassination campaign to undermine and destroy the reputation of DAP leaders.
Star knows better than its readers that there is completely no basis in the MCA insinuations that there was any misappropriation One-Dollar Fund
The Star political column today, among other things, makes the insinuation that I have pocketted the money from the DAP Save-Bukit China Oppose-$ 2 million Quit-Rent One-Person One-Dollar Fund in 1984, that I had committed criminal breach of trust in that monies collected to appose the $2 million quit rent demand for Bukit China had been used for other purposes, and that I am hypocritical in my demands for public accountability and transparency with regard to management of public funds.
The Star political column today reeks with malice, which destroys its plea of their of fair comment, because from the various DAP speeches and press statements given to it in the past, in particular in the past one month, it should know of the completely baseless nature of the MCA insinuations of misappropriated of public funds in connection with the DAP Save-Bukit China One-Person One-Dollar Fund.
In fact, the Star should know better than its readers why the MCA President, Datuk Ling Liong Sik dared not attend the ‘Lim Kit Siang-Ling Liong Sik mutual questioning session’ in Malacca on July 10 when I accepted his challenge to announce details of the DAP Save-Bukit China One-Person One-Dollar Fund within a week.
The reason was that Liong Sik could not ‘come clean’ on the numerous MCA financial scandals, including his personal Bolton Finance scandal!
The Star political column today was not dishonest, unscrupulous and defamatory in making the insinuation that I had withheld money from DAP Save-Bukit China Oppose-$2 million Quit Rent Fund when Stars knows that the DAP had sent a cheque exceeding RM33,000 to Cheng Hoon Teng, the Bukit China trustees, for beautification of Bukit China.
The Star political column today has also been most biased, tendentious and defamatory in distorting the issue involved, such as:
Suggesting that the DAP had collected monies “in a serious of dinners and other activities organised to pay for the quit rent for the hill” when this is completely untrue;
Falsely claiming that the problem had been resolved by the MCA vice-president Lim Ah Leck after discussions with the Malacca Government;
Falsely claiming that I had challenged MCA President Ling Liong Sik to a public debate on the issue. What I had suggested was a ‘mutual questioning session’ to allow Liong Sik to ask whatever questions he wants about the DAP Save-Bukit China Fund, and for me to ask questions about the scores of MCA Financial scandals – especially in connection with Liong Sik’s Bolton Finance scandal;
Being utterly dishonest and unprincipled in being totally silent on the numerous MCA financial scandals while making insinuations about the DAP Save-Bukit China Oppose-$2 million-Quit Rent One-Person One-Dollar Fund which had been publicly announced way back in February 1985 and the proceeds of which had been sent to Cheng Hoon Teng.
The DAP has nothing to hide, and this is way I have decided to take legal action against Star for defamation for its political column today.
In the defamation suit, Malaysians will know that Liong Sik conspired with Rahim Tamby Cik in the Malacca State Government ultimatum in November 1984 to confiscate Bukit China unless RM2 million quit rent was paid within one month
In taking Star to court, I am giving Star and its political masters- the MCA- the opportunity to prove in open court that I had misappropriated funds collected during the Save Bukit China Oppose $2 million Quit Rent One-Person One-Dollar Fund in 1984.
I would take the opportunity of the defamation suit to let Malaysians know that the present MCA President, Datuk Ling Liong Sik had conspired with the Malacca Chief Minister, now Tan Sri Rahim Tamby Cik, in the Malacca State Government ultimatum in November 1984 to confiscate Bukit China unless RM2 million for 17 years’ quit rent and arrears was paid within one month.
It was this ultimatum and threat of confiscation of Bukit China that led to the launching of the DAP Save-Bukit China Oppose-RM2 million Quit-Rent One-Person One-Dollar Fund in December 1984.