Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, at the Chinese New Year reception organised by Bukit Mertajam DAP Branches at Permatang Tinggi on Sunday, February 13, 1994 at 8 p.m.
DAP calls on Tsu Koon to summon a March meeting cf Penang State Assembly and present a supplementary estimates Bill to make an annual grant of RM200.000 a year for each Chinese Independent Secondary School in Penang retrospective to 1991
Last Tuesday, Penang Chief Minister, Dr. Koh Tsu Koon said in Kota Kinabalu that the Barisan Nasional manifesto for the Sabah state general election showed that Barisan leaders had an understanding of Sabah and its people.
Unfortunately, as Penang Chief Minister, Tsu Koon does not seem to understand the needs of the people and state of Penang.
For instance, the Barisan Nasional had promised RM30 million for the Chinese schools in Sabah – RM25 million for the Chinese primary schools and RM5 million for the nine Chinese Independent Secondary Schools.
The people of Penang have a right to ask Tsu Koon why the Barisan Nasional could offer RM5 million for the Chinese Independent Secondary Schools for ona election, while it had not given any money for the Chinese Independent Secondary Schools in Penang after eight general elections in the last 37 years?
Why couldn’t the Barisan Nasional understand the needs of Penang and its people when it claims to understand the needs of Sabah and Sabahans?
It would appear that the only way the Barisan Nasional could be made to understand the needs of Penang and Penangites is for the Barisan Nasional to lose power in Penang state, for in its eagerness to regain power in Penang the Barisan Nasional would make promises to Penangites which would exceed all the promises it is now making in Sabah.
As the only Chinese Chief Minister in Malaysia, Tsu Koon should be ashamed of himself that he had refused to make state government, grants to the Chinese Independent Secondary Schools in the State,
During the first Penang State Assembly meeting on 24th December 1990, the DAP Assemblyman for Berapit, Wong Hang Yoke, moved a motion resolving that the new Penang Chief Minister, Dr. Koh Tsu Koon, should make annual financial allocations to the Chinese Independent Secondary Schools in Penang in accordance with Article 152(1 Mb) of the Federal Constitution.
The motion was defeated by 18 to 14 votes – with all 18 to 14 DAP Assemblymen voting for it. Among those who voted against this resolution was the Penang Chief Minister, Dr. Koh Tsu Koon, Gerakan Exco members, Dr. Kang Chin Seng, Dr. Goh Cheng Teik, Kee, Phaik Chin and Gerakan Assemblymen Goik Hock Lai, Dr. Teng Hock Nam and Lim Chien Aun.
The votes of all the seven Gerakan Assemblymen in the Penang State Assembly opposing the motion that the Penang Chief Minister make annual financial allocation to the Chinese Independent Secondary Schools in Penang is recorded in the officlal report of the Penang State Assembly on 24th December 1990, This represented the most, shameful and dishonourable betrayal of “the hopes of the people of Penang by the Gerakan Assemblymen.
This betrayal is all the more greater when the people of Penang remembered that Dr. Koh Tsu Koon and Dr. Kang Chin Seng had declared in 1982 that they were Chinese educationists who had ‘attacked into the Barisan Nasional tc rectify the Barisan Na sional’. It is clear that Tsu Koon and Chin Seng had not only failed to rectify the Barisan Nasional,- but both of them had been completely ‘rectified’ by the Barisan Nasional.
Tsu Koon should declare latest by February 18 whether he is prepared to table such an supplemen tary estimates Bill to the Penang State Assembly
Now that Tsu Koon has gone to Sabah and seen for himself the Barisan Nasional promise of RM5 million to the Chi nese Independent Secondary Schools in the state, he should fully ‘rectify’ the wrongs the seven Gerakan Assemblymen had done to the Chinese Independent Secondary Schools in Penang in December 1990 in rejecting the DAP motion.
DAP calls on Tsu Koon to summon a March meeting of the Penang State Assembly and present a supplementary estimates Bill to make an annual grant, of RM200,000 to each Chinese Independent Secondary School in Penang, which should be retrospective to 1991.
This means that when this Bill is passed, each Chinese Independent Secondary School will receive arants totalling RM800,000.
Tsu Koon should declare latest by 18th February whether the Penang State Government is prepared to present such a supple¬mentary estimates Bill to the Penang State Assembly.
This is to let the voters of Sabah to know the stand of the Penang State Government before they cast their votes in the Sabah state general election which will help them to nudge whether Barisan Nasional election promises are meant to be taken seriously or otherwise.
Proposal for the rotation of post of Chief Minis ter of Sabah among the three communities is very attractive, but what is the use of a two-year Chi nese Chief Minister if he has no real powers?
The Prirne Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed has promised that if the Barisan Nasional topples the PBS Govern ment in the Sabah state general election, the post of the Chief Minister of Sabah will be rotated among the three main communit ies in Sabah.
The proposal for the rotation of the post of Chief Minister of Sabah among the three communities is very attractive, but what is the use of a two-year Chinese Chief Minister If he has no real powers?
In Penang, for instance, Dr. Koh Tsu Koon is the Chief Minister, but everyone knows that the real power in the State Government is the Deputy Chief Minister from UMNO, Dr, Ibrahim Saad.
In fact, from the series of MPPP scandals like the Hotel Metropole, Taman Midland Relau Indoor Stadium, scandals, the people of psnang have seen very clearly that Tsu Koon has even less powers than the MPPP President, Datuk Tan Gim Hwa.
What the people really want is not only a Chinese Chief Minister, but a Chinese Chief Minister with real and full powers!