Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, at the Penang Tanjong 3 Dinner held at Park Inn, Penang on Sunday, March 6, 1994 at 8 p.m.
DAP wants ‘major liberalisation’ which will recognise merit as the basis for appointment and promotion for government and quasi-government positions
In the past three years, there have been certain ‘liberalisation’ in economic and educational measures.
However, these minor and limited ‘liberalisation’ are not enough, for what the DAP and the people want are ‘major liberalisations’ in the entire spectrum in nation-building policies, whether political, economic, educational, social, cultural or religious.
In the next few months, the DAP will be spelling out the meaning of the ‘major liberalisations’ that we want the Barisan Nasional Government to adopt
Tonight, I want to refer to one aspect of ‘major liberalisation’, namely the adoption of merit as the basis for all government or quasi-government appointments and promotions.
It was announced two days ago that a new Vice Chancellor for University of Malaya had been appointed to succeed Datuk Dr. Mohamed Taib Osman – namely Dr. Abdullah Sanusi, who was Petronas vice-president (Human Resources Management and General Services Sector).
I have no objection to the appointment of Dr. Abdullah Sanusi as Vice Chancellor of University of Malaya, but the question must be raised as to why after more than three decades, there has not been a single Malaysian Chinese or Indian who had been appointed Vice Chancellor of one of the local universities?
Could it be that there is not a single non-Haley with the requisitek qualifications to be appointed Vice Chancellor of the local universities?
A Malaysian scholar, Dr. Wang Guagwu is the Vice Chancellor of the Kong Kong University. But would he have attained such a high academic position in one of the local univer¬sities if he had stayed behind in Malaysia? I am not so sure.
If the Government accepts ‘major liberalisation’ of its policies, it would rectify such anomalies and injustices.
It would accept merit as the basis for appointments and promotions in government or quasi-government organisations whether for the posts of Vice Chancellor of local universities, Secretaries-General of Ministries, judgeships like Chief Justice and Lord President, or even the post of Inspector-General of Police.
Is the Barisan Nasional Government prepared to give an undertaking that the next appointment of a Vice Chancellor of one of the local universities would be a non-Malay Malaysian?
Is Gim Hwa prepared to reject the Taman Midlands ‘One-Stop Centre’ project if the majority of the Midlands residents sign a second signature peti¬tion opposing Midlands being turned into another Komtar?
The next general elections will also determine whether Penang will have a Chief Minister in name as well as in fact.
At present, Dr. Koh Tsu Koon is not only unable to impose authority in the Stats Executive Council and the State Government, he is also unable to impose discipline on the MPPP.
This is why Tsu Koon is so helpless in the many MPPP scandals which had surfaced in the past few months.
It is most suprising that Gerakan leaders are now plugging the line that the demolition of Hotel Metropole is a non-issue, in that Hotel Metropole is not important and has no heritage or historic value whatsoever.
On the Taman Midlands ‘One-Stop Centre’ scandal, the MPPP President, Datuk Tan Gim Hwa, had destroyed 56 signatures of the petition by the Midlands residents protesting against the project, as he is claiming that there are only 121 signatures when his office had officially acknowledged receipt for 177 signatures.
If Gim Hwa is casting doubt not only on the veracity of the signatures, but that the majority of the Midlands residents have reservations about the Taman Midlands ‘One-Stop Centre’, then there is a simple solution.
I challenge Gim Hwa to declare that the MPPP would reject the Taman Midlands ‘One-Stop Centre’ project if the majority of the Midlands people express opposition to the project.
There should not be much of a problem to launch a second signature campaign among the Midlands people to let the MPPP and its President know in no uncertain terms that the welfare of the Midlands people must take priority over the interests of the developers of the Taman Midlands project.