by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Friday, May 20, 1994:
Mahathir should direct all Cabinet Ministers to be committed in the fight against inflation and not be like Lim Keng Yaik who knows nothing about the phenomenal increases in the price of cooking oil
DAP welcomes the anti-inflationary campaign launched by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, yesterday during the World Consumers’ Day as lately, Malaysian consumers seem to be losing the fight against inflation with all-round increases in the prices of essential commodities.
Dr. Mahathir is right when he called on consumers to be knowledgeable on their rights so that they can be an effective force in curbing inflation.
For a start, however, Dr. Mahathir should direct all Cabinet Ministers to set the example to be fully committed in the fight against inflation and to be knowledgeable, about the problems faced by consumers because of price increases.
Cabinet Ministers should not be like the Primary Industries Minister, Datuk Dr. Lim Keng Yaik, who knows nothing about the phenomenal increase in the price of cooking oil and is also not bothered about checking the true facts.
Instead, he had the temerity to attack the National DAPSY Chairman and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Guan Eng, for being ‘stupid’ for trying to draw public and national attention to price increases in cooking oil in Parliament earlier this month, and even challenged Guan Eng to an open public debate on palm oil and cooking price increases!
As a senior Cabinet Minister, Keng Yaik should have been the ‘first to know; first to be conscious’ about problems faced by consumers, or at least he should have taken the trouble to cheek the facts before he opened his mouth. But Keng Yaik has again demonstrated that he is not only ‘last to know, last to be conscious’, but ‘totally unknowing and unconscious’!
However, when Guan Eng immediately accepted Keng Yaik’s challenge to an open public debate, it was Keng Yaik who ‘chickened out’ and the Gerakan President had not dared to say a single word on this subject in the last two weeks!
Keng Yaik is being wise, for he should have known now that in any public debate with Guan Eng on cooking oil price increases, Keng Yaik would only be humiliating himself b-y demonstrating that he had again ‘shot his mouth before using his brain’!
What is there for Keng Yaik to debate with Guan Eng when even the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs has officially confirmed price increases in cooking oil, and that such price increases have been as high as 25 per cent!
Keng Yaik should apologise to Guan Eng and the consumers for his “last to know, last to be conscious” and “unknowing and unconscious” attitude to cooking oil price increases
I agree with the DAPSY Publicity Bureau’s demand yesterday that Keng Yaik should publicly tender an apology to Lim Guan Eng as well as the consumers in Malaysia for his “last to know, last to be conscious” and “unknowing and unconscious” attitude to cooking oil price increases.
In fact, Keng Yaik’s insensitivity about cooking oil price increases have raised the question whether the Government as a whole is really committed to the fight against inflation.
I must advise Keng Yaik, as a senior Cabinet Minister, to act with greater responsibility in future and not to continue to make silly, stupid and irrational statements and charges. Otherwise, he would not only disgrace himself, but also the Cabinet and the Malaysian Government.
Malaysians will still remember that before the 1990 general elections, I openly called Keng Yaik a ‘liar’ for his lies about the DAP having a secret meeting with PAS leaders in Jakarta, inviting the Gerakan President to sue me in court for defamation. But Keng Yaik meekly and tamely accepted my open declaration that he is a ‘liar’!
At the end of January this year, Keng Yaik suggested on television that I had been bribed by Australian spies because of my quick and strong reactions to an Australian newspaper report alleging that Australian spies had bribed opposition politicians in Malaysia.
When I challenged Keng Yaik to repeat what he had said on television so that I could take him to court for defamation, there was complete silence from Keng Yaik!
A few days later, when another Australian newspaper clarified that the Australian spies had bribed UMNO politicians, and not Opposition politicians, there was also silence from Lim Keng Yaik.
It is clear that Keng Yaik dare not even utter a whisper when UMNO politicians are alleged to have been bribed by Australian spies, but are in the forefront in denouncing the DAP when unnamed opposition politicians were accused of being bribed by Australian spies.
Keng Yaik should stop making silly, stupid and irrational statements and charges or he would never be taken seriously by Malaysians
Recently, Keng Yaik said that Malaysia does not need an opposition as the country’ living standards have risen since Merdeka in 1957.
When I challenged Keng Yaik to a public debate on his ridiculous statement in six towns in Malaysia, there was again complete silence from Keng Yaik.
Keng Yaik should stop his silly, stupid and irrational statements and charges or he would never be taken seriously by Malaysians.