Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjong, Lim Kit Siang, at the DAP Tanjong 3 dinner at Relau, Penang on Monday, June 6, 1994 at 8 p.m.
Liong Sik is the worst Transport Minister in Malaysia since Merdeka
Recently, the MCA President, Datuk Dr. Ling Liong Sik claims that the DAP can only criticise but cannot contribute to nation-building in Malaysia.
It is a reflection of the political shallowness of the MCA President that he cannot see what Malaysians can see – that if not for the DAP’s political struggle and sacrifices, Malaysia today will be a very different nation.
For instance, in the 1980s, there was a serious attempt to introduce the policy of ‘one-language, one-culture’ in Malaysia.
Malaysians can still remember the Ipoh incident in the early 1980s where Liong Sik, then a deputy minister, was officiating at a function and the Ipoh Municipal workers tore off the welcoming Chinese-language banner of the organisers. No respect was shown either to the MCA Deputy Minister or to the Chinese language and Liong Sik dared not utter a protest.
It was also in the early 1980s that the Malacca State Government tried to demolish Bukit China, the oldest and most historic Chinese cemetry hill in Malaysia, symbolising the 500 years of Sino-Malay co-operation in Malaysia and historic proof of the contribution of the Chinese to the making of present-day Malaysia.
Liong Sik and the MCA leaders supported the Malacca State Government plan for the demolition of Bukit China. The DAP was the only political party which opposed the demolition of Bukit China, and if not for the DAP nation-wide ‘Save Bukit China Campaign’, there would be no Bukit China today.
The destruction of Bukit China in 1984 would not mean just the demolition of the most ancient. Chinese cemetry hill in Malaysia, but it would be the first major step for the implementation of ‘One-Language, One-Culture’ Policy.
Today, this ‘One-Language, One-Culture’ Policy has been checked, not by MCA or Gerakan, but by the DAP.
For the past 28 years, the DAP had consistently struggled for justice, equality and unity for all Malaysians regardless of race in Malaysia.
This was the DAP is Vision of the 21st century which had inspired the DAP from the first day of the DAP’s establishment in 1966.
The MCA and its leaders however have no vision, ideals or principles. MCA leaders, whether past or present, are motivated purely by monetary gain, official posts, titles or social position.
Vision 2020 was formulated by the Prime Minister, Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, and announced on in February 1991 without the knowledge of Ling Liong Sik or the Gerakan President Datuk Dr. Lim Keng Yaik.
MCA Ministers and leaders cannot see long-term in the interests of the country, whether five, ten or twenty years into the future.
In fact, MCA Ministers cannot even see beyond a few months of their Ministerial portfolios.
If there is a Clients’ Charter for Ministers, Liong Sik will be the first Cabinet Minister to fail
Liong Sik is a very good example. How can the MCA President have vision and ideals for the next twenty or thirty years when he has no concept of what is happening in his own Ministry in the next few months?
There was firstly the decision by the Transport Ministry last month to allow all private cars to have their windows and windscreens tinted up to 50 per cent with immediate effect. But a few months earlier, the JPJ and the Police had launched a nation-wide crackdown against, motorists, for having tinted windows and windscreens where hundreds of summons were issued.
An efficient, competent and responsible Transport Minister would have told the JPJ and the Police not to issue summonses for tints on vehicles, as the matter was under review by the Transport Ministry. But Liong Sik could not see beyond, a few months even in his own Ministry!
Now Liong Sik is talking about reducing the speed limit at accident-prone stretches of the highways and trunk roads from 110 kph to 90 kph for the former and from 90 kph to 70 kph for the latter. Motorists are right to ask what is the use of the country spending billions of ringgit.on highways, where they have to pay hefty tolls, when they have to drive slowly?
Yesterday, Liong Sik announced that the law on breathelyser against driving after drinking alcohol would be implemented at the end of the year after a BN3 million publicity campaign. This will only benefit an advertising company, as there is no reason why the law on breathelysers cannot be implemented without a RM3 million publicity campaign.
The Transport Ministry scandals during the Ministerial tenure of Liong Sik are endless -including the notorious two Subang International Airport fires in six months in 1992.
Even now, the inquiry report into the second Subang International Airport fire had not been made public, although it was promised to be completed in two weeks’ time at the time. About 22 months have passed, but Liong Sik seems to have forgotten that there had been two fires at the Subang International Airport in six months in 1992.
Today there is a motor vehicle insurance crisis, not only in the proposed liquidation of Mercantile Insurance Sdn. Bhd. affecting 263,000 policyholder’s, but also the shocking scandal where 30 to 40 per cent of the six million vehicles on the roads in Malaysia are not adequately protected by insurance.
But Liong Sik seems to be unaware of this big mess in the field of transport.
I do not think it will be an exaggeration or an injustice to call Liong Sik the worst Transport Minister of Malaysia since Merdeka. If there is a Clients’ Charter for Ministers, Liong Sik will be the first Cabinet Minister to fail!