Press Conference Statement by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MO for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, at Penang DAP Hqrs on Wednesday, 3rd August 1994 at 11.30 a.m.
DAP calls on Tsu Koon to explain Gerakan’s double-standards where the MPPP refuses to allow DAP to hold 10,000-people dinner at Taman Free School grounds when on July 17 it had allowed a Gerakan Jelutong dinner to be held there
I call on the Penang Chief Minister, Dr. Koh Tsu Koon to explain Gerakan’s double-standards where the MPPP refuses to allow the DAP to hold a 10,000-people dinner at Taman Free School grounds when on July 17, it had allowed a Gerakan Jelutong dinner to be held there.
The people of Penang know about the Gerakan Jelutong Dinner at Taman Free School grounds on July 17, for at that dinner, all the national and state Gerakan leaders spent the whole night attacking and abusing me.
On 20th July, on behalf of Penang DAP, the DAP Organising Secretary and Assemblyman for Paya Terubong, Sdr. Teoh Teik Huat, made an application to MPPP to use the Taman Free School Grounds for a 10,000-people DAP dinner on 1st October 1994 to commemorate my 25th anniversary as an elected Member of Parliament as well as to mark the 24th anniversary of my release from my first Internal Security Act detention – as I was released from the Muar Detention Centre on 1st October 1970.
On 28th July, the MPPP through Ong Chin Seng replied rejecting the application which said:
“Saya dengan hormatnya diarah merujuk kepada surat Yang Berhormat bertarikh 20.7.94 mengenai perkara tersebut diatas.
“2. Adalah dimaklumkan bahawa permohonan Yang Berhormat untuk menyewa seluruh Padang Taman Free School mulai 29 September hingga 3 Oktober 1994 untuk mengadakan Majlis Jamuan Makan Malam DAP pada 1 Oktober 1994 tidak dapat diluluskan.
“3. Untuk makluman Yang Berhormat, semua padang permainan Majlis adalah kawasan lapang rekreasi dan ianya boleh digunakan hanya untuk majlis makan malam rasmi atau majlis dimana YAB Ketua Menteri, Timbalan Ketua Menteri, Ahli-ahli Mesyuarat Kerjaan Negeri, Menteri-menteri atau Timbalan Menteri Persekutuan turut hadir.
“4. Sebarang kesulitan yang timbul adalah sangat dikesalkan.
“BERKHIMAT UNTUK NEGARA’
“Saya menurut perintah,
(Ong Chin Seng)
bp Setiausaha Perbandaran
Majlis Perbandaran Pulau Pinang”
Ong Chin Seng had used the wrong salutation to end his letter, as it should not be ‘BERKHIDMAT UNTUK NEGARA’ but more appropriately ‘BERKHIDMAT UNTUK GERAKAN’
How can the Penang Chief Minister, Dr. Koh Tsu Koon justify this Gerakan double-standard where the MPPP could allow the Gerakan Jelutong Division to hold a dinner at Taman Free School grounds on 17th July, whose sole objective the whole night was for Gerakan national and state leaders to attack and vilify me, while refusing the DAP to allow the use of the same grounds for a DAP 10,000-people dinner on October 1.
I do not know whether Tsu Koon and the Gerakan leaders are frightened of the 10,000-people dinner being organized by the DAP, but this fear is no reason for the Gerakan to introduce double-standards into government decision-making, whether at the state or local government level.
This is the first time anyone has heard of the ridiculous MPPP decision that MPPP grounds could only be used for dinner provided that the Chief Minister, Deputy Chief Minister, Exco Members, Ministers or Deputy Ministers are present.
If I want to ‘pull rank’, I occupy a higher position on the protocol list of the prime Minister’s Department than the Chief Minister, Deputy Chief Minister and State Exco Members
I have never pulled rank, but if the MPPP decision is based on the protocol list of the Prime Minister’s Department, I occupy a higher protocol position as Parliamentary Opposition Leader then the Chief Minister, Deputy Chief Minister and Deputy Ministers.
This is why I am entitled to the use of the Penang Airport VIP Room although I have never used it unlike many Barisan Nasional leaders who are insist on using or abusing the Airport VIP Room although they are not entitled to it.
The people of Penang are entitled to know who is paying for the MPPP staff and the upkeep of all MPPP properties – whether it is the MPPP ratepayers or the Penang Chief Minister, the Deputy Chief Minister, the State Excos or the Gerakan leaders?
Latest Gerakan example of ‘Allowing Officials to Start Fires, Not Permitting the People to Light Lamps’
This is not only double-standards but gross abuse of power. It is not the only instance of the Gerakan attitude of ‘Allowing Officials to Start Fires, Not Permitting the People to Light Lamps’.
Another recent instance of such Gerakan double-standards and abuses of power was the MPPP tearing down of DAP posters, banners and billboards urging the people of Penang to register as voters during the 21-day voters’ registration exercise from July 10 to 31.
The people of Penang are fully aware that the Gerakan had put up a lot of ugly posters telling lies about the DAP, like “Tanjong 3 = Kelantan” and “DAP Lies”, which were even pasted on lamp-posts and precious palm trees but the MPPP did nothing.