By Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Saturday, August 20, 1994:
Liong Sik’s public apology six days after the Subang radar station fire is just not good enough and both he and the DCA Director General Datuk Zaludin Sulong should relinquish their posts to accept full responsibility for the third airport fire in two years
The public apology by the Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Ling Liong Sik six days after the Subang radar station fire is just not good enough and both he and the Department of Civil Aviation Director-General, Datuk Zaludin Sulong, should relinquish their posts to accept full responsibility for the third airport fire to two years.
The former DCA Director-General, Datuk Zolkipli abdul was transferred out of DCA after the Subang air control tower fire in October 1992, and the culture and tradition of accountability must be upheld with Datuk Zaludin Sulong taking personal responsibility for the Subang radar station fire.
Since Datuk Zaludin is so hotile to the press, he is not the proper person in any event to continue as DCA Director-General.
But it is not only Datuk Zaludin Sulong who must assume responisbility – for Liong Sik as the Transport Minister must also set such an example to accept responsibility, especially after three fires at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport in two years.
Would Liong Sik have tendered the public apology if the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir had not bitterly criticised the incompetence of the Department of Civil Aviation and the Ministry of Transport for endangering public lives and undermining Malaysia’s national investment climate and the Visit Malaysia year 1994?
If Liong Sik is sincere about his feelings of regret at the great inconvenience and hardships caused to the public and the country as a result of the Subang radar station fire, he would not have waited for six days to tender such an apology or visited the scene only 60 hours after the fire.
Liong Sik has not yet explained why he did not visit the Subang radar station immediately after receiving information of the fire on Saturday night, and why he waited until 60 hours later?
Is Liong Sik going to tender another public apology for not visiting the Subang radar station immediately on the night of the fire last Saturday?
Liong Sik said he accepted the responsibility for not informing the Prime Minister immediately after the fire. The important question is why he failed to do so!
Even now, Liong Sik has not been able to produce the report of inquiry into the Subang airport control tower fire of October 1992, although the then Deputy Prime Minister, Ghafar Baba had promised at the time that the findings would be completed in two weeks. Is Liong Sik also going to publicly apologise for this ‘negligence’?
With such a long list of bungling and incompetence, Liong Sik’s assurances to “instal systems which are more fool-prrof” cannot restore public confidence in the reliability and safety of the Kuala Lumpur International Airport unless a new Minister and a new DCA Director-General are installed first!
For this reason, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir should act firmly and quickly by removing the present Minister for Transport and DCA Director-General and making new appointments who can regain public confidence about their seriousness, competence and vision to introduce the ‘zero defect’ concept to the Kuala Lumpur International Airport and the DCA.
Lim Kit Siang
*his call on Malaysians not to expect miracles in that there would be no more Kuala Lumpur International Airport fires in future; and
*Up to now, he still does not know that was the real cause of the Subang Airport control tower fire in October 1992!
The MIC President, Datuk Seri. S. Samy Vellu has posed the same question as to how the Barisan Nasional can claim to be a clean, responsible and accountable government when he is allowed, with complete immunity, to ‘hijack’ nine million Telekom shares meant for the educational upliftment of the Indian community through MAIKA Holdings.
General elections date speculation is becoming as volatile as the stock market
Recently, the speculation about the general elections date has become as volatile as the stock market. Early this month, there was very strong speculations in the stock market that Parliament would be dissolved on August 13 and that polling would fall on August 27.
In the past week, when there was a strong rally in the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange, there was revived speculation of general elections around th ecorner.
Sometimes such speculation about the general elections, like daily stock exchange movements, fluctuate day by day.
For instance, last Wednesday, I was told that the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange suffered losses because of speculation that Liong Sik was ebing removed as Transport Minister after the saking of Zaludin Sulong as Director-General of Department of Civil Aviation for the Subang Airport radar station fire.
I could not understand how th estock market could react adversely to speculation that Liong Sik would be removed as Transport Minister – for I thought that if there was such a speculation, the stock market should react favourable with a strong rally, for there is nothing more therapeutic to shake-up the entire Transport Ministry and the DCA and carry out thorough-going reforms as Liong Sik’s removal.
DAP must be prepared to fight the next general elections regardless of whether it is held in October, January or April next year
DAP must be prepared to fight the next general elections, regardless of whether it is held in October this year, January or April next year.
We must gird ourselves for the most difficult and challenging general elections in the DAP history – a general elections where the Barisan Nasional parties like MCA and Gerakan believe that they cannot but win and the DAP cannot but lose.
The DAP’s greatest challenge in the next general elections, therefore, is to ‘ride’ the great paradox – hot to achieve a big breakthrough in the nect general elections when everybody expects the DAP to suffer one of our worst electoral defeats in party history.
‘Riding’ this great paradox in the next general elections in Selangor would mean the DAP not only defending out present three Parliamentay and six State Assembly seats in Selangor, but winning more Parliamentary and State Assembly seats than in the 1990 general elections.
I believe to DAP should set the target to win four Parliamentary seats in Selangor, namely PJ Utara, PJ Selatan, Klang and Serdang and at least 10 State Assembly seats from the following possiblities: Damansara Utama, Kampong Tunku, Bukit Gasing, Sri Kembangan, Balakong, Puchong, Bukit Lanjan, Bandar Klang, Pelabuhan Klang, Teluk Datuk, Rawang, Kuala Kubu Baharu and Sekincan.
V. David will not seek re-election in the next general elections
In the next general elections, we will see the natural renewal process where the yonger generation of DAP leaders will emerge to play a greater fole to lead the struggle of the DAP for a Malaysian Malaysia.
Leaders who have dedicated their life to the DAP’s struggle of a Malaysian Malaysia, whose spirit are strong but whose body are weak, have no choice but to give way to the young generation of DAP leaders.
I have received an official letter from the DAP MP for Puchong, Dr. V. David, informing me that he does not intend to seek re-election due to health reasons. David pledged to continue to maintain and man his service centre until the next general elections, and will continue to serve as Selangor DAP State Vice Chairman and Kampong Tun Razak DAP Branch Chairman.
David had served almost all his adult life in the public service, both trade unionism and politics, and I salute David for voluntarily announcing that he would not seek re-election for health reasons although his every being demands that he continue to serve the public and country.