I am openly calling Keng Yaik a ‘despicable and low-class’ political leader so that he could sue me for defamation as he had threatened last Thursday

Press Conference statement by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary General and MP for Tanjong, Lim Kit Siang in Parliament House Conference Room I on Tuesday, 22 November 1994 at 3.30 pm

I am openly calling Keng Yaik a ‘despicable and low-class’ political leader so that he could sue me for defamation as he had threatened last Thursday

Last Thursday, Gerakan President and Minister for Primary Industries told reporters in Parliament that he was considering instituting legal proceedings against me for calling terma were ‘highly dematory’.

I have called this press conference outside the Parliament chambers to openly and unreservedly describe Keng Yaik as a ‘despicable and low-class’ political leader to give Keng Yaik all the necessary evidence to institute defamation proceedings against me, so that he need not worry that I might deny having said these words later.

I have given public notice to Keng Yaik to attend this press conference together with his lawyers and his technical staff should he want to tape-record or video-tape the proceedings.

I am not surprised that Keng Yaik has not turned up for this press conference although it was the Gerakan President himself who first threatened that he was considering legal action against me.

It is now clear that Keng Yaik was just issuing an empty threat although I would want Keng Yaik to institute legal action as I would then have the opportunity to prove in court and to the country that Keng Yaik fully deserves the description of a ‘despicable and low-class’ political leader.

There are numerous example to substantiate this description of Keng Yaik, where the Gerakan President has shown again and again that he has no respect for truth and has no scruples in concocting or retailing lies.

The most notable example are his lies about the DAPPAS secret Jakarta meeting before the 1990 general elections and his insinuation early this year that I had received bribes from the Australian Secret Intelligence Service over the years to act as a spy to subvert and betray the national interest.

A political leader who has not respect for the truth as to be able to tell such lies without any sense of shame or remorse is clearly most ‘despicable and low-class’.

It is Barisan National government which has used the courts as a political instrument to persecute opposition leaders

Keng Yaik had in the past accused me of using the courts as a political instrument.

I have never used the courts as a political instrument but to clear my name and reputation from defamation. In any event. It is not within my power to use the courts as a political instrument as the opposition has absolutely no influence over the courts.

In fact, in Malaysia all the odds stacked against the opposition which has been given very little leeway only to advocate its policies but also to clear its name from wild and baseless attacks and lies.

This is why Keng Yaik’s lies against me were always given prominence in the mass media especially radio and television but my rebuttals and denials were invariably blacked-out.

Court action to clear my name and reputation has there-fore been on me because I cannot get justice from the controlled mass madia, particularly the controlled radio and television in Malaysia.

Keng Yaik should know that if anybody has used the courts as a political instrument, it is the Barisan Nasional government which is the guilty party.

If Keng Yaik is a politician of principles, he should have protested in the Cabinet against the misure of the courts to persecute opposition politicians.

Many DAP leaders have been hauled to court for a variety of offences including my prosecution under the official secrets Act. PBS Leader Datuk Joseph Pairin Kitingan would not have been charged and prosecuted for corruption offences if he had not left the Barisan Nasional. This is best illustrated by the manner his brother Dr. Jeffrey Kitingan was absolved of all corruption charges immediately after he had defected from PBS and ‘frog-jumped’ into the Barisan Nasional. The immunity enjoyed by many Barisan Nasional leaders, like Rahim Tamby Cik and Samy Vellu, is another good example.

If Keng Yaik does not institute lagal action against me for calling him ‘despicable and low-class’, he should why he has changed his mind after threatening to sue me.

I will be very disappointed if Keng Yaik does not sue me not I had hoped that we can reach an agreement where we can instruct our lawyers to dispense with all formalities and jointly ask the court for a hearing to be set within a month-which will create Malaysian legal history as it would be faster than the Vincent Tan case.