(Petaling Jaya, Saturday): I am taken completely by surprise by what Sdr. Sim Kwang Yang said at a press conference in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
Sim said that Sarawak leaders, namely Sarawak DAP State Chairman, Jason Wong Sing Nang, Deputy State Chairman Richard Wong, State Secretary Chiew Chin Sing and he himself met me on Monday to convey to me their proposal of a moratorium and hope for a roundtable meeting.
Sim told the press that I had been reluctant to agree to the moratorium and was quoted in the press as saying "Kit Siang said he was open and prepared for any kind of talk. He knows about the roundtable talk. Nevertheless, he has his reservations and one of them is the ‘press war’."
I confirm that I met Jason Wong, Richard Wong, Chiew and Sim at Hotel Plaza, Kuala Lumpur after Parliament on Monday night but I do not know what Sim was talking about in his press conference. Sim never contacted me after the Monday night meeting or discussed with me what he was going to say at the press conference yesterday. What he said was news to me.
At the Monday night meeting with Jason, Richard, Chiew and Sim, the words "moratorium" and "roundtable" were never used.
On Tuesday night, I met Jason, Richard and Chew and Jason informed me that they had met the trio the previous night and Jason had suggested to them that they should impose a "moratorium" of attacks on the DAP leadership from midnight that night, but the trio said that they could not do so as they had already called for a press conference the next day.
On Thursday, just before the adjournment of Parliament, I received a telephone call from Jason Wong in Sibu who informed me that the trio and the Penang four had agreed to a seven-day moratorium and he had been asked to fly to Kuala Lumpur the next morning for a press conference to announce it.
In our telephone discussion, we agreed on the following:
In the circumstances, Jason agreed that there was no purpose in his coming to Kuala Lumpur for the press conference yesterday.
I do not know what Sim is talking about when he spoke about "independent persons playing the role of mediators at the roundtable meeting to resolve the dispute", which is the first time I am hearing about it.
I am surprised that at the press conference yesterday, Sim was speaking as a spokesman of the Sarawak State leadership. I do not know when he was entrusted with this responsibility by the Sarawak state leadership.
However, the main purpose of my meeting with Sim on Monday night was to ask him about his role in the KOKS campaign. Sim denied any knowledge or involvement in the KOKS campaign, but I am surprised that he has now transformed himself into an "independent mediator" between the KOKS and anti-KOKS campaign.
I do not know the reason why the proposed seven-day moratorium has suddenly been shortened to a five-day moratorium. Be that as it may, the DAP leadership takes a positive attitude to the five-day moratorium announced by the trio.
I stand by what I had told Jason, Richard, Chiew and Sim on Monday night on my preparedness to have talks, which had nothing to do with roundtable meetings or independent mediators.
The party leadership will also monitor the five-day moratorium of the trio as to whether they keep strictly to it. By moratorium, it means that after yesterday’s statements by the trio, none of them will say a single word about the DAP leadership, as we do not want to see newspaper headlines on one day reporting how one of them was trying to contact the Secretary-General; the second day that the Secretary-General seems to have gone into hiding; the third day urging the Secretary-General to spell out the full terms of the ‘round table talks’, the fourth day that they urge the Secretary-General to reconsider in the party interest to agree to "round table meetings with independent mediators to resolve the party dispute" and the fifth day announcing that the Secretary-General had bad faith and had misled them into holding a moratorium!
The party leadership will regard any statement by the trio, whether directly or indirectly, on the DAP leadership as from today as an violation of the moratorium.
The DAP does not propose to conduct its internal affairs through the media. At the media conference yesterday, Sim should not have started a new round of media events about DAP "roundtable meetings" after announcing the moratorium.