Wee, Liew and Fung are doing the Barisan Nasionalís dirty work and serving the agenda of The Star to try to undermine public confidence in the DAP before the next general elections by raising baseless issues to attack the integrity and good name of DAP


Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang  

(Petaling Jaya, Monday): It is very sad that Wee Choo Keong, Liew Ah Kim and Fung Ket Wing are doing the Barisan Nasionalís dirty work to try to undermine public confidence in the DAP before the next general elections by raising baseless issues to attack the integrity and good name of the DAP.

One example is the vicious way in which they had raised the issue of the RM30,789.54 collected during the Teluk Intan by-election in May last year to pay the costs awarded to MCA President, Datuk Seri Dr. Ling Liong Sik, when I lost a  defamation suit which I had instituted against him  in connection with his defamatory remarks about the DAPís Save Bukit China Fund.

On 13th May 1997, the press reported the decision of the Kuala Lumpur  High Court Senior Assistant Registrar Rozielawaty Abdul Ghani ordering me to award RM29,960 costs to Ling Liong Sik when my defamation suit was dismissed on a technical ground, without any hearing at all.

On the night itself, at a DAP Teluk Intan by-election ceramah, the DAP decided to ask for donations from the people of Teluk Intan to pay the costs awarded against me in favour of the MCA President, because of its patent injustice.

Everybody in Malaysia knows that if not for the DAPís "Save Bukit China campaign", the  most ancient Malaysian Chinese cemetry in Malaysia, Bukit China in Malacca, would have been demolished as far back as 1984 as proposed by the then Malacca Chief Minister, Abdul Rahim Tamby Cik.

The MCA not only did not oppose the Malacca State Governmentís plan to demolish Bukit China, excavate the 12,500 graves on the 500-year-old Bukit China and level the hill to make way for a commercial complex to create a handful of multi-millionaires, but gave it full support.

The success of the DAP Save Bukit China campaign had far-reaching long-term consequences, for the demolition of Bukit China in Malacca would not only have rendered all Chinese cemetry land in the the country a target of state government demolition, but would have lent momentum to a nation-building policy of assimilation which refuses to give full and proper recognition to the multi-racial, multi-lingual, multi-cultural and multi-religious characteristics of Malaysia.

In its attempt to distract public attention from the MCAís dishonourable political record of supporting the Malacca State Governmentís proposal to demolish Bukit China, MCA leaders launched a baseless and vicious attack on the DAP, falsely accusing the DAP of lack of proper accountability in the Save Bukit China campaign fund.

Just like Malaysians all over the country, the people of Teluk Intan know that MCA is only trying to distract attention from its dishonourable record of supporting the Malacca State Governmentís proposal to demolish Bukit China and that it is the DAPís Save Bukit China which saved the ancient Malaysian Chinese cemetry hill, and that to demand RM29,690 as costs from me was scandalous totally unacceptable.

The people of Teluk Intan demonstrated their public-spiritedness,  high sense of righteousness and greatness  in their fantastic response to the donation drive.

Completely without notice, at a DAP Teluk Intan by-election ceramah on the night of 13th May 1997, the people of Teluk Intan raised RM 4,625.32. At the  by-election ceramah on 14.5.97,   RM 5,874.72 was raised and most unforgettable of all, at the  Teluk Intan by-election dinner on 15.5.97, RM20,289.50 was raised, bringing  the total collection to RM30,789.54.

At the Teluk Intan by-election dinner, I publicly announced that we will preserve untouched the donations from the people of Teluk Intan in their original notes and coins to pay Liong Sikís costs, and that when Liong Sik asks for the money through his lawyers, we will dump on them the notes and coins and demand that they count the RM29,960 in notes and coins donated by the people of Teluk Intan!

I had then announced that the DAP proposes to establish a Information Technology centre to popularise IT among the people of Teluk Intan, and I expressed the hope that Liong Sik would donate back the RM29,960 for the funding of the IT centre in Teluk Intan for the benefit of the voters in the constituency.

The great-heartedness of the people of Teluk Intan in raising RM30,789.54 in three ceramahs/dinners to pay Liong Sikís costs was the climax of the entire Teluk Intan by-election campaign, which  culminated in the  people of Teluk Intan responding to  the DAPís call to "create a miracle and write history".

On polling day on May 17, the people of Teluk Intan gave  the DAP a Richter-6 by-election victory, wiping out the Gerakanís 13,968-vote majority in the 1995 general elections with M. Kulasegaram winning the parliamentary seat with a 2,916-vote majority - placing Teluk Intan firmly in the annals of modern political history in Malaysia.

Liew, Fung and Wee had besmirched the political greatness of the  people of Teluk Intan and  their historic  Teluk Intan by-election result by spreading lies and falsehoods about the by-election.

As national leaders, the trio knew  about the entire background of the RM29,960 donation by the people of Teluk Intan, and why the  collection was  placed in a safe deposit box in Public Bank SS2 branch, with  original coins amounting to RM789.54  kept separately.

As National Treasurer during the entire period until his suspension on June 3, 1998, Fung Ket Wing knew  that the monies were kept in a safe deposit box so that the monies could be immediately taken out, in their orignal notes and coins as donated by the people of Teluk Intan, when Liong Sik asked for his costs.

I am shocked  the trio  could raise the issue in public in a manner to insinuate misappropriation of funds or criminal breach of trust, when they know fully the facts and background of the collection.

Certain mass media had been most unfair in their reporting of baseless allegations made by the KOKS leaders, vindicating my allegation that there are "black hands" in certain mass media in their coverage of the DAP internal turmoils.

While they give prominent and virtually word-for-word coverage to the these false KOKS charges, they refuse to give fair and full coverage of  the partyís rebuttal or clarification of these charges. The Star is one good example.

On 13th August 1998, Star gave a four-column headline as its page lead for page 10, with the wording "DAP trio: Reveal status of donations" giving prominent and detailed coverage of  the trioís false charges.

Although on the very same day, the DAP Acting National Treasurer, Fong Kui Lun issued a full rebuttal of the KOKS leadersí charges on the Teluk Intan by-election donations, the Star gave it so bad a coverage  on 14th August  that any reader would come to the conclusion that the party had something to hide as it could not provide proper rebuttal of the allegations.

What is worse, on Saturday, 15th August 1998, the Star again carried another prominent three-column headline "Why open safe deposit box for donations, ask DAP trio" when Fong Kui Lun had already given the answer in his statement a day earlier, but which was not published by the Star.

Then on Sunday, 16th August 1998, the Sunday Star carried another report under the heading: "Wee: Lim must explain decision on deposit box".

It would appear that the Star had deliberately refused to give full and fair coverage to Fong Kui Lunís rebuttal the KOK leadersí charges which would have made the Starís headlines and reports on Saturday and Sunday redundant - but this may precisely be the reason why the Star refused to give full and fair coverage to Fong Kui Lunís clarification.

The question that must be asked is what game the Star is playing in its unfair, biased and  tendentious reporting of the KOKS allegations - as if the Star has even more vested interest than the KOKS leaders to purvey lies and falsehoods about the DAP.

The KOKS leaders owe a full explanation to DAP members as well as the general public why they are prepared to serve the agenda of the political masters of the Star.  Of course, the KOKS leaders do not merely serve the agenda of the politicfal masters of the Star, as they also serve the agenda of other Barisan Nasional forces,  which is why they have suddenly become television stars, frequently appearing on Television news prime time to attack  DAP leaders - when in my 32 years in politics, I could not get television coverage at all!

(17/8/98)


*Lim Kit Siang - Malaysian Parliamentary Opposition Leader, Democratic Action Party Secretary-General & Member of Parliament for Tanjong