(Kuala Lumpur, Wednesday): In the party’s 32-year history, no DAP leaders have so systematically and viciously tried to destroy the DAP and attack the credibility and integrity of the DAP leadership like the KOKS (Knock-Out Kit Siang) leaders.
It is no party crime or breach of party discipline to be leaders or supporters of the KOKS campaign, for this is the democratic right of every DAP leader and member. This was why the DAP Central Executive Committee, as its meeting on July 1, 1998, adopted a special resolution on the KOKS campaign, declaring "that the KOKS campaign is not a breach of party discipline, and that no disciplinary action will be taken against anyone for leading or supporting the KOKS campaign as it is the democratic right of anyone to vote or reject a party leader in the forthcoming Party Congress elections and urges the KOKS leaders to conduct their campaign in an open, fair, honest and democratic manner to allow party delegates fair and full opportunity to make a decision on the matter."
However, it is definitely a gross breach of party discipline for any DAP leader or member, whether in support or opposition of the KOKS campaign, to embark on a systematic and vicious campaign to destroy the DAP by joining hands with Barisan Nasional forces so that they have the unprecedented privileges to make use of resources like regular television appearances during prime news time and one-sided mass media coverage in Barisan Nasional-controlled newspapers to undermine public confidence in the DAP through an endless series of lies and falsehoods.
It is definitely a gross breach of party discipline for anyone inside the DAP to destroy the DAP’s chances in the coming general elections or to undermine and destroy public support for the Support, Sympathy and Solidarity (SSS) with Lim Guan Eng campaign with the final theme of "Keep Justice Alive, Keep Guan Eng Free" in the six-day countdown to the Federal Court appeal on August 24.
It is definitely a gross breach of party discipline for any DAP leader or member to adopt MCA tactics against the DAP by tarnishing the image, credibility and integrity of the DAP leadership by publicly questioning the status of donations whether the RM30,789 collected during Teluk Intan by-election or for the Support, Sympathy and Solidarity with Lim Guan Eng campaign, when they have never used proper party channels to make inquiries and even more inexcusable, when they knew all along that their mischievous and malicious public questioning was groundless and baseless.
Some of the KOKS leaders have even threatened to file a defamation suit against me, which would again make another party history.
Wee Choo Keong, Liew Ah Kim and Fung Ket Wing said I have made a wild allegation in accusing them of being "funded and made use of by Barisan Nasional’.
I never said that they or the KOKS campaign was funded by the Barisan Nasional, although the KOKS campaign has for the first time in 32 years introduced the politics of money into DAP party elections.
The press conference statement by Pasir Pedamar Branch chairman, Liew Ah Sum yesterday that he was given RM600 as expenses by a KOKS leader in Perak to organise a free dinner for DAP members in Teluk Intan for KOKS leaders to meet them is one proof. This also explains for the other all-expenses-paid dinner held by KOKS leaders in Kuala Lumpur and Sitiawan in the past week.
I know a lot of money are being splashed in furtherance of the KOKS campaign, but I do not know where the monies come from.
In any event, the KOKS leaders cannot deny that they are being made used of by the Barisan Nasional, as otherwise, how could Wee, Liew and Fung get regular television prime time appearances to lambast the DAP leadership when such a facility had been denied to me in the past 32 years, despite my being Parliamentary Opposition Leader and DAP Secretary-General?
How, else, could the KOKS leaders get one-sided mass media coverage in certain Barisan Nasional-controlled newspapers, putting the DAP leadership in the worst possible light by refusing to give fair coverage to the explanations and clarifications by DAP leaders on their vicious and malicious allegations.
Even now, The Star has refused to publish a fair and proper account about the RM30,789 donations collected from the people of Teluk Intan during the Teluk Intan parliamentary by-election in May 1997, which would have demonstrated the viciousness of the KOKS leaders in trumping up allegations and insinuations about the propriety and the status of the donation. This fitted into the Barisan Nasional scheme of things so that the mass media under its control can continue to give coverage to the baseless allegations by the KOKS leaders.
As a result of the unfair mass media reporting on this issue, the KOKS leaders have been very successful in their black propaganda against the DAP and me in particular, putting all DAP leaders, members and branches in a very difficult position to explain public queries.
This is because on first impression, the KOKS leaders were right to demand explanation as to why the RM30,798 donation during the Teluk Intan by-election was put in a deposit box - raising questions as to why I am so stupid as not to bank them so that this amount could earn interest, or even questions whether there is something hanky-panky in the whole handling of the RM30,798 donation from the people of Teluk Intan.
This is because very few people apart from the people of Teluk Intan know about the unique circumstances of this donation. The KOKS leaders know but they deliberately want to create an issue to besmirch the image and integrity of DAP leaders.
The RM30,789.54 was raised in the last three Teluk Intan by-election ceramah/dinner 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 DAP’s 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.
Just like Malaysians all over the country, the people of Teluk Intan know that MCA leaders were defaming DAP leaders in insinuating hanky-panky in the DAP Save Bukit China funds, when without the DAP Save Bukit China campaign, not only would the most ancient 500-year cemetry hill of Malaysian Chinese symbolising the blood, sweat and tears of five centuries of Malaysian Chinese in contributing to the building of present-day Malaysia would have been destroyed, all Chinese cemetry grounds in the country would face the risk of state government acquisition. Furthermore, if the 500-year-old Bukit China in Malacca could be demolished, it would be a victory of the policy of assimilation and a major set-back for the policy of integration - resulting in an one-language, one-culture Malaysia which the DAP had fought so long and hard to oppose.
The people of Teluk Intan demonstrated their public-spiritedness, high sense of righteousness and greatness in their fantastic response to the donation drive, for they know that to demand RM29,690 as costs from me was scandalous and totally unacceptable, when it is the MCA President who should be publicly apologising on behalf of the entire MCA leadership and membership for their dishonourable record of supporting the demolition of Bukit China.
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
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 Sik’s 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.
As national leaders, Liew, Fung and Wee knew about the entire background of the RM30,789.54 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, 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 feel very sad that these trio are prepared to besmirch the political greatness of the people of Teluk Intan in the May 1997 by-election to "write history and create miracle" by trying to devalue the historic Richter-6 Teluk Intan by-election result through a non-existent financial scandal over the donation!
My reputation and that of the DAP have suffered greatly as a result of the success of the KOKS leaders and some Barisan Nasional-controlled mass media to scandalise the Teluk Intan donation issue, as if I have a secret agenda to steal the RM30,789.54 for my own personal benefit! I feel very soiled and dirtied by the allegations of financial impropriety and crookedness made by Wee, Liew and Fung over the Teluk Intan by-election donations.
I fully agree that without knowing its background, it is either crazy or very "fishy" to put the RM30,789.54 in a safe deposit box, and it is a stain on one’s reputation which no amount of water can fully cleanse!
I have asked the DAP Teluk Intan Branch to convene a public meeting tomorrow at Moral Armament Society Hall in Teluk Intan - the venue of the unforgettable by-election dinner on May 15, 1997 when there was one round after another of collection until the donation reached RM20,289.50, for me to meet the people of Teluk Intan and for them to decide whether the RM30,789.54 donation which they had raised in the Teluk Intan by-election should continue to be put in a safe deposit box, or whether they should be banked into the Party’s account to earn interest.
I have to be in Malacca tomorrow night, as it is to be the grand finale of the Support, Sympathy and Solidarity with Lim Guan Eng campaign, with the final theme of "Keep Justice Alive, Keep Guan Eng Free", as the day-by-day countdown ticks away towards the August 24 final appellate hearing by the Federal Court. If the Federal Court upholds the Court of Appeal conviction and sentence of 36 months’ jail for offences under the Official Secrets Act and the Printing Presses and Publications Act, then Guan Eng will start his jail sentence at the Kajang Prisons on that day itself.
However, the terrible stain the KOKS leaders have cast on my personal reputation and integrity has forced me to modify my programme tomorrow night. I will be in Teluk Intan at a public meeting from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. to ask the people of Teluk Intan to decide whether the RM30,789.54 donation which they had raised in the Teluk Intan by-election should continue to be put in a safe deposit box, or whether they should be banked into the Party’s account to earn interest. After that, I will rush to Malacca for the grand finale for the "Keep Justice Alive, Keep Guan Eng Free" campaign.
I will bring to Teluk Intan the RM30,789.54 donation in their original coins and notes, and the people can see the original coins and notes which they had donated during the Teluk Intan by-election.
Wee, Fung and Liew as well as other KOKS leaders are invited to
the Teluk Intan public meeting to see for themselves the verdict of the
people of Teluk Intan.
The KOKS campaign in its systematic and vicious one-mindedness to attack the image, credibility and integrity of the party leadership, reckless of the damage it can cause to the DAP, has caused the worst DAP crisis in the 32-year party history.
There is a KOKS master strategist who may surface publicly in the next few days to try to deliver a "coup de grace" for the KOKS campaign. I am saying this to give alert DAP leaders, members, supporters and members of the public so that they would be mentally prepared and would not be caught by surprise by any last-minute KOKS "master stroke".