Hishammuddin should not dishonour  his familyís illustrious political reputation by making wild and irresponsible allegations as DAP having "secret relations" with Israeli government because of DAPís membership of Socialist International


Media Conference Statement
by Lim Kit Siang
 

(Penang,  Wednesday): Acting UMNO Youth Leader, Datuk Hishammuddin Tun Hussein alleged last night that the DAP had "secret relations" with the Israeli government, because the Israeli ruling party, the Israeli Labour Party and the DAP are both members of the Socialist International.

Hishammuddin even accused the DAP of having Zionist connections.

DAP had been a member of the Socialist International for the past 33 years and we have never hidden this fact from the public. In fact, I was scheduled to attend the Socialist International Congress in Paris from Nov. 8 - 10, but I decided at the last minute not to attend because I felt in my bones that the possibility of the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad suddenly dissolving Parliament to call for general election could not be ruled out.

If being joint members of an international organisation means having "secret relations" with the Israeli government and "Zionist connections", then the Barisan Nasional government is most guilty of such "secret relations" and "Zionist connections" for Malaysia and Israel are both members of the United Nations.

Hishammuddin should know that unlike the Barisan Nasional government, the DAP had never sent any emissaries to Israel - and the DAP had never alleged  that the Barisan Nasional government was guilty of having "secret relations" with the Israeli government or "Zionist connections".

In making such  wild, baseless and irresponsible allegations against the DAP, Hishammuddin is making his contribution to turn  the tenth general election into  the dirtiest in the nationís history - regardless of the harm to the people and country.

Mahathir did enormous damage to Malaysiaís international relations and chances of swift economic recovery when he denounced an international Zionist conspiracy for causing Malaysiaís financial economic crisis.  Hishammuddin does not seem to able to learn from Mahathirís mistakes.

I am shocked beyond words that such wild, baseless and irresponsible allegations could come from Hishammuddin, who had up to now been seen as quite sober and responsible - a standard-bearer of the next generation of UMNO leaders.

Recently, Hishammuddin was selected by Asiaweek as one of the twenty Asian "leaders of the millennium"  - one of the two from Malaysia - who could break the "shackles of the past" and usher Asia into a new era.

It would now appear that Asiaweek had made the wrong choice, for Hishammuddin does not seem to have the  qualities of a millennium leader to break the "shackles of the past". Hishammuddin  is too shackled by the past and this is why he could come out with wild and outrageous allegations about DAPís "secret relations" with the Israeli government and "Zionist connections".

I want to remind Hishammuddin that he bears an illustrious name and he should not dishonour it.

His father, the late Tun Hussein Onn, and I had  great mutual respect for each other  - for we had exchanged notes on the political situation until his last days.  His grandfather, Onn Jaffar, is a great patriot and nationalist.

Hishammuddin should cherish  his familyís illustrious name and not dishonour it by churning out bizzare and  outrageous allegations which only expose his political immaturity and mediocrity.

Hishammuddin should unreservedly apologise and withdraw his allegation against the DAP.

(24/11/99)


*Lim Kit Siang - DAP Secretary-General, Parliamentary Candidate for Bukit Bendera and State Assembly candidate for Kebun Bunga