Liong Sik and Keng Yaik should stop their political con-game on Hua Tuan Election Appeals and address the issue with dignity, seriousness and sincerity


Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang
 

(Petaling Jaya, Wednesday): MCA President, Datuk Seri Dr. Ling Liong Sik has called on the working committee of the Malaysian Chinese Organisationsí (Hua Tuan)  Election Appeals to reconsider the invitation to sit on the second National Economic Consultative Council (NECC) II.

Meanwhile, Gerakan President, Datuk Seri Dr. Lim Keng Yaik is doing his utmost to help his MCA counterpart to "water down" the Hua Tuan Election Appeals into a political irrelevance by declaring that it is not an election demand but "a list of aspirations and appeals with no time frame for them to be realised or implemented".


Both Liong Sik and Keng Yaik should stop their political con-game on Hua Tuan Election Appeals and address the issue with dignity, seriousness and sincerity, as befitting leaders of two national political parties in the ruling coalition. 


They should not think that the people and the over 2,000 Chinese organisations which have endorsed the Election Appeals are simpletones who cannot see through their political con-game, which is to express support in principle for the Hua Tuan Election Appeals but refusing to lift a finger to implement any one of the 82 concrete proposals in the 17-Point Appeals.

For a start, the MCA and Gerakan Presidents  should stop their deliberate ploy to misread and misinterpret Hua Tuan Election Appeals as a "list of aspirations and appeals with no time frame for them to be realised or implemented" and completely unrelated to the forthcoming 10th national general election.

Both Liong Sik and Keng Yaik should read the Preamble of the  Hua Tuan Election Appeals and they will see that it is a specific "call upon all political parties and candidates in the coming general elections to declare their support and endorsement of our appeals, and we urge all Malaysian to jointly work together towards the realisation of these appeals".

In fact, the following first three paragraphs from the very start of the Preamble makes it very clear and specific that  the Hua Tuan Election Appeals is meant to be addressed by all the political parties and candidates in the coming election:

"The coming general elections will elect the Government and peoplesí representatives who will lead the country into the next millennium. Forty-two years after Independence, Malaysia has evolved into a dynamic multi-ethnic nation with progress in all sectors, thanks  to the efforts made by Malaysians of all ethnic communities.  However, certain national policies, especially those related to  equality  between ethnic communities, democracy, human rights and   judicial autonomy, still leave much room for improvement.

"The economic crisis of the last two years and the Nipah virus epidemic are two recent disasters which have caused the Chinese organisations to take serious stock of the future of this country.   The lack of an integrated plan to develop our small and medium-scale industries and  New Villages after more than fifty years after their establishment is cause for concern. While the government endeavours to carry out mega projects, our schools still faced lack of funding, classrooms  and teachers. We  hardly need to point out the depressed sectors among our indigenous peoples, estate workers,  urban settlers and small farmers.

"Besides, we are very concerned about corruption, deviations in the  implementation of government policies, lack of accountability and  transparency, bias of the media, all of which have aroused public concern."

Both Liong Sik and Keng Yaik are therefore being most irresponsible in trying to reduce the Election Appeals into a political irrelevance for the coming general election.

Apart from getting the Barisan Nasional to declare its position, MCA and Gerakan must take their individual and separate stand on the 82 proposals in the 17-poing Hua Tuan Election Appeals on national unity, democracy, human rights, justice, corruption, fair and equitable economic policy, privatisation, education, labour, housing, environment, etc.

Liong Sik and Keng Yaik are guilty of the height of irresponsibility in trying to avoid their party taking a stand on the Election Appeals by treating it as "football" to be kicked  to  the NECC II - which in any event is not contesting in the next general election and whose deliberations have no binding influence on the Government or Cabinet.

(13/10/99)


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