(Petaling Jaya, Tuesday): MCA President and Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Ling Liong Sik will be serving Malaysians better proving that he is not one of the "deadwood" Ministers in the country by ensuring that the RM9 billion Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) is rat-free and cut down the shockingly high toll of road deaths during the festivities instead of making baseless accusations against the DAP.
Is Liong Sik aware that by his failures as Transport Minister, he has contributed greately to making Malaysia an international laughing-stock, with the KLIA catching international headlines not because it is the "airport of the next century" operating with high-tech super efficiency, but because of its inability to deal with the chronic problem of ballooning rat population at the KLIA - and a recent MAS flight to Perth had to return to KLIA with 250 passengers after departing for half an hour when a rat was found in the first-class cabin. Liong Sik does not seem to have heard of the "culture of maintenance" although he had been a Transport Minister for 13 long years!
Furthermore, Liong Sik as Transport Minister seems completely indifferent and untouched by the high toll of road deaths during the double festivities. Although the Transport Ministry has claimed success in the Ops Statik II operation during the Hari Raya Aidilfitri holidays to reduce the number of road accidents, deaths and injuries as compared to last year, with 203 deaths and 9,500 accidents last month as compared to 274 deaths and 9,901 accidents last year - is he aware that such a comparison is not valid as last yearís operation involved double festivities of Hari Raya Aidilfitri and Chinese New Year. What urgent action has Liong Sik taken as Transport Minister to ensure that the total road accidents, deaths and injuries for both festivities this year would not exceed those of last year - which appears to be another losing battle for Liong Sik like the rat problem in KLIA!
Yet, Liong Sik is more interested in playing politics instead of proving that he is not one of the "deadwood Ministers" making up the present Cabinet.
Yesterday, Liong Sik asked me to state my stand whether I share the same position as that of DAP Deputy National Chairman Karpal Singh in support of PAS to establish an Islamic state. (Sin Chew Jit Poh)
Liong Sik was referring to a Star report last Saturday, which reported on the front-page story in the 5th February 1999 issue of Harakah, PAS official organ, under the heading "Karpal Minta Maaf" on Karpalís apology over his "over my dead body" statement in the 1990 general election as it was not his intention to hurt anybody.
I do not know why the Star had to wait until Harakah carried Karpalís apology which was made at the DAPís "Justice For All" forum at Dewan Sri Penang on 1st February 1999 as Star reporters also covered the forum that night.
Be that as it may, it is clear that Liong Sik does not understand very well any of the languages, whether English, Bahasa Malaysia or Mandarin, or even the Malaysian Constitution (as Karpal referred specifically to Article 3 of the Federal Constitution), or he would not have directed questions at me which only highlighted his ignorance.
I would advise Liong Sik to study the Sin Chew Jit Poh, Star and Harakah reports to find out where Karpal had said that he supported PAS in the establishment of an Islamic State. He should also study the Federal Constitution to understand the views propounded by Karpal.
If Liong Sik exercises greater mental discipline, he would not have made such an elementary mistake which even a political novice would feel ashamed of.
Liong Sik should in fact apologise to Karpal Singh for claiming that Karpal had declared his support to PAS for the establishment of an Islamic State, which Karpal had not done.
The DAPís stand on the question of an Islamic state remains unchanged - that it is not suitable or appropriate for a plural society like Malaysia with a diversity of races, religions and cultures as well as not in keeping with the Federal Constitution.
If Liong Sik wants further clarification from me about the DAPís stand on Islamic state, I am prepared to meet him at MCA Headquarters to enlighten him so that he would not continue to make elementary mistakes and can concentrate on proving that he is not one of the "deadwood" Ministers in Malaysia.