MCA support for the 17-point Chinese Organisation Election Appeals - Ďa lionís roar that has produced a mouseí

Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang

(Petaling Jaya, Thursday): The MCA President and Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Ling Liong Sik yesterday announced that the Cabinet has agreed to expand the National Economic Consultative Council (NECC) II to include representatives of the Federation of Malaysian Chinese Associations to facilitate discussion of the Malaysian Chinese Organisations 17-Point Election Appeal.

From Liong Sikís announcement, the people cannot be blamed if they feel being short-changed as  MCAís "great support" for the Hua Tuan Election appeal is akin to  "a lionís roar that has only produced a mouse".

I do not know whether the intention of the Malaysian Chinese Associations 17-Point Election Appeal is merely  to wangle representation and a few seats in the NECC II for the Malaysian Chinese Associations, or to get the Barisan Nasional to endorse the 17-point Election Appeal by incorporating as many of its concrete proposals on politics, democracy, human rights, economy,  education, culture  and the environment into the Barisan Nasional election manifesto in the forthcoming general election.

If the purpose of the Hua Tuan Election Appeal is to wangle representation and a few seats in the NECC II, then it has been a great success.

But if its purpose is to get the Barisan Nasional to incorporate as many of its proposals  into its election manifesto, then it is a dismal failure - as there is even no commitment that in drafting the Barisan Nasional election manifesto for the coming election, the 17-point Hua Tuan Election Appeal would be used as a reference point.

By claiming that the 17-Point Hua Tuan Election Appeal  are "universal principles which cover a broad consensus that can be accepted by all races",  MCA had cleverly avoided commitment, not only by the Barisan Nasional but also by MCA, on the specific proposals in the Election Appeal - rendering the so-called support given by MCA, Gerakan and SUPP utterly meaningless.

Dr. Tai Eng Teckís senseless and tragic death  as a result of trigger-happy police shooting is a good example.

What is the use of MCA, Gerakan and SUPP Ministers expressing support in principle for the 17-point Hua Tuan Election Petition, when none of them had dared to demand in the Cabinet that Dr. Tai should the last case of senseless trigger-happy shooting by the police, and to draw the attention of the Cabinet to Point 14 of the 17-Point Hua Tuan Election Appeal on "14. Restore confidence in the police force", which said:
"In recent years, the way in which the Malaysian police have  conducted themselves has been a cause for concern and  has shaken the confidence of the public in the police  force:

Liong Sik should explain why Dr. Taiís senseless killing was not specifically raised in Cabinet, why no Minister had proposed in Cabinet  a full inquiry into Dr. Taiís killing as well as the other victims of trigger-happy police shootings, like the eight-month pregnant N. Selvamalar, 31 who was killed in a police shoot-out on Oct. 2 last year or Bank Simpanan Nasional (BSN) teller,  Mohd Zailani Mohd      Salleh,  33, another victim of a police shoot-out  on January 8, 1999.

Did Liong Sik raise in Cabinet the question uppermost in the minds of Malaysians, demanding an explanation from the Attorney-General, Tan Sri Mohtar Abdullah  as to why the police constable who killed Dr. Tai with three shots on the head and body at close range  was charged with manslaughter and not with first-degree murder?

Or is Liong Sik suggesting that the best place to pursue the senseless and tragic killing of Dr. Tai is the NECC II?

Liong Sik is trying to reduce the 17-Point Hua Tuan Election Appeal into irrelevance by claiming support for its "universal principles" but refusing to support any of its concrete proposals in actual implementation.


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