Challenge to  Chan Kong Choy to a dialogue with  Nik Aziz for the MCA leader to produce evidence that under PAS rule, Chinese cannot eat pork or practise ancestor worship and that the Kelantan Mentri Besar feigned illness to avoid dialogue with people of Sanggang

- DAP Sanggang by-election ceramah
Lim Kit Siang

(Mentakab, Sunday): The MCA leadership has again resorted to the campaign of lies and falsehoods in the Sanggang by-election campaign - a campaign which had been so successfully deployed  in the recent general election that DAP suffered a catastrophic electoral setback and I myself was defeated for the first time in 30 years in a parliamentary election.

For instance, in this by-election, the MCA campaign theme in their posters, banners and billboards is to ask the Chinese voters to reject the Opposition’s "sugar-coated poison", that they should reject an "extremist PAS" in favour of a "moderate Barisan Nasional" and that support for PAS would lead to the end of Chinese rights in Malaysia.

During this by-election, the MCA election campaign is more circumspect and MCA leaders dare  not publicly spell out what they mean in their charges that PAS is extremist, that the Opposition’s is promising "sugar-coated poison" and that Chinese rights would be  lost if PAS wins in the by-election but on ground, in their house-to-house campaigns, MCA election workers continue to spread lies and falsehoods.

A good example is what the MCA Pahang State Chairman and Deputy Finance Minister, Datuk Chan Kong Choy did during his visit to the market in Sanggang - telling the people that if the PAS candidate wins in the by-election, the Chinese would not be able to eat pork or practise ancestor worship, which is meant to be particularly telling with the approach of Chen Beng or Chinese All Souls Day.

Chan Kong Choy and the MCA leaders should have the courage to make these charges publicly and stand by them instead of conducting an irresponsible whispering campaign of lies and poison on the ground.

Chan Kong Choy also alleged that the Kelantan Mentri Besar, Nik Aziz Nik Mat feigned illness so as to avoid attending a dialogue organised by the DAP for the Kelantan PAS state government leadership with the Chinese voters in Sanggang on Saturday, because Nik Aziz could not "face up" to  the Chinese voters.

I am very sad that MCA leaders should stoop so low as to resort to such lies,  falsehoods and even character-assassination just to win votes.

On 3rd March 2000, Nik Aziz attended a DAP-organised inter-political, inter-religious and inter-civilisational dialogue with other senior executive councillors of the Kelantan State Government at the Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall in Kuala Lumpur and   answered questions from the public about Kelantan State government policies and measures.

It is most therefore most unworthy and dishonourable for  Chan Kong Choy to suggest that  Nik Aziz  feigned sickness to avoid such a dialogue in the Sanggang by-election, allegedly because he was afraid to "face up" to the Chinese voters on the record of the Kelantan PAS state government - when in fact Nik Aziz was indisposed on Saturday.

I have not discussed with Nik Aziz, but I dare to make a proposal that as Chan Kong Choy is so convinced that the Kelantan Mentri Besar is afraid to "face up" to the Chinese in Sanggang on the record of the Kelantan PAS state government, and that the Chinese in Kelantan are an "oppressed race" where there is no pork, no alcohol, no temples, no ancestor-worship, no Chinese schools, pretty women cannot find work and there is a chopping of hands and feet, that he and other top MCA national leaders appear at a dialogue together with Nik Aziz to give the MCA an opportunity to prove that PAS is an extremist party and that the Chinese will lose their rights under PAS.

I give Chan Kong Choy 24 hours to accept this invitation to a public dialogue with Nik Aziz on 29th March in Sanggang, and once he accepts, I will then contact Nik Aziz, whom I believe would have no hesitation whatsoever in accepting such an invitation.

The ball is now in the court of Chan Kong Choy, who together with other MCA leaders should stop their whispering campaign of lies and falsehoods on the ground -  and instead courageously  bring out their  whispered allegations into the public limelight to be tested as to whether they are true or false.

Let me state that if in the dialogue between Chan Kong Choy and Nik Aziz, the MCA can prove that under PAS rule in Kelantan, the Chinese are an "oppressed race" and that there is no pork, no alcohol, no temples, no ancestor-worship, no Chinese schools in the state, I will call on the voters of Sanggang to vote for Barisan Nasional and reject the Barisan Alternative candidate.

But if in the dialogue with Nik Aziz, Chan Kong Choy cannot prove any of these lies and falsehoods being spread by the MCA in their house-to-house visits on the ground, is he prepared to openly call on the Sanggang voters to vote for the PAS candidate, Datuk Hishammuddin Yahya?


*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman