Five decisions the Cabinet  should take  tomorrow to end the synthetic political  crisis over Malay special rights before irreparable  harm is done to nation building  and economic recovery

Media Statement 
by Lim Kit Siang 

(Petaling Jaya, Tuesday): The Cabinet tomorrow should take firm and decisive action to end the synthetic political crisis over Malay special rights before irreparable harm is done to nation building  and economic recovery.

There are at least five decisions which the Cabinet should take tomorrow:

Firstly, reaffirm the Cabinet decision of September 22, 1999 to "receive  positively"   the 17-point demands by  the Malaysian Chinese Organisation Election Appeals (Suqiu) which was tabled in the  Cabinet by MCA President, Datuk Seri Dr. Ling Liong Sik.

Berita Harian (23/9/1999) in a report under the heading  "Kabinet terima petisyen kaum Cina" ,  stated:

What Malaysians, and in particular the Malaysian Chinese, cannot understand is how the Suqui, which was "received positively" by the Cabinet on Sept. 22, 1999, and used as a major election gambit to win Chinese votes for the Barisan Nasional in the November 29 general election, could suddenly become "poison" after 10 months and be the excuse for  UMNO Youth to go on an anti-national  rampage trying to plunge the country into a communal crisis, inflaming racial sentiments, tensions and animosities  among the various races with irresponsible talk of "bloodshed" by the new Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Mohamad Khir Toyo  - undermining inter-racial harmony and  national security.

Unless, of course, Liong Sik had misled the people in  falsely claiming that the Cabinet had "positively received" the Suqui when it never did.

The Cabinet should make clear tomorrow whether it had "positively received" the Suqui as had been announced by Liong Sik last September as it should not  take any action which is a gross breach of faith with the Malaysian people and the Chinese community  -  reneging on a serious commitment after the recent general election.

In any event, what is clearly indisputable is the open endorsement of the Suqiu by the presidents of MCA, Gerakan and SUPP which was blazoned in the local mass media last August with photographs of Liong Sik, Datuk Seri Dr. Lim Keng Yaik and Datuk Law Hieng Ding each proudly holding the Suqiu.

At their joint press conference on August 17, 1999 to declare their support for Suqiu, speaking on behalf of the three Presidents of  MCA, Gerakan and SUPP, Liong Sik said:

This is why the Liong Sik’s statement last Saturday  that the MCA was  willing to discuss the 17-point Suqui demand with the Suqiu  Committee caused surprise and shock all round, as if the MCA President had forgotten that the MCA, Gerakan and SUPP had publicly endorsed Suqiu before the last general election.

Ling Liong Sik, Lim Keng Yaik and Law Hieng Ding should be consistent and principled at the Cabinet meeting tomorrow and ask the  Cabinet to reaffirm its decision last September on its  "positive" response to the Suqiu.

The second decision the Cabinet should take tomorrow is to direct the  Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Norian Mai, to uphold the law without fear or favour and not to allow the UMNO Youth and its deputy leader Datuk  Abdul Aziz Sheikh Fadzir to go on an anti-national rampage undermining inter-racial harmony, when a  PAS or Keadilan youth leader would have been detained under ISA for doing  half of what the UMNO Youth leader had done.

The Cabinet should be fully conscious that  UMNO Youth and Abdul Aziz have placed  the police credibility, independence, professionalism and integrity under a very  great test and it would be bad not only for the police but for Malaysia’s international reputation if there is repetition of blatant UMNO Youth lawlessness, not only of last Friday’s gangsterish demonstration but also UMNO Youth’s  lawless and gangsterish break-up of the Second Asia-Pacific Conference on East Timor (APCET) in Kuala Lumpur in November 1996, which was a blot to Malaysia’s international reputation as a civil society.

The Cabinet’s third decision should be to stop the extremist,  desperate and bankrupt politicians in UMNO and UMNO Youth from trying to plunge the country into  a communal chaos over a synthetic political crisis.  If UMNO Youth is not prepared to put the overriding  national interests of inter-racial harmony and well-being above its petty political interests, then the Home Ministry should seriously consider proscribing UMNO Youth as anti-national organisation.

Datuk David Chua, who has been used by political desperadoes to precipitate a synthetic political crisis, has said that he had met the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad and explained that he had never raised the question of abolishment of special privileges for Malays.

Chua said he was deeply appreciative of Mahathir’s understanding on the matter.  To further clarify the matter, the Cabinet should allow David Chua’s views and proposals to the Second National Economic Consultative Council to be made public.

The Cabinet’s fourth decision is to set up an inquiry committee  to investigate as to how, as David Chua said in his statement on Saturday, his statement had been "sensationalised" into a synthetic political crisis with extremist, desperate and bankrupt UMNO and UMNO Youth leaders trying to plunge the country into a communal chaos.

MCA Minister for Housing and Local Government, Datuk Ong Ka Ting said yesterday (and which was reported only  in the Chinese media today) that Utusan Malaysia was responsible for the most  irresponsible journalism in "distorting" and "sensationalising"  the issue of Malay special rights as to create a synthetic political crisis.

Such irresponsible journalism in a multi-racial, multi-religious, multi-lingual and multi-cultural society is most reprehensible and must be condemned in the strongest possible manner as it could lead to the most horrendous consequences for the people and country. This is why a special inquiry committee should be set up  to expose such irresponsible and dangerous journalism.

Fifthly the Cabinet should decide whether the government is serious with the 43rd Merdeka Month Celebrations with the  theme of "togetherness" for Malaysians to feel more united by  their commonalities than divided by their differences. If so, the synthethic political crisis being manufactured by extremist, desperate and bankrupt politicians in UMNO and UMNO Youth should be put to an end tomorrow itself.  If the Cabinet cannot end the synthetic political crisis, it might as well call off the 43rd Merdeka Month Celebrations as it would have lost all meaning and purpose altogether.


*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman