The 100-year-old Sungei Besi cemetry controversy: one MIC Minister seems better than four MCA Ministers and one Gerakan Minister combined

Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang

(Petaling Jaya,  Tuesday): MIC President and Works Minister, Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu yesterday promised at the  Parliament corridor that  he would bring the issue and controversy of the 100-year-old Sungei Besi cemetry to the Prime Minister's attention during the Cabinet meeting tomorrow.

It would appear that one MIC Minister is better than four MCA Ministers and one Gerakan Minister combined - and this is surely a shame to MCA President, Datuk Dr. Ling Liong Sik, Gerakan President, Datuk Dr. Lim Keng Yaik and the other three MCA Ministers, Datuk Chua Jui Meng, Datuk Ong Ka Ting and Datuk Fong Chan Onn.

This will not be the first time when Samy Vellu has shown that he is more vigorous than the four MCA Ministers and one Gerakan Minister combined in raising the people’s grievances, as in the case of the increase of the compensation from RM50 to RM120 per pig culled during the Nipah virus epidemic last year.

However, Samy Vellu should not be drawing the attention of the Prime Minister to the Sungei Besi cemetry issue at the Cabinet meeting tomorrow but to ask the Cabinet to make a formal decision to declare the cemetery, which  convers 439 acres and  contains the graves of historical figures such as Kapitan Yap  Ah Loy and the burial grounds of various ethnic and religious groups such as Kwang Tung Association, Hokkein Association, Roman Catholic, Sri Lankan Buddhist  and Japanese cemeteries  and a Hindu crematorium, as a national cultural heritage.

The Cabinet should recognise that the Sungei Besi cemetry issue is not a Chinese issue, but a Malaysian issue affecting all communities and involving historic, cultural and environmental factors as well.
The Barisan Nasional Government, in particular the MCA and Gerakan Ministers and MPs, should respond to the speech by  DAP MP for Kepong, Dr. Tan Seng Giaw in Parliament yesterday and explain  why they had acted with such lack of transparency, accountability, sensitivity and responsibility on the issue in going against the mainstream of public opinion by  lending support to the relocation of the Sungei Besi cemetry to Semenyih.

*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman