Liong Sik dropped a bombshell yesterday morning after meeting a Sri Lankan delegation when, asked by the press when and where the RM230 million deal for the MCA takeover of Nanyang Siang Pau and China Press would be signed and sealed, disclosed that this had already been done on Monday, 28th May 2000.
This prompted the following statement by the MCA Deputy President, Datuk Lim Ah Lek yesterday:
“What really astonished me is that the Sale and Purchase Agreement involving a whopping RM230 million in the takeover exercise was sealed even before the Central Committee meeting.”
What is even astonishing is that the MCA Central Committee was completely kept in the dark when it met on Wednesday that the takeover deal involving the Sale and Purchase Agreement had already been concluded two days earlier.
If the MCA President can so blatantly mislead his Deputy President, Vice Presidents, the MCA Central Committee and even the Huaren Holdings trustees, Liong Sik’s statement yesterday that the MCA would provide accurate information on several issues to correct any wrong perception by the Chinese community on the takeover suffers a grave credibility problem.
Liong Sik had all along maintained the stance that the Huaren takeover
of Nanyang Siang Pau and China Press is a strictly business deal and has
nothing to do with politics, but he has not been able to explain the slew
of blatant contradictions to such a claim, such as:
Liong Sik is gravely mistaken when he implied that the DAP should “stay out” of the Nanyang Siang Pao and China Press takeover issue, on the ground that it only concerned MCA and has nothing to do with the opposition parties.
The MCA takeover of the two Chinese newspapers have directly threatened the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese education, Chinese community, press freedom and democracy in Malaysia.
If the MCA is using RM230 million of its own funds to establish its own newspaper, it would be no business of the opposition parties if equal facilities are also given to the Opposition to establish newspapers, but when MCA is using RM230 million to takeover two established Chinese newspapers threatening the professionalism and integrity of the journalists and the two newspapers, then they cease to be the sole business of MCA but the legitimate concerns of the Chinese community and Malaysian civil society to uphold the rights and interests of the Chinese community and Chinese education as well as press freedom, human rights and democracy in the Malaysian context.