Liong Sik seems to have over-stayed his welcome as a Barisan Nasional component party leader and the question is whether he is going out with a bang or a whimper
by Lim Kit Siang
(Penang, Friday): MCA President, Datuk Seri Dr. Ling Liong Sik seems to have over-stayed his welcome as a Barisan Nasional component party leader and the question is whether he is going out with a bang or a whimper.
Ling is publicly squirming over the ultimatum by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad before his departure for Japan that MCA abide by the Barisan Nasional stand to discipline and expel the two Penang MCA State Assembly members Tan Cheng Liang (Jawi) and Lim Boo Chang (Datuk Keramat) for abstaining in the motion by the DAP Assemblyman for Batu Lanchang, Law Heng Kiang in the recent Penang State Assembly to defer the RM1.02 billion Penang Outer Ring Road (PORR) project, or be out of the Barisan Nasional.
His attempt to do a David Copperfield to make Mahathir’s ultimatum “disappear” by claiming that it was not a “direct warning” to MCA but a reminder which he wholeheartedly agreed only reminds Malaysians of the story of the emperor who has no clothes.
Ling must decide whether to go out with a bang or a whimper.
He can buy a bit of time if he does not want to go out with a bang by sacrificing the Penang MCA duo as well as the right of the people of Penang to demand a review of PORR to ensure that the people’s interests take priority over the interests of crony companies who will benefit from the PORR concession contracts.
Alternatively, Ling can go out with a bang, standing up for the rights of the Penang MCA duo to abstain on a motion which does not concern Barisan Nasional policy but about a project where elected representatives should be allowed to vote according to their conscience and sense of justice as to whether it is beneficial or detrimental to the rights and interests of the people.
It is sad that the MCA Team B leaders are not prepared to put the people’s interests above their own factional interests to topple Ling, and could support the bully tactics and high-handed pressures being applied by UMNO and other Barisan Nasional component parties over the issue of the Penang MCA duo.
* Lim Kit Siang, DAP National Chairman