Confident of UMNO backing, Keng Yaik is “going for the kill” in the latest Gerakan-MCA war by gunning for Wong Kam Hoong in utter disregard of the people’s rights and interests, in particular on their demand for cancellation or full review of PORR
by Lim Kit Siang
(Penang, Sunday): Confident of UMNO backing, Keng Yaik is “going for the kill” in the latest Gerakan-MCA war by gunning for Penang MCA State Chairman Wong Kam Hoong in utter disregard of the people’s rights and interests, in particular their demand for the cancellation or at least full review of the RM1.02 billion Penang Outer Ring Road (PORR) project.
Yesterday, Keng Yaik upped the ante when he charged that Wong, parliamentary secretary to the Ministry of Domestic and Consumer Affairs, was the “instigator” of the actions of the two “errant” MCA Assembly members Tan Cheng Liang (Jawi) and Lim Boo Chang (Datuk Keramat) in abstaining in the vote on the motion by the DAP Assemblyman for Batu Lanchang, Law Heng Kiang in the recent Penang State Assembly to defer PORR.
Keng Yaik said he had ample proof of Wong as “instigator” of a MCA anti-PORR campaign in Penang and that he would file an official complaint against Wong with the Barisan Nasional supreme council as the behaviour of an MP and parliamentary secretary in opposing a Federal Government project cannot be “condoned”.
But Keng Yaik seemed to have no qualms in “condoning” such type of conduct when UMNO elected representatives are concerned, as nobody has heard Keng Yaik lodging a complaint with the Barisan Nasonal Supreme Council against the four UMNO Assemblymen in Terengganu for violating the Barisan Nasional stand to oppose the PAS Terengganu Syariah Criminal Bill (Hudud and Qisas). During voting on the Bill in the Terengganu State Assembly on July 8 this year, the Terengganu UMNO Assemblymen abstained instead of voting – or does Gerakan agree with the vote of the Terengganu UMNO Assemblymen not to oppose the PAS Terengganu Syariah Criminal Bill?
Keng Yaik has to produce the proof to back his allegation that Wong headed a MCA anti-PORR caucus in Penang – but in a democratic country, it should be no crime for elected representatives of the ruling coalition to disagree with any particular development project based on their conscience and sense of justice as to what is in the best interests of the people.
If Wong had headed an anti-PORR caucus in Penang, he should have the courage to publicly admit it, as it is no crime but a commendable political stand.
This is what the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad had advocated in his Vision 2020 for Malaysia to become a fully developed nation, achieving one of the nine strategic objectives of “a mature democratic society practising a form of mature consensual community-oriented Malaysian democracy that can be a model for many developing countries”.
How can Malaysia achieve Vision 2020 with a fully developed nation status with “a mature consensual community-oriented democracy” when elected representatives are banned from reflecting the views and aspirations of the people as in the PORR project?
If Wong had headed a MCA anti-PORR caucus, he should not be afraid to admit it publicly and stand up for a new democratic culture in line with Vision 2020 and defend the right not only of the Penang MCA duo but all Barisan Nasional MPs and State Assembly members to speak and vote according to their conscience and sense of justice in matters not affecting party policy but merely development projects affecting the people.
The PORR project cannot be Barisan Nasional policy, but only a government project, which must be subject to the test as to whether it is in the best interests of the people and the state – which it is not from the snowballing opposition to PORR and the sheer inability of the Federal and State Governments to even convince Barisan Nasional elected representatives of its merit, propriety and legitimacy.
* Lim Kit Siang, DAP National Chairman