(Jelutong, Saturday): Last
week, Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir, the daughter of the Prime Minister and
chairman of the Malaysian AIDs foundation related a story highlighting the
abysmal ignorance and low intellectual standards of Malaysian Cabinet Ministers.
lamented that after two decades of
the world AIDs epidemic, a Cabinet Minister early this year asked her whether
HIV, which causes AIDs, can be spread from an infected person through a mosquito
bite. She remarked that this was
one reason why the campaign to educate the public about the AIDs disease has to
be an ongoing process.
should have reported to his father so that the Prime Minister can rid the
country of such an “illiterate” Cabinet Minister, but that is another
anecdote makes me wonder whether Cabinet Ministers and Barisan Nasional MPs and
leaders, especially those from Gerakan and MCA, suffer from the same fatal
ignorance when they attacked the DAP for launching the “No to 911, No to
929” people’s awareness campaign.
DAP’s “No to 911, No to 929”
campaign has come under intense attack by the Barisan Nasional leaders,
but none of them can explain why it is wrong for the DAP to launch the
“No to 911, No to 929” campaign. Are they for 911? And why are they
for 929? Can anyone of them give a
reasoned and decent answer, without resorting to lies, name-calling and
character-assassinations? Are they prepared to have a public debate with the DAP
to let the people judge who is right and who is being unreasonable and
leaders like the Penang Chief Minister, Tan Sri Dr. Koh Tsu Koon and the Gerakan
MP for Jelutong, Lee Kah Choon have attacked the DAP for being responsible for
PAS’ four-fold increase from seven to 27 parliamentary seats in the 1999
and thinking Malaysians know how ridiculous are such arguments, asserting that
the DAP was so powerful in the 1999 general election as to be the major cause of
PAS retaining the
Kelantan state government, winning another
state government in Terengganu and multiplying
its parliamentary representation four-fold from seven to 27 MPs - when
everybody knows that DAP
suffered one of its worst electoral
debacles in party history , with Karpal Singh and myself both
defeated in both parliamentary and state assembly elections in Penang.
school-children can see the fallacy in these
illogical arguments claming that the DAP was responsible for PAS’ great success in the last general
election when the DAP itself suffered such a
facts are also not on the side of these ridiculous arguments.
Let us take Terengganu where UMNO lost all the eight parliamentary seats
in the state.In five of these seats, the Chinese voters are not more than 2% of
the electorate, viz: Besut 1.86%, Setiu 0.46%, Kuala Nerus 0.61%, Marang 2.07%,
Hulu Terengganu 0.69%. Of
the remaining three seats, Dungun has 5.16% Chinese voters but the 8,118
majority won by PAS is more than the total Chinese electorate; while in Kemaman
(9.35%) and in Kuala Terengganu (12.5%), the total Chinese voter turnout were
less than the majorities won by PAS.
same applies to Kelantan, which had 14 parliamentary seats. Of the 13
parliamentary seats lost by the Barisan Nasional
in Kelantan (Gua Musang was the sole BN
seat won by Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah), eight
constituencies had Chinese
voters constituting less than three
per cent of the electorate, viz: Tumpat, Pengkalan Chepa, Rantau Panjang, Kubang
Krian, Bachok, Peringat, Pasir Puteh, Jeli,
The remaining five seats were Pasir Mas (5.2%), Tanah Merah (5.7%),
Machang (5.2%), Kuala Krai (7.2%)
and Kota Baharu (19%). In the first four seats, the majorities won by PAS (three
seats) and Keadilan (one seat) exceeded the total number of Chinese voters in
the constituency, while in the Kota Baharu constituency, even if the total
number of Chinese voters who turned out to vote during the general election had
voted 100% for the BN, it would not have saved the BN from defeat.
the Gerakan and MCA leaders serious when they allege that the DAP is responsible
for PAS winning the Terengganu and
Kelantan state governments and
sweeping all the eight parliamentary seats in
Terengganu and 13 parliamentary seats in Kelantan?
is because we have these facts to expose the hollowness of the Gerakan and MCA
claims and falsehoods that
DAP is prepared to have a public debate anytime with Gerakan and MCA leaders,
who are trying to distort and even
concoct baseless allegations against the DAP.
would however like to urge the Gerakan
and MCA leaders not to politicise the issue of the “922 declaration”
as the issues involved in the second great nation-building crisis in
Malaysia affecting the political, economic, legal, social, cultural, religious
and citizenship rights of the people and future generations are too far-reaching
and all-encompassing to be turned into
a political football between political parties.
call on the Gerakan and MCA leaders to demonstrate political leadership - to
think of the future of the people and the nation and not just to think of their
own future and that of their political parties.
also like make a call to ordinary
Gerakan and MCA members to put the interests of the nation and future
generations above party politics to join hands for Penang to lead Malaysians in
the “No to 911, No to 929, Yes to 1957” nation-wide awareness campaign.
few days ago, there was the query in the local press as to why the “No to 911” was not as conspicuous as the
“No to 929” in the “No to 911, No to 929” people’s awareness campaign.
fact, the full campaign theme was not unfolded on the very first day, as we
realise that we need to develop the people awareness campaign step-by-step.
We are now ready to unveil the full theme of the people awareness
campaign, which is “No to 911, No
to 929, Yes to 1957”, which is to mobilise the people to save the country from
terrorism and extremism of any form
as well as to preserve the 1957
Merdeka Constitution “social contract” of Malaysia as a democratic, secular,
multi-religious, tolerant and progressive nation with
Islam as the official religion but not as an Islamic state.
far, there has only been one person in Gerakan or MCA who dare to stick by his
principles and speak the truth on
the “929 declaration” - MCA veteran Lim Kean Siew who openly said that
MCA’s endorsement of Malaysia as an Islamic state is a “colossal mistake”.
Kean Siew said that he had been
involved in Malaysian politics from before Merdeka, to post-Merdeka until the
present day, and Malaysia had always been a secular state and never an Islamic
former Penang MCA State Chairman also criticised the MCA for attempting to
describe Malaysia as a “secular Islamic state”, terming it as “half-male,
half-female language” and lambasted the MCA leadership for betraying the party
principles and the trust of the membership and the Chinese community.
Siew had not said anything new, but
he is one in a million who dared to speak the truth - a real shame to the MCA leadership claiming one million
members! When is there going to be
another Kean Siew in MCA or Gerakan?