Ong Tee Kiat’s refusal to publicly name names to substantiate his allegation of “black gold” politics in MCA because there is “no guarantee of personal safety” is fully valid and understandable and why highest-level police investigations must take over from any MCA disciplinary proceedings
by Lim Kit Siang
(Penang, Tuesday): MCA President and Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Ling Liong Sik has challenged the MCA Youth leader and Deputy Youth and Sports Minister, Datuk Ong Tee Kiat to name names to substantiate the latter’s allegation of “black gold” politics in MCA and in particular the allegation that certain MCA leaders have connections with triad characters and that there are even MCA leaders with “triad” backgrounds.
In response, Ong declared that he would not hand the evidence to the MCA leadership as there is no guarantee of his personal safety and because there were “certain people” condoning “black gold” politics in MCA.
Ong’s refusal to publicly name names to substantiate his allegation of “black gold” politics in MCA because there is “no guarantee of personal safety” is fully valid and understandable and this is why highest-level police investigations must take over from any MCA disciplinary proceedings not only to get to the bottom of Ong’s serious allegation of “black gold” politics , but to nip in the bud any possibility of the curse of Taiwan politics taking root in Malaysia.
The biggest disappointment is the “tidak apa” attitude shown by the Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Norian Mai, to the serious allegation of “black gold” politics having set foot on Malaysian soil, as his first reaction yesterday was the non-committal one of “wait and see” – completely ignoring the gravity of “black gold” politics or that it is made not by any ordinary person, but a Deputy Minister and the Youth Leader of the second biggest component party of the Barisan Nasional government.
Norian Mai should read up Taiwan politics to realize that “black gold” politics in MCA is just not the concern one political party, but would have far-reach consequences for the entire Malaysian body politic – corrupting the political system, economic order and social justice in the country.
The call by the Acting Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi last Thursday to Malaysians to fight corruption would come to nought if the authorities allow “black gold” politics to have a foot-hold in the Malaysian political system, with the development of a kind of cronyism connecting organized crime, political influence and government.
Ong’s allegation that MCA leaders have connections with triad characters and that there are even MCA leaders with “triad” backgrounds must be taken seriously by the authorities, as Malaysia should not make a start where people with a background of organized crime or with a criminal record are recruited into the political arena to “launder” themselves through the political system.
Two serious allegations had been made about MCA politics in the past week, Ong’s allegation of ‘black gold” politics and the earlier declaration by the MCA President himself at the MCA’s 54th anniversary celebrations that money politics was creeping into the party to the tune of millions of ringgit.
“Money politics” is an open-secret in MCA, but when the MCA President himself publicly warns about its evil influence, one can imagine the severity of this disease in MCA, especially as the Anti-Corruption Agency investigations involving Ling and his son, Ling Hee Leong, are still pending and inconclusive.
It was the Taiwan Nobel Prize winner and President of Academia Sinica, Dr. Lee Yuan-tseh, who once said that "organized crime is terrible, but corrupt officials are a lot worse."
This is why I had yesterday called on the Anti-Corruption Agency and the Police to set up separate special task force to investigate into MCA money politics and triad politics as alleged by Ling and Ong respectively.
Leaders of MCA “A” faction are demanding for Ong’s head and disciplinary action against him unless Ong could “name names”. As the introduction of “black gold” politics in Malaysia would have the most adverse far-reaching consequences for Malaysia, it is not an issue which concerns MCA alone, but the entire Malaysian society.
This is also why it should be one of the highlights of the current parliamentary debate, as how can the Malaysian Parliament be relevant to Malaysia in 2003 if MPs have nothing to say about the danger of “black gold” politics to the nation and people?
This issue has gone beyond the purview of purely a matter of MCA discipline, but has become a grave national issue of public importance which should be given serious attention by the highest authorities with the establishment of a top-level police investigation team which can give Ong the guarantee of personal safety for his information on “black gold” politics in MCA and an action plan to purge MCA and Malaysian system of parliamentary democracy of all “black gold” politics.
* Lim Kit Siang, DAP National Chairman