Media Statement by Lim Kit Siang in Petaling Jaya on Friday, 26th December 2008: 

Going by Tee Kiat’s logic, he should lead MCA to quit BN unless UMNO leaders repent and withdraw their seven-year-old stand that Malaysia is an Islamic state 

I am surprised that the MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat is saying things that makes neither sense nor logic. It would appear that his short tenure as the MCA President has imposed such a tremendous pressure that he is speaking and acting, to many, completely out of character.

Yesterday, he came out with a blog entitled “DAP, not MCA, should boycott KT by-election”, which was promptly reported by the Star online, with the headline “Boycott by-election, DAP told” as follows:

PETALING JAYA: MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat has asked DAP to boycott the Kuala Terengganu by-election campaign as a matter of principle if it is really against PAS’ plan to implement hudud and qisas laws if it comes to power at the national level.

He said if DAP chose to help campaign for PAS’ candidate in Kuala Terengganu, then it would mean that the party supported public whipping, amputation and stoning for criminal offences under hudud laws.

“Mere words objecting to PAS vice-president Datuk Husam Musa’s statement on the issue would not suffice if not demonstrated by action,” Ong said in his latest posting in his blog.

Ong is not making any sense firstly, as he is flying in the face of the DAP record and history in trying to suggest that the DAP supports “public whipping, amputation and stoning for criminal ofences under hudud laws” – a suggestion which is so ludicrous that it does not deserve rebuttal!

It will not be surprising if such a ridiculous allegation had come from his lowly lieutenants who have no integrity to defend but I am amazed and wonder what has happened to Ong that he could descend to such a depth in so short a time after becoming MCA President!

Secondly, Ong is also not making any sense with his blog as I never suggested that MCA boycott the Kuala Terengganu by-election.

Going by his logic, Ong should lead MCA to quit the Barisan Nasional unless UMNO leaders repent and withdraw their seven-year stand that Malaysia is an Islamic state which is not only unconstitutional but totally contrary to the Merdeka social contract reached by the forefathers of the major communities on the attainment of Independence in 1957 that Islam is the official religion but Malaysia is not an Islamic state!

On Sept. 29, 2001, the then Prime Minister and Umno President, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad declared that Malaysia was an Islamic State, committing the MCA without referring the issue first for consultation with and consent of the MCA leadership and membership.

But there was no need for any prior consultation or consent from the MCA leadership in the “unequal relationship” between Umno and MCA, as evident from the quick public support given by the MCA leadership to the “929 Declaration”: that Malaysia was an Islamic State, although this went against all that the MCA founding fathers in particular Tun Tan Cheng Lock and Tun Tan Siew Sin had stood for.

Who is really to be blamed for UMNO playing the “bully” in the Umno-MCA relationship?

In the past seven years, this “929 Declaration” that Malaysia is an Islamic State was repeated again and again by Umno leaders, the latest by the Prime-Minister-designate Datuk Seri Najib Razak, in July last year, with the MCA leadership continuing to give tacit support.

Going by Ong’s logic in his blog, shouldn’t he be leading the MCA to quit Barisan Nasional unless UMNO leaders repent and withdraw their seven-year-old stand that Malaysia is an Islamic state, especially when this is clearly against the Malaysian Constitution and the Merdeka “social contract” that while Islam is the official religion, Malaysia is not an Islamic state?

Ong and MCA should learn from the DAP, for DAP leaders had no hesitation in publicly declaring that PAS Vice President Datuk Husam Musa was wrong and mistaken as hukum hudud is neither DAP nor Pakatan Rakyat policy – leading to Husam admitting that the DAP is right.

I will like to know where Ong got the idea that I had proposed that the MCA boycott the forthcoming Kuala Terengganu by-election, resulting in his retort that it is the DAP which should boycott the by-election.

On Wednesday, I had said that “there is no need for MCA to help in the Barisan Nasional campaign for the Kuala Terengganu by-election next month” if Ong could not publicly furnish the answers to the Five Questions I had posed to him in April about the RM4.6 billion Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) scandal

My language was simple and clear. I was not asking the MCA to boycott the Kuala Terengganu by-election but giving a clear warning that the new MCA President and leadership risk being exposed in the by-election as having failed to honour Ong’s public pledge on accountability, transparency and integrity by “telling all” about the RM4.6 billion PKFZ scandal – as Ong’s press conference on Sunday was nothing but a “cover-up” and a “white-wash” of the RM4.6 billion PKFZ scandal!

My warning to Ong remains – that unless he is prepared to honestly and truthfully answer the Five Questions on the RM4.6 billion PKFZ scandal, in particular the role of the two former MCA Transport Ministers, he will be confronted with these questions in the Kuala Terengganu by-election and the MCA will not be rendering any help to the Barisan Nasional by-election campaign if the MCA President and leadership are seen as terribly defensive or worse, as being “on the run”, from giving full and proper accountability for the PKFZ scandal.

* Lim Kit Siang,  DAP Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor