Media Conference Statement (2) by
Parliamentary Opposition Leader and DAP MP for Ipoh Timur Lim Kit Siang
at Perak DAP Hqrs in Ipoh on Thursday, 17th January 2008 at 11 am:
Keng Yaik with over two decades as Federal Minister must bear
responsibility together with Samy Vellu for the marginalization of the
Malaysian Indians into a new underclass and should redeem his “political
sins” in his last few weeks in Cabinet by speaking up for the Indians
instead of undermining their cause for justice
Gerakan Minister for Energy, Water and Communications, Datuk Seri Lim
Keng Yaik, with over two decades as Federal Minister, must bear
responsibility together with the MIC President and sole Indian Cabinet
Minister for over 28 years, Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu for the
marginalization of the Malaysian Indians into a new underclass.
Keng Yaik should redeem his “political sins” in his last few weeks in
Cabinet before the dissolution of Parliament in the next six weeks by
speaking up for the Indians instead of undermining their cause for
The least Keng Yaik should do is to defend the Gerakan Youth vice chief
S. Paranjothy who had said that the 30,000 Indians had taken part in the
November 25 Hindraf demonstration in Kuala Lumpur “to express their
frustrations and anger” because the community has been “marginalized,
oppressed and ignored”.
Keng Yaik should tell the UMNO Youth leader, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin
Hussein that Paranjothy had neither committed any wrong nor indiscipline
in speaking the truth and blaming Hishammuddin and the Deputy UMNO Youth
Leader Khairy Jamaluddin for racial posturing and inciting racial
sentiments among Malays to gain political mileage – citing against the
former the keris-wielding episodes and against the latter his berating
of the Indian news vendors when the UMNO presidential address of Prime
Minister and UMNO President, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was not
carried in the press the next day as UMNO General Assembly fell on
Deepavali, with the next day an annual press holiday.
Paranjothy had described the Indians as “fourth-class citizens” who form
the most neglected group in economic terms, as shown by key performance
indicators such as tertiary education.
Paranjothy also criticized the government’s hard-line stance against
public demonstrations, hitting out at the government for practising
double-standards in the issuance of police permits vis-à-vis Barisan
Nasional Youth and UMNO Youth.
Gerakan President Tan Sri Dr. Koh Tsu Koon dared not defend and champion
Paranjothy’s right to speak the truth about the long-standing
marginalization of the Malaysian Indians in the country, buckling
quickly under Hishammuddin’s pressure and ultimatum of a break of ties
by UMNO Youth and Barisan Nasional with Gerakan if the new Gerakan chief
was unable to give a reply or his explanation was unsatisfactory with
regard to Paranjothy’s statement.
Tsu Koon’s immediate response was to dissociate himself from Paranjothy
and referring him to the Gerakan disciplinary committee for disciplinary
action to be taken – when Paranjothy should be commended as the only
Barisan Nasional official to speak up for the marginalized Indians,
something even the MIC President had failed to do.
Is Keng Yaik, as the Gerakan elder, prepared to do what Tsu Koon dared
not do – to defend and champion Paranjothy’s right to speak the truth
and to tell Hishammuddin to end his bully ways as UMNO Youth leader
against other Barisan Nasional parties and leaders?
Kit Siang, Parliamentary
Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic
Planning Commission Chairman