Media Statement by Lim Kit Siang in Petaling Jaya on Thursday, 30th July 2009:
Tiong Lai – do not be like ‘Nero playing fiddle while Rome burns” only interested in playing MCA politics despite mounting deaths from dengue and H1N1 epidemics
Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai should not be like “Nero playing fiddle while Rome burns” only interested in playing MCA politics despite mounting deaths from dengue and H1N1 epidemics.
The influenza A (H1N1) has claimed a fourth casualty in Malaysia – 20-year-old woman who died of “severe community acquired pneumonia” at 9.40 am on Tuesday at the Malacca Hospital, after suffering from the flu for 11 days.
On the dengue front, two more deaths have occurred this year, a 77-year-old man from Sipitang, Sabah and a 45-year-old female teacher from Ampang, Selangor who died last week.
Since January this year, there have been 26,446 cases and 64 fatalities.
Liow seems to have forgotten what he started six months ago, when he declared an all-out war against dengue, which recorded the highest number of 49,335 dengue cases and 112 lives last year – 50 per cent of whom were preventable deaths.
Now, Malaysia is heading towards an even higher incidence of dengue cases and fatalities than last year.
What type of “an all-out declared war against dengue” is Liow as Health Minister waging?
Liow should be taking leave from his MCA party duties to be an effective commander-in-chief in an all-out war against dengue and H1N1 epidemics but he seems to have lost interest in the dual war against dengue and H1N1 and instead more interested to play political psy-war games in MCA, not only against MCA Deputy Chairman Datuk Seri Chua Soi Lek but also against the DAP.
Liow led the MCA response to my lodging a police report on Monday to protect Ong Tee Keat’s life from death threat revealed repeatedly in the public by the MCA President himself as well as multiple serious crimes by “dark forces” of politico-business underworld combined with Barisan Nasional elements to compromise and suborn government decision-making process all the way to the Cabinet as alleged by Ong.
I am still waiting for Liow to explain why he is .completely unconcerned that Ong has received a death threat and Ong’s serious allegation of “dark forces” of politico-business underworld and Barisan Nasional elements to coerce and arm-twist Cabinet Ministers.
Has Liow information that all this is just a big bluff, that what Ong said was untrue and just propaganda in the “Ong-Chua” power struggle in MCA, and need not be taken seriously as far as his personal security is concerned?
If so, what Ong had done is the height of irresponsibility and Ong should apologise to the people and nation for such irresponsible and despicable conduct completely unbecoming of a MCA President and Cabinet Minister. In fact a MCA President and Cabinet Minister who could tell such lies about death threat from the underworld when it was completely untrue should resign forthwith in disgrace!
Liow said Johore MCA is prepared to lodge a police report on behalf of DAP on underworld elements in Johore DAP.
I told the DAP Johore Chairman Dr. Boo Cheng Hau yesterday that if he had said that there were underworld elements in the DAP, he should lodge a police report. If he had not actually meant that, he should make the necessary clarification.
Unlike the MCA and MCA leaders, the DAP in our 43-year history had nothing to do with underworld elements as we derive our support fully and completely from the people.
MCA is different. After all, it was Ong when he was MCA Youth chief who publicly made the allegation in 2003 about “black gold” politics in MCA, and in particular that certain MCA leaders had connections with triad characters and that there were even MCA leaders with “triad” backgrounds.
It is most disappointing that Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein could not distinguish between his duties as Home Minister from that of an Umno and Barisan Nasional political leader.
The MCA-owned Star reported that Hishammudin said after the weekly post-Cabinet meeting that the police have been asked to investigate claims that certain politicians were involved in secret societies in Johore as such activities could tarnish the image of local representatives throughout the country.
He said: “Such practices can lead to a breakdown of the highest institutions in the country and work against everything we have striven to achieve in the country in the 50 years since independence.”
Hishammuddin was clearly referring to Johore DAP. But has he nothing to say about Transport Minister Ong Tee Keat’s even more serious allegation of a Cabinet Minister given a death threat by secret society elements and the “dark forces” of politico-business underworld combined with Barisan Nasional elements to compromise and suborn government decision-making process all the way to the Cabinet?
I will ask in Parliament why Hishammuddin could “behold the mote in thy brother’s eye but consider not the beam that is in his own eye”.
His father, Tun Hussein Onn, the third Prime Minister of Malaysia, would not be guilty of such double standards.
Tun Hussein would have immediately and fully understood of the great national threat posed by “black gold” politics – which is no ordinary criminality involving a few individuals but a national and systemic curse and threat to society as it is a fusion of organized crime with corruption to subvert the political system, economic system, the rule of law and social justice.
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor