Media Conference Statement (2) by Lim Kit Siang at Hulu Selangor by-election Kuala Kubu Baru DAP ops centre on Friday, 23rd April 2010 at 9.30 am:
Eight reasons why the 8,000 MCA members in Hulu Selangor should teach MCA and UMNO leaderships a severe lesson by voting for PR candidate Zaid Ibrahim on Sunday’s by-election
There are only 36 hours of campaigning left before the Hulu Selangor voters go to the polls in the Sunday by-election.
Barisan Nasional has the lead in the Hulu Selangor by-election. The Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir have unleashed a blitzkrieg Umno/Barisan Nasional assault marked by a campaign of falsehoods and character assassination against the Pakatan Rakyat and candidate.
The impact of such intensive Umno/BN campaign, particularly on the Malay voters in the outlying areas without easy access to Pakatan Rakyat information, cannot be underestimated.
I am sounding this alarm alert as I believe it is still possible to overcome this Barisan Nasional lead in the next 36 hours for Datuk Zaid Ibrahim to be elected as the new MP for Hulu Selangor, provided all Pakatan Rakyat leaders and campaigners from PKR, PAS and DAP make a supreme effort to get every possible voter out to the polling stations on Sunday.
It is also crucial and critical that Malaysians who support the cause of Pakatan Rakyat to effect far-reaching changes in the country to assume citizenship responsibilities by ensuring that not a single vote is lost among their friends, relatives and neighbours as every vote count in this by-election.
In the 2008 general elections, about 63% of the Chinese voter turn-out voted for the PKR candidate Datuk Zainal Abidin but this percentage will not be able to ensure Zaid Ibrahim’s victory on Sunday.
Every effort must be made to raise this 63% to 80 – 85% on Sunday.
MCA has 8,000 members in Hulu Selangor and it regards this as solid vote-bank for BN.
I call on the 8,000 MCA members of Hulu Selangor to reject the BN candidate and to teach the MCA and UMNO leaderships a severe lesson by voting for the PR candidate, Datuk Zaid Ibrahim on Sunday.
I give eight reasons why the 8,000 MCA members in Hulu Selangor should teach the MCA and UMNO leaderships a lesson on Sunday, an action which not only win the applause of Malaysians in general but also the support of the millions of ordinary MCA members who could make the distinction between right and wrong unlike the MCA national leaders.
These eight reasons are:
1. In the “great debate” in Parliament yesterday to victimize Parliamentary Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim over the 1Malaysia-APCO-1Israel controversy, Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat had four speakers for each side.
For PR, apart from Anwar himself, the other three speakers were PKR’s Azmin Ali (Gombak), PAS’ Mahfuz Omar (Pokok Sena) and myself from DAP.
For BN, the four speakers were Nor Jazlan (Pulai), Abdul Rahman Dahlan (Kota Belud), Khairy Jamaluddin (Rembau) and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz (Padang Rengas).
The PR parliamentary debaters came from all the three parties in PR – DAP, PKR and PAS – demonstrating that PR is the real standard-bearer of 1Malaysia.
1Malaysia, however, is a farce to Barisan Nasional as all the four BN speakers came from Umno.
One important message of the March 8 “political tsunami” of the 2008 general elections was public anger and rejection of UMNO political hegemony at the expense of the relevance of MCA, Gerakan, MIC, SUPP and other Sarawak/Sabah BN component parties.
This message of the March 8 “political tsunami” had fallen on deaf ears as after two years, UMNO political hegemony has worsened to the extent that Umno had gobbled up MCA, MIC, Gerakan, SUPP and the other Sarawak/ Sabah BN component parties so much so that all the four BN MPs who spoke in the “great debate” yesterday came from UMNO with no one from the other 13 BN component parties!
The MCA leadership may feel no shame or dishonor for being completely gobbled up by UMNO – all the more why the 8,000 MCA members in Hulu Selangor should teach the UMNO and MCA leaderships a strong lesson by rejecting the BN candidate on Sunday.
2. Tabling of the Road Transport (Amendment) Bill in Parliament on Monday to impose many arbitrary and oppressive measures, like the more than three-fold increase of compound fines for traffic offences from RM300 to RM1,000. Although this oppressive Bill was withdrawn from Parliament in super-quick time within 48 hours because of the Hulu Selangor by-election, MCA Transport Minister Datuk Seri Ong Keat and the other MCA Ministers must be taught a lesson as to how they could be so divorced from the people’s problems and needs as to propose such oppressive measures.
3. The boneless and gutless response of the MCA Ministers and national leadership to my challenge to all Barisan Nasional Ministers to prove they are serious and sincere about Najib’s signature concept of 1Malaysia by declaring that they are Malaysians first and their race second. Neither the MCA national leadership nor the MCA Cabinet team dare to censure Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin when he said that he is Malay first and Malaysian second.
4. Today’s press reported the tearful scene of the Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein in Kerling when he resolved the 50-year-old problem of a senior citizen who had waited for half a century to get blue identity card.
While I appreciate Hishammuddin’s initiative for resolving this problem, it raises many questions.
Firstly, why did this problem drag on for 50 years unresolved? Why must it wait for the Home Minister to come down to Kerling before it is resolved? What about the tens of thousands of such problems throughout the country. Must some MP or State Assembly representative die to cause a by-election before the Home Minister will go down to the constituency concerned looking for such problems to be resolved?
Furthermore, is Malaysia a nation of laws or men? If former, why wasn’t such problems resolved long ago? Previously, there were MCA Deputy Home Ministers including former MCA President Datuk Seri Ka Ting and Datuk Chor Chee Heung. Was this because the MCA Deputy Home Ministers had failed in their duties and responsibilities?
5.Why the silence and subservience of the MCA Ministers and national leadership to the emergence of the right-wing, extremist and racist Perkasa?
6. Building of new Chinese primary schools - why must there be a by-election before the MCA and Barisan Nasional Ministers have anything to announce about the government building of Chinese primary schools?
It is the duty of the government to build Chinese primary schools whenever and wherever there are adequate parental support for such schools. Why couldn’t the MCA Ministers and MCA national leadership get the Barisan Nasional government to institutionalize solution of this problem by declaring that it is government policy to build Chinese primary schools at public expense wherever and whenever there is the parental demand?
7. Governmment recognition of United Examination Certificate (UEC) instead of using it as a political football for votes in a by-election or general election. All the top universities in the world recognize the UEC except Malaysia. How long more is such nonsense to continue in Malaysia?
8. The press censorship of popular hour-long ntv7 talk show “Editor’s Time” involving the Prime Minister’s wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor resulting in the resignation of senior producer Joshua Wong must be deplored by all Malaysians as an undesirable and dangerous precedent. Why are the MCA Ministers dumb, deaf and blind to this important issue of media freedom and democratic rights of Malaysians?
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Ipoh Timor