Chor Chee Heung has proven Mahathir and Daim right when they respectively condemned the present Cabinet Ministers as “half-past six” or “deadwood”

Former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad and former Finance Minister Tun Daim Zainuddin have one thing in common – they do not think very highly of the quality and calibre of the Ministers in post-Mahathir Cabinets.

Mahathir have dismissed the Cabinet as comprising “half-past six Ministers” while Daim only recently called for the removal of the “deadwood” from the Barisan Nasional’s Cabinet line-up, to which Mahathir gave “full-hearted” support, saying:

“I agree entirely. Lots of deadwood should be chopped down and thrown away and new trees grow.”

The MCA Vice President and Minister for Housing and Local Government, Datuk Chor Chee Heung came to Gelang Patah yesterday and provided ample proof that he fully deserves the contempt Mahathir and Daim reserved for the present Cabinet Ministers, dismissing them as “half-past six” and “deadwood” Ministers.

In Gelang Patah, Chor questioned my motive for contesting in Gelang Patah. He alleged that I was “hopping from one seat to another” because I was “greedy” for pensions, claiming that I would get separate pension entitlements if I moved from constituency to constituency.

I have been an MP for four states, namely Malacca, Selangor, Penang, Perak and am going to contest in Johore in Gelang Patah in the 13GE. Does this mean that I would be entitled to five pensions if I win in Gelang Patah?

I am astonished by Chor’s claim, as I never knew that I would be entitled to more than one parliamentary pension if I moved from one constituency to another.

This is of couse totally baseless and an entire concoction of Chor ignorance and folly.

Let me tell Chor that a Member of Parliament is only entitled to one parliamentary pension regardless of the number of constituencies he had represented in his life.

There is no such law which provides that an MP can get multiple pensions based on his moving from “constituency to constituency”.

No wonder MCA Ministers and Deputy Ministers command so little respect not only from Pakatan Rakyat ranks but also from UMNO and BN circles as well as in the civil service – when MCA Ministers could utter such garbage as Chor did in Gelang Patah yesterday.

The Malaysian Cabinet with so many “half-past six” and “deadwood” Ministers (to quote Mahathir and Daim) is a national and international disgrace to Malaysia, and is one important reason why there must be a change of tenant in Putrajaya in the 13GE, so that the country can not only get a new Federal Government, a new Prime Minister but also a new Cabinet of high-calibre, dedicated and honest Ministers.

Recently the MCA had escalated their vicious and baseless propaganda attacks against the DAP but the ferocity of these MCA assaults cannot hide the fact that the MCA is in the most parlous state in the party’s 64-year history, as never before in MCA history has a MCA President lost the right to decide whether he himself could contest in a general election.

At present, the MCA President must depend on the approval of the UMNO President whether he could contest as a BN candidate in the 13th general elections.

When the MCA President has to depend on the approval of the UMNO President on whether he could be allowed to be a BN candidate in the forthcoming general elections, who believes that the MCA Presicent and the MCA leadership under him are capable of being independent and courageous political leaders who will not compromise their principles and the interests of the public because they are beholden to UMNO pressures or demands?

Lim Kit Siang DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Ipoh Timur