Liong Sik and MCA are heading for another public humiliation in being pressured to define and define statisfactorily the "indefinite suspension" of party membership of Tan and Lim according to the dictates of Gerakan and Penang UMNO

Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang

(Penang, Thursday): MCA President, Datuk Seri Dr. Ling Liong Sik and the MCA Presidential Council are heading for another public humiliation in being pressured to define and define satisfactorily the "indefinite suspension" of the party membership of Tan Cheng Liang (Jawi) and Lim Boo Chang (Datuk Keramat) for abstaining in the vote on the motion by the DAP Assemblyman for Batu Lanchang, Law Heng Kiang in the recent Penang State Assembly to defer the RM1.02 billion Penang Outer Ring Road (PORR) project.

Gerakan Deputy President, Datuk Kerk Choo Ting had reiterated that Gerakan would protest to the Barisan Nasional Supreme Council over the "indefinite suspension" of the Penang MCA duo as "too lenient" (Sin Chew Daily) while UMNO Youth leader, Datuk Hishammuddin Tun Hussein has declared that UMNO Youth would raise at the UMNO Supreme Council meeting tomorrow the "highly questionable" disciplinary action taken against Tan and Lim and would "give an assessment as to whether MCA is committed to support the spirit of Barisan Nasional solidarity". (Utusan Malaysia)

The stage appears to be set for Liong Sik and the MCA Presidential Council to be humiliated another time, in having to define and define satisfactorily to Gerakan and Penang UMNO's acceptance the exact meaning of "indefinite suspension" to ensure that it contains at least the following elements:

  • That the indefinite suspension of Tan and Lee would continue till the end of their current tenure as State Assembly member.
  • That both would not be renominated as candidates for the next general election.
  • That prior notice be given to other Barisan Nasional component parties and their consent sought before the "indefinite suspension" of the MCA membership of Tan and Lee are terminated.

Gerakan is in fact spearheading a two-prong attack on the MCA, protesting on the one hand the "insincerity", "farce" and "mockery" of the "indefinite suspension" of the Penang MCA duo while on the other hand, escalating the pressure on MCA by demanding disciplinary action against the MCA Penang State Chairman, Wong Kam Hoong for being the "instigator" behind Tan and Lim's breach of Barisan Nasional discipline making it untenable for Wong to continue as parliamentary secretary to the Ministry of Domestic and Consumer Affairs.

This is why the Gerakan secretary-general Chia Kwang Chye said that Gerakan is preparing its case against Wong for the January meeting of the Barisan Nasional supreme Council and it would not reveal further "proof" of its accusation against Wong until then. (New Straits Times)

There is also the possibility the Gerakan may launch a third-prong attack on the MCA by zeroing on Liong Sik himself on the ground that he had gravely undermined the image, credibility and integrity of the Barisan Nasional when the MCA President said publicly on Monday that PORR is not a Federal project, with the shocking quote:

"The PORR is not a Federal Government project and we don't have a clue what it involves. It is a Penang outer ring road, not a Federal Territory or Johor outer ring road… As far as we're concerned, we don't want to make a stand on something we know nothing about."

It was already an aggravated humiliation for Liong Sik and MCA when Gerakan Penang Chief Minister, Tan Sri Dr. Koh Tsu Koon announced yesterday two Barisan Nasional task forces to oversee constituency responsibilities for the two constituencies, Jawi and Datuk Keramat, one headed by UMNO and the other by Gerakan, completely ignoring that they are MCA constituencies and without consultation or consent of national or state MCA.

Liong Sik and the MCA Presidential Council can expect no public sympathy for their repeated humiliations if they continue to be weak-kneed, unprincipled, opportunistic and self-serving in dealing with the controversy over the abstention on the DAP motion on PORR by Tan and Lim, especially when they are:

  • afraid to point out that no disciplinary action was taken against the four UMNO Terengganu State Assemblymen for violating the Barisan Nasional stand to oppose the PAS Terengganu Syariah Criminal Bill (Hudud and Qisas) by abstaining during the voting on the Bill in the Terengganu State Assembly on July 8; and
  • fearful of defending the abstention of the Penang duo in the interests of the people of Penang and by using the Vision 2020 enunciated by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad for a fully developed nation by achieving one of the nine strategic objectives of "a mature democratic society practising a form of mature consensual community-oriented Malaysian democracy that can be a model for many developing countries".

Liong Sik and the MCA Presidential Council should pose to the Barisan Nasional Supreme Council the serious question as to how Malaysia could achieve Vision 2020 and become a fully developed nation status with "a mature consensual community-oriented democracy" when elected representatives are banned from reflecting the views and aspirations of the people as in the PORR project!

What is most pathethic and a real eye-opener for the people however is that the MCA Team B leaders are even more weak-kneed, unprincipled, opportunistic and self-serving in the controversy over the Penang MCA duo, demonstrating their total lack of political vision or ideals and their sole obsession with toppling and replacing the MCA Team A, whatever the cost and utterly indifferent about the interests of the people, political principles or party integrity.



* Lim Kit Siang, DAP National Chairman