Chua Jui Meng's call for a "gag" on further public debate on "black gold" politics in MCA most undemocratic and completely against the national interest to establish a corruption-free political system

Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang

(Penang,  Friday): The call by the MCA vice president Datuk Chua Jui Meng for a "gag" on further public debate and discussions on "black gold" politics in MCA is the worst of all proposals made so far from the MCA A and B factions on the expose by the MCA Youth leader, Datuk Ong Tee Kiat, as it is most undemocratic and completely against the national interest to establish a corruption-free political system in Malaysia.

Chua has again confirmed himself as the most undemocratic leader in MCA and Barisan Nasional, who believes in keeping the people in total "darkness" about their rights and what is happening in the country by denying them all right to information.

He was responsible for imposing a "gag" on information about the Nipah virus epidemic in 1999 when timely release of information from the very beginning about the mysterious disease and deaths might have prevented a toll of over a hundred lives lost and the ruin of the RM2.5 billion pig-rearing and pork industry.

He is again the Minister responsible for the "gag" on the nine-month worst dengue epidemic in the nation's history, and which is still raging unchecked claiming more and more lives, by denying the people timely, full and accurate information about the deadly dengue epidemic. Chua told Parliament on Tuesday that there had been 11 dengue deaths this year till February 22. Chua had not only understated the actual number of dengue deaths this year as well as last year, he had not told MPs about more dengue deaths since February 22, although he gets weekly update on information about the latest dengue cases and fatalities.

Now, Chua wants to impose a "gag" on all debate and discussion on Ong's expose of "black gold" politics in MCA - not for the good of the people and country, but to safeguard his own political position in MCA as he feels that the issue of "black gold" politics is a god-send to the MCA A faction to go on the offensive to isolate and marginalize the MCA B faction, and even to go "for the kill"!

Chua should not put personal and factional party interests above national interest in calling for a "gag" when he should be in the very forefront to support Ong and demand that "black gold" politics should be nipped in the bud and not be allowed to rear its ugly head in Malaysia. Or is Chua convinced that Ong was utterly irresponsible in making such an allegation, whether because it was baseless or it should be a "taboo" subject which should not be publicized?

The curse of "black gold" politics in the history of Taiwan politics should be understood by all political leaders in the country, if we do not want the fusion of organized crime with the politics of money to corrupt our political system, the economic order, the rule of law and social justice in the country!

It would appear that Chua had not heard or understood the call of Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to all Malaysians to come forward to fight corruption in his first speech as Acting Prime Minister last week, and this is why his proposal to sweep pulbic debate on "black gold" politics under the carpet is totally against the objective to eliminate corruption of all forms in our political system.

I had publicly gone on record declaring my understanding and support for Ong's refusal to submit to the demands of MCA President Datuk Seri Dr. Ling Liong Sik and other MCA "A" leaders to publicly "name names" to substantiate his allegation that certain MCA leaders have connections with triad characters and that there are even MCA leaders with "triad" backgrounds as there is no guarantee of his personal safety and there are "certain people" condoning "black gold" politics in MCA.

This is why the DAP had right from the beginning called for the highest-level police investigations to take over from any MCA disciplinary proceedings to get to the bottom of Ong's serious allegation of "black gold" politics and to nip in the bud any possibility of the curse of Taiwan politics taking root in Malaysia.

Ong said he had written to the Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Norian Mai, for a meeting on his allegation of "black gold" politics and that triads had infiltrated the MCA.

Ong is addressing the wrong target in asking for a meeting to talk about "black gold" politics, as such a right person would be the Acting Prime Minister and Acting head of the Barisan Nasional, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and not the IGP.

As far as the police is concerned, there is no need for any such meeting. What the police should do is to start high-level investigations, and this is why Ong should without any more delay lodge a police report on "black gold" politics in MCA so that the police can institute formal investigations.

Ong must of course be prepared to pay the consequences for lodging a false police report and possibly for the offence of criminal defamation and other legal repercussions if he could not substantiate his serious allegation of "black gold" politics in MCA.

I am surprised that Ong has not yet lodged a police report on his allegation. Is it because he has no confidence in the capability of the police to conduct an independent and thorough investigation into his allegation of "black gold" politics in MCA? If so, then it gives rise to a completely different scenario.


* Lim Kit Siang, DAP National Chairman