Media statement by Lim Kit Siang in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday, 30th January 2011:
MCA continues to tell lies in Tenang by-election through its newspaper Star – but good luck to Chua Soi Lek continuing as MCA President!
Today is polling day for the Tenang by-election, the fourteenth since the 2008 general election.
The outcome of the by-election should be left to the 14,753 voters but it is most regrettable that MCA continues to peddle lies and falsehoods through its newspaper The Star.
In its analysis report today headlined “Up to the voters now to choose who is best”, Sunday Star wrote:
“Never mind that the Barisan Nasional candidate Mohd Azahar Ibrahim is from Umno, it was the MCA that DAP, especially its adviser Lim Kit Siang, was after.
“A political observer viewed the DAP’s all-out effort to attack MCA as mainly an attempt to divert the community’s attention from the various breakthroughs the MCA has achieved since Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek became party president in March last year.
“’A stable and united MCA has always been a threat to DAP,’ reasoned a veteran MCA leader, pointing out that DAP’s survival hinged a lot upon MCA’s weaknesses as both parties banked on the support of the Chinese community.
“The fact that Dr Chua has adopted a low-key and personal touch in his campaign, such as personally meeting Tenang voters, has also put the opposition in a bind, remarked a political observer.
“As expected by many MCA supporters, Kit Siang had, in his ceramah in Tenang, challenged Dr Chua to step down if he failed to get the support of the Chinese community in the by-election.”
I had never in any ceramah in Tenang challenged Chua to step down if he failed to get the support of the Chinese community in the by-election.
Unlike the views of the majority of MCA leaders and delegates, I have no objection whatsoever if Chua continues as MCA President, regardless of the Tenang by-election result today. Good luck to him!
I had in my Tenang ceramah faulted Chua for trying to demonise DAP and his “scare and fear” tactic in the by-election to frighten the Chinese voters alleging that a vote for the PAS/Pakatan Rakyat candidate, Normala Sudirman is a vote for Islamic state and hudud.
I had also responded to Chua’s warning to the Chinese voters that they would be sending a dangerous message to UMNO if they vote in support of the PAS candidate as it would be interpreted as support for PAS’ Islamic State agenda driving Umno to be more extreme and Islamic.
I had challenged Chua to be honest and have the courage to tell Umno not to misread and misinterpret Chinese votes for the PAS/PR candidate as both the DAP and the Chinese voters in the DAP ceramahs have made it very clear that a vote for Normala is not a vote for hudud and Islamic state but a vote for PR programme for change, democracy, justice and progress.
Would Chua have the courage to tell this simple truth to UMNO leaders?
In the Tenang by-election campaign, Umno leaders have been telling Malay voters that PAS has betrayed Islamic values and principles after teaming up with DAP in PR, while MCA leaders have been telling the opposite lie, that the DAP had sold out its principles and objectives to PAS in supporting hudud and Islamic state.
Is Chua prepared to be the first MCA leader to have the honesty and the courage to tell UMNO the truth - that Chinese votes for PAS/PR candidate in the Tenang by-election is not a vote for hudud and Islamic State but a vote for political change, democracy, justice and progress?
The MCA newspaper, the Star, should have the journalistic ethics and professionalism to report what I actually said in the Tenang ceramahs instead of concocting lies and falsehoods to serve the vested interests of its political masters.
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Ipoh Timor