Sept 1, 2000

Suqiu 'confounded' by PM's statement
Leong Kar Yen

4pm, FRI: Malaysian Chinese Organisations Election Appeals Committee (Suqiu) has said it is "confounded" by Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad's likening Suqiu with the threat by communists in the past and the extremist Al-Ma'unah group.

Suqiu secretary Ser Chun Eng told malaysiakini today he was "wondering why" the Prime Minister made the comparison in his National Day speech (PM likens Suqiu's actions to communists and Al-Ma'unah, Aug 30).

He reiterated that when the appeals were presented to the cabinet in September last year, they were accepted in principle, as stated by MCA president Dr Ling Liong Sik.

In a press statement yesterday, Suqiu expressed shock and objected to Mahathir's comparison of Suqiu with communists and Al-Ma'unah, adding that it has asked for a meeting to clarify its stand with the Prime Minister.

Asked whether Suqiu has contacted the PM's office, Ser said that they were using various "channels" within the business community and political circles to obtain an appointment with Mahathir.

Mahathir is currently on a five-day visit to the United States and is due back next week.

Ser reported that Suqiu held an emergency committee meeting yesterday, and again received support for its election appeals from various organisations. To date, Suqiu's 17-point appeals have been endorsed by more than 2,000 Chinese organisations.

Among the key signatories were the United Chinese Schools Committees Associations of Malaysia (Dong Jong), Selangor Chinese Assembly, Huazi Research Centre and the Federation of Guandong Associations of Malaysia.

Gerakan Youth secretary-general Ho Saw Ho also expressed his surprise at the Prime Minister's speech, adding that certain BN youth groups were trying to resolve the issue by organising a meeting between Suqiu and Umno Youth.

Apology demanded

Meanwhile, in a media statement today, DAP chairman Lim Kit Siang asked the MCA chief Ling Liong Sik, Gerakan president Lim Keng Yaik and SUPP deputy president Law Hieng Ding to resign if they cannot secure a withdrawal of his National Day speech and apology from Dr. Mahathir.

Lim said that since the three leaders had endorsed the 17-point Suqiu appeals, they should explain to the nation why Suqiu has now been associated with communists and Al-Ma'unah, which is a silat group allegedly linked to the arm heists in Perak recently.

"MCA, Gerakan and SUPP ministers and leaders should take urgent action to stop other Umno leaders from going on a baseless rampage against Suqiu by repeating Mahathir's outrageous attacks on it as terrorist and communist," Lim said.


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