30 October 2017
Press statement by MCA Publicity Spokesman (English / Bahasa Malaysia) cum Religious Harmony Bureau Chairman Dato’ Sri Ti Lian Ker
Bringing Back the Villains of Ops Lalang
1. We are now “celebrating” the 30th year of the biggest crackdown on innocent NGO activists, politicians from both divides (including MCA leaders) , intellectuals, activists etc including the revocation of publishing licenses of two dailies namely MCA owned The Star and Sin Chew Jit Poh.
2. This exercise has been the landmark of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohammad’s draconian iron fisted Machiavellian style of maintaining his power for 22 years. Mahathir has been an authoritarian and condemned to be bringing Dooms and Time Bombs to Malaysia by his political enemies but now turns ally to DAP’s Supremo Lim Kit Siang.
3. Ops Lalang was said to be caused by the growing racial tensions supposedly by Dr Mahathir’s government that was said to be too “tolerant” and “liberal”.
4. However the real and immediate cause was the massive appointments of about 100 Non-Mandarin speaking senior assistants to the vernacular Chinese schools causing anxiety and fear amongst Chinese educationalists and politicians.
5. On 11 October 1987, the United Chinese School Committee Association also known as Dong Jiao Zong together with Chinese politicians had gathered more than 2,000 persons to protest against this decision that was seen to be a direct attack on the very character of Chinese vernacular schools.
6. Coincidentally, the Education Minister than was Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim who was then the rising political star and Dr Mahathir’s protégé in UMNO. Anwar had repeatedly warned of retaliation and that the Ministry’s decision will not be changed or compromised despite pressures from component parties including MCA.
7. A week later on 17 October 1987, UMNO Youth responded to the Thean Hou Kong 2000 gathering with a bigger rally of 10,000 whereby Umno politicians displayed their ire and anger at MCA politicians for participating in the Thean Hou Kong protest.
8. This was followed up with a promise of a half a million UMNO members gathering on 1 November 1987, by the then UMNO Secretary General Tan Sri Sanusi Junid who was a Mahathir loyalist. This was calculated and meant to increase the tempo or racial tension of the day.
9. However on or about 27 October 1987, the Ops Lalang was carried out targeting many innocent mainly Chinese activists, academicians, politicians etc. They were arrested and detained without trial by the order of the Home Minister who was also the Prime Minister then ie Dr. Mahathir Mohamad.
10. Looking back, the protagonists or villains of the “dark period” known as Ops Lalang was none other than Dr.Mahathir Mohamad who was the Prime Minister and Home Minister and his protégé then Anwar Ibrahim who was the Minister of Education. Was the blatant and forceful decision to appoint a big number of non-Mandarin speaking teachers to helm Chinese vernacular schools intentional? Was this decision made knowing that it will provoke a massive “violent” reaction from Chinese educationists and politicians? Were the events leading to Ops Lalang orchestrated by both Dr Mahathir and Anwar?
11. Ironically we are now asked by the biggest critic of these two “villains” who was also a victim of Ops Lalang, ie DAP’s Supremo Lim Kit Siang to vote and support both these Ops Lalang villains back to power.
12. DAP or Lim Kit Siang may have chosen to forgive these villains for reasons personal to themselves or whatever. DAP may have chosen to absolve the villains of Ops Lalang but there are others including MCA politicians who were innocent victims of this blatant abuse of power and disregard for fair play. We cannot allow another repeat of such politically heinous act. Not ever again!
Dato’ Sri Ti Lian Ker
MCA Publicity Spokesman (English / Bahasa Malaysia)
MCA Religious Harmony Bureau Chairman
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