An in­vi­ta­tion for a ‘friendly ver­bal joust’, again

New Straits Times - - News -

PETALING JAYA: Tunku Ab­dul Aziz Ab­dul Ibrahim has once again ex­tended his in­vi­ta­tion to DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang to a friendly de­bate on the propo­si­tion that “DAP is a dic­ta­tor­ship”.

The for­mer DAP vice-chair­man claimed that Lim had been silent over the mat­ter since he first in­vited him to de­bate a month ago.

“I am sorry to re­port that the usu­ally gar­ru­lous Lim, self-styled seeker of truth and de­fender of free speech, and other as­sorted free­doms real or imag­ined, has not ut­tered a word. His stud­ied si­lence is in­trigu­ing in the cir­cum­stances.

“I may, I sup­pose, rea­son­ably con­clude that he agrees with the gen­eral in­ter­nal party con­sen­sus and the sen­ti­ments out­side the party ranks that his en­trenched top dog po­si­tion, un­chal­lenged for more than half a cen­tury, bears all the hall­marks of a dic­ta­tor­ship. So, I sup­pose there the mat­ter rests,” he said yes­ter­day.

Tunku Aziz, how­ever, said should Lim feel ready for a friendly ver­bal joust con­fined to the propo­si­tion, he is happy to oblige.

On why he was reis­su­ing the in­vi­ta­tion, Tunku Aziz said Lim owed it to Malaysians to ex­plain where he re­ally stood in re­la­tion to the con­sti­tu­tion of the coun­try, and to prove that he was a demo­crat.

Stop­ping short of call­ing it a chal­lenge, Tunku Aziz said he was invit­ing Lim, not to con­front him, but to give him an op­por­tu­nity to speak to the peo­ple and to de­fend him­self.

“There is a lot of un­hap­pi­ness within the party. There are a lot of res­ig­na­tions of top lead­ers. Peo­ple can see.

“He has kept silent on his own po­si­tion. If he wants to as­pire to the lead­er­ship of the na­tion, whether as prime min­is­ter, deputy prime min­is­ter, he has to show his demo­cratic cre­den­tials,” he said.

On what were DAP’s chances in the next elec­tion, Tunku Aziz said he could only judge from what he sees on the ground, stat­ing that in the last polls, Prime Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Na­jib Razak had de­scribed Chi­nese sup­port as a “Chi­nese tsunami”, with more than 40 per cent of the votes go­ing to DAP.

He said he had many friends in the Chi­nese com­mu­nity and said they were prag­matic and prac­ti­cal peo­ple.

“Many have re­alised they have made that grave er­ror of judg­ment by do­ing what they did.

“I don’t think they will re­peat that mis­take. Be­cause they can see what you can get out of go­ing in that way, in that fash­ion, to sup­port an op­po­si­tion that is go­ing on crutches and fight­ing ev­ery­day, with no unity.

“Are these the kind of peo­ple you ex­pect to lead this coun­try? I can­not see that. This is my take on the Chi­nese po­si­tion. Yes some of them will vote for what­ever the party they want.

“A lot of them will come back to sup­port a party (Barisan Na­sional) which has, over the last 60 years, brought progress, peace, se­cu­rity, and the environment that en­ables ev­ery­one to carry out their busi­ness with­out hin­drance.”

Tunku Ab­dul Aziz Ab­dul Ibrahim

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