Tsu Koon – what a weak and
panicky start as Gerakan’s No. 1 in immediately buckling under pressure by
UMNO Youth leader to take disciplinary action against Paranjothy who dared
to speak publicly what others only muttered privately
Media Conference (2)
by Lim Kit Siang
What a weak and panicky start
for Tan Sri Dr. Koh Tsu Koon as Gerakan’s No. 1 – immediately buckling
under pressure by UMNO Youth leader, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein to
take disciplinary action against the Gerakan Youth vice chief S.
Paranjothy who dared to speak publicly what others only muttered
privately? – that the 30,000 Indians who took part in the Hindraf
demonstration in Kuala Lumpur on November 25 did so to express their
frustration and anger because the community had been “marginalized,
oppressed and ignored”.
Paranjothy had also blamed, and rightly, UMNO leaders, particularly the
UMNO Youth Leader Hishammuddin and Deputy UMNO Youth Leader Khairy
Jamaluddin for racial posturing and inciting racial sentiments among
Malays to gain political mileage – citing as examples the keris-wielding
episodes against the former and the public castigation of the Indian news
vendors by the latter when the UMNO presidential address of Prime Minister
and UMNO President, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was not carried in
the press the next day as UMNO General Assembly fell on Deepavali, with
the next day an annual press holiday.
There can be no doubt that if a private vote had been taken among the
Gerakan leaders, in fact, even MCA and MIC leaders, all would have agreed
with the sentiments expressed by Paranjothy!
Hishammuddin had immediately issued an ultimatum to Tsu Koon with the
threat of severance of ties with Gerakan not only by UMNO Youth but also
by Barisan Nasional unless Tsu Koon could give a satisfactory response and
What was Tsu Koon reaction? Although he protested that “it is not right”
for Hishammuddin to issue the threat and ultimatum of severance of all
relationships with Gerakan, Tsu Koon clearly panicked, which was why he
complied instantly by referring Paranjothy to the Disciplinary Committee
and even anticipated the disciplinary process by saying that the Gerakan
Youth vice chief would be suspended or expelled! Nanyang Siang Pau’s
headline today is “Gerakan to sack Paranjothy”!
Is Barisan Nasional a coalition of equals of 14 political parties?
Could the Youth leader of Gerakan, MCA, MIC, PPP or any other component
party issue a threat or ultimatum to the UMNO President, Datuk Seri
Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in the manner Hishammuddin had done to Tsu Koon?
Isn’t this itself a breach of Barisan Nasional discipline and what is Tsu
Koon doing about it – just swallow it and pretend it has not happened?
Or does George Orwell’s Animal Farm dictum, that “All animals are equal,
but some animals are more equal than others” reign supreme in Barisan
Is this why even Khairy as deputy Umno Youth leader could publicly insult
and humiliate Tsu Koon as Penang Chief Minister and Gerakan No. 2 last
year accusing the Gerakan Penang State Government of “marginalizing” the
Malays in Penang, and “facing the same fate of being marginalised as the
Malays in Singapore”?
Did the Gerakan leadership issue an ultimatum demanding a satisfactory
explanation from the top UMNO leadership over Khairy’s breach of Barisan
Nasional discipline with the threat of severance of ties between Gerakan
If Khairy was not guilty of any breach of Barisan Nasional discipline in
his open criticism of Tsu Koon, why should Paranjothy’s open criticism of
Hishammuddin and Khairy be such gross breach of discipline that Tsu Koon
is talking publicly about expulsion? Isn’t this just kowtowing to UMNO
When the five Hindraf leaders, P. Uthayakumar, V. Ganabathirau, M.
Manoharan, R. Kenghadharan and T. Vasanthakumar were detained under the
Internal Security Act on 13th December 2007, Tsu Koon provided instant
support on the same day declaring that the Prime Minister-cum-Internal
Security Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, must have compelling
reasons to invoke the draconian Internal Security Act (ISA).
Tsu Koon and the Gerakan leadership also fully supported the infamous
Operation Lalang mass arrests under the ISA and the series of assaults on
the independence and integrity of the judiciary by the executive in the
past 19 years, starting with the 1988 “mother” of judicial crisis with the
arbitrary sacking of Tun Salleh Abas as Lord President and Datuk George
Seah and the late Tan Sri Wan Suleiman Pawanteh as Supreme Court judges.
What has happened to Gerakan’s claim as the “conscience” of Barisan
Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic
Planning Commission Chairman