Tuesday, May 11

‘Dr Mahathir does not deserve forgiveness’

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(From fourth left) Chieng, Wong, Kong and others during the press conference.

SIBU: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad does not deserve forgiveness for the wrong decisions and measures he made and implemented during his 22 years as prime minister.

SUPP Dudong branch chairman Wong Ching Yong said this is because the mistakes made by the former premier were too grave to forgive.

Speaking at a press conference here yesterday in response to Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng’s appeal during a political talk here on Sunday night for Sarawakians to forgive Dr Mahathir, Wong said prior to the 1999 general election, the Chinese community in the country submitted a memoir, better known as `Suqiu’ (or appeal in Mandarin), to Dr Mahathir appealing for a fair rule of the country.

He said in the face of severe challenges to Umno in the 1999 general election due to the reformation movement initiated by Anwar Ibrahim, Dr Mahathir agreed to the Suqiu which he even commented as fair.

“Included in the Suqiu was the recognition of the Unified Examination Certificate (UEC) of Chinese independent schools.

“Unfortunately, after the Chinese community gave overwhelming support to BN led by Dr Mahathir in the election, which resulted in BN winning the two-third majority in Parliament, Dr Mahathir reneged on what he had promised the Chinese.

“Shortly after the election, Dr Mahathir summoned the members of the Suqiu delegation, and described them as people having the mentality of communists, holding him to ransom.

“He also accused them of resorting to arm-twisting tactic,” Wong recalled, suggesting that the 1999 incident was proof that Dr Mahathir is someone who would renege on what he has promised.

Meanwhile, Wong urged Lim not to come to Sarawak to teach Sarawakians what to do, suggesting that he put his priority on governing Penang.

He claimed that since the opposition captured Penang in 2008, foreign direct investment (FDI) in Penang dropped to fourth ranking from the top ranking Penang used to command.

On the abolition of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) should the opposition make it to Putrajaya, Wong said after the opposition’s election manifesto was announced, Dr Mahathir openly declared that abolition would be almost impossible because the government needed the money from GST.

On a separate matter, Wong said SUPP has been doing much to ensure smooth development of Chinese education in the country.

“We have met the board of directors of Kiew Nang Primary School twice on their request for funds from the state government for the new school building project.

“I’m happy to say that the feedback from the government with regard the school’s request for funds is positive,” he said.

SUPP deputy president II Chieng Buong Toon and BN candidate for Lanang Kelvin Kong were among those present at the press conference.