Athi Veeranggan | May 4, 09 6:41pm
Lim Kit Siang today condemned MCA vice-president Liow Tiong Lai as “a person with a suspect IQ” for suggesting that the DAP supremo had not stated clearly his stand on the recent cabinet decision to allow minors to follow their parents’ common religion at the time of marriage, when one spouse opts to convert.
Referring to his numerous statements in his blog that supported the cabinet decision, the senior parliamentarian expressed dismay that Liow could not understand simple English.
The Ipoh Timur MP also took Liow to task for suggesting that he (Lim) was at odds with the DAP national chairperson Karpal Singh over the issue.
Liow, also Penang MCA chief, said on Saturday in George Town that Kit Siang and his son, Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng have failed to state clearly their stand on the cabinet ruling, contrary to Karpal’s clear support for the Putrajaya administration over the matter.
“The Health Minister Liow’s IQ is highly suspect for challenging me to clearly state my stand on the issue.
“I challenge him to comb through my blog and not to find any statement from me on the cabinet decision, let alone support for it.
“If so, then Liow must have a very low IQ as not to understand what I had blogged and to be confused by what should be crystal-clear in my statements,” he said.
Offers Liow a free tutorial on basic English
Lim said he would voluntarily give Liow a free tutorial on basic English to go through his statements and show the health minister his blunder by failing to understand simple English.
In a statement released today, Lim said his grouse was not over the decision but on the cabinet’s failure to send out a clear signal that its ruling on the common religion was not a meaningless one.
For instance, the DAP leader said it had been days since the cabinet decision on the common religion and weeks since the court ruling on the return of her one-year-old baby daughter, Prasana Diksa, to kindergarten teacher M Indira Gandhi from Ipoh.
Indira is still pining for her baby daughter who was snatched from her for more than a month by her estranged husband, K Patmanathan, who had converted to Islam.
Lim said that Liow should clearly explain the reasons why MCA, like Gerakan, is playing the double game of supporting the cabinet decision at the national level but not at the Perak state level.
He claimed that Indira had not been able to get back her daughter from her estranged husband, now known as Mohd Ridzuan Abdullah, because the Perak administration under Mentri Besar Zambry Abdul Kadir did not fully back the cabinet’s decision.
MCA playing a double game?
“This is being supported by the Perak Barisan Nasional component parties like MCA, Gerakan and MIC.
“Truth is, Zambry’s administration supports Pathmanathan to not returning Prasana to Indira’s custody,” he said, calling on Liow to explain the reasons for Perak MCA leaders being allowed to go against the cabinet decision.
“Is the article in a ‘MCA’ newspaper yesterday stating that there was nothing wrong with the MCA playing such a double game – supporting the cabinet ruling at the national level but taking the opposite stance in Perak - the official stand of the MCA leadership?” he asked.
Although Pakatan Rakyat partners - DAP, PAS and PKR - have not adopted a common stand on the cabinet decision, he said the three parties have reached a consensus that in the Indira Ghandi case, the custody of Prasana Diksa should be restored to the mother.
Pointing out that Pakatan components have never hid their differences, he stressed that the DAP leadership would continue to hold discussions with PAS and PKR leaders to adopt a common ground on the common religion ruling.
“But the DAP will never play the MCA double game of national leaders supporting the cabinet decision at the national level while tacitly backing Perak party leaders to do the exact opposite,” said Lim.