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KUCHING, Dec 28: Pakatan Harapan (PH) should have allowed Dong Jiao Zong to hold its close door meeting as it was its democratic right and freedom, said Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) president Dato Sri Tiong King Sing.
He was commenting on the Chinese Organisations Joint Conference, organised by United Chinese School Committees Association of Malaysia (Dong Zong) and United Chinese Schools Teachers’ Association (Jiao Zong) scheduled to be held in New Era College, Selangor today, which was forced to be cancelled via court order obtained by police.
“Once again, these kinds of suppression happened under the watch of the Pakatan government, further alienating those who are simply trying to have their voices heard,” he criticised in a statement issued today.
Tiong stressed that his statement was also aimed at getting clarification as to why a court order was deemed necessary to arbitrarily deprive a concerned group of their peaceful assembly rights to hold a scheduled meeting indoor.
“This so-called government for a New Malaysia is extreme and embarrassing to watch, especially for continuing to resort to blaming every controversy on the previous government.
“People are losing their patience at being played for fools and suffering for their waning support for the PH. Now, they have been forced to weep as they watch their democratic rights slowly eroded,” he lashed out.
Tiong also criticised Deputy Education Minister Teo Nie Ching for her failure to improve Chinese education in the country.
“Just a few days ago, she trumpeted her contributions to education reform in media interviews and had tried to shift the shortfalls of the Ministry of Education (MoE) to perceive faults committed by the previous government,” he said.
Tiong, who is also Bintulu MP, added that PH leaders like Teo must be feeling much of the public backlash as the novelty of being in government has worn off.
“And they are bombarded by the harsh realities of governing a country. Yet, they are still begging for the people’s pity and compassion for their under-performance after setting such insurmountable standards during their opposition days and continues to do so after this weekend’s spit on the face of our democratic rights.
“The PH and DAP’s u-turns on their electoral promises are not only unfulfilled but seems to be going the opposite direction. Weren’t they the self-styled paragons of the freedom of speech and rights to assembly.
“Now we have witnessed the police using a court injunction to stop 17 legitimate Chinese education groups from holding meetings on private premises. Have the DAP completely forgotten all the principles they had preached before?,” asked Tiong.
He also questioned why the police were not able to let Dong Zong hold the closed door meeting.
“Is the police also showing that they have no competence in ensuring public order for events and using court injunctions as a ‘safety precaution’?
“Speculation over this controversial decision to stop a legitimately legal event is rife among the public and will be felt indefinitely in our social consciousness,” he added.
Meanwhile, Tiong also criticised the Democratic Action party (DAP) for its disappointing manner in fighting for Chinese education.
“The DAP’s response and handling of this whole issue has been incredibly disappointing. They have lost much of their moral standing after this.
“A leading political party in terms of the number of parliamentary seats have shown they have lost the ability to be an effective mediator between the Chinese community and the government. By their incompetence, they also allow racial divisions to fester.
“They even have the gall to suggest that the police and Dong Zong communicate to temper the contents of the ill-fated congress in order to avoid controversial speeches and promote a win-win situation, which clearly failed to happen,” he said.
He reiterated that quality education is one of the fundamental ingredients to national unity.— DayakDaily