PETALING JAYA: Liew Chin Tong says it was MCA, not DAP, that was behind the move to shut down the Kluang bazaar in 2007.
Speaking at a forum at a coffee shop in Bukit Pasir, Muar, today, the Kluang MP said former MCA state assemblyman for Mengkibol, Gan Peng Sieu, had led a protest against the bazaar and made representations to the district officer at the time.
“I am stunned that Mahkota state assemblyman Md Jais (Sarday) and (Muar MP) Razali Ibrahim can confuse MCA with DAP.
“Just in case they have forgotten, let me remind them that MCA is a component party of Barisan Nasional (BN), and it is Umno’s close partner whereas DAP is a member of Pakatan Harapan. I hope they don’t make the same mistake again,” Liew said.
Earlier today, Liew denied claims by Razali, who is deputy minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, that DAP had asked for Kluang bazaar traders to move to another location 10 years ago.
Razali had said the fracas on Saturday which saw Liew and several other Pakatan Harapan leaders stopped from distributing dates at a Ramadan bazaar in Liew’s constituency, was due to the traders’ memory of the incident.
However, Liew pointed out that in 2007, DAP did not have any state assemblyman in that area.
“We did not try to evict anyone, as it was not in our authority to do any such thing. DAP never asked for them to move, and I have even asked around and confirmed this matter,” he had said.
In his speech at the forum today, he said Johor Umno leaders should stop lying and insulting Malaysians’ intelligence.
“The claim that DAP had the intention to shut down the bazaar in 2007 was a vicious lie.
“I moved to Kluang to contest in 2013, and therefore had no knowledge of what had happened erstwhile. It took me some time to go through the media archive as well as consult locals who might know what Jais and Razali were referring to.
“Even with a member of Parliament and a state assemblyman (for Mengkibol) since 2013, the Johor state government or Kluang municipal council had never consulted DAP on any of their actions, let alone taking orders from DAP to shut down a bazaar.
“To expose the lies of Jais and Razali, the truth is, in 2007, DAP did not even have a single representation in elected position in Johor. DAP only won the parliamentary seat of Bakri and four state seats in 2008,” he said.
Adding that the bazaar was a public space which everyone should be able to visit without hindrance, Liew said DAP would continue to spread its message of goodwill and national unity.
“DAP and myself strongly believe in engaging with all communities and we will not cowed by the violent acts of a small group of thugs,” he said.