Santiago rapped for being signatory in memo against China

KUALA LUMPUR: DAP MP Charles Santiago has come under fire from MCA for being a signatory of an international memorandum against China.

The Klang MP was among 200 parliamentarians and policy makers from 23 countries which attacked China for proposing national security laws in Hong Kong.

MCA central committee member Datuk Chew Kok Woh said DAP should declare whether this was also the official stand of the party.

“We want DAP to state categorically whether it has the same position as the MP from Klang.

“He has signed as the chairman of the Asean Parliamentarian for Human Rights but he is a DAP MP.”

Chew said it was disgraceful of Santiago to join Western lawmakers and politicians in criticising China as Hong Kong was part of China.

He said China could introduce any laws on security it wanted in Hong Kong and it was not for any Western countries to meddle.

“We can see that security has got out of hand in Hong Kong where violent riots, bomb throwing and vandalism have got out of control.

“This is not democracy but a threat to democracy which the West has closed an eye to and even praised rioters as pro-democracy,” he said in a statement.

Chew said none of these Western media had condemned these acts, adding that DAP must surely be aware of the wrongful actions of these protesters.

Another memorandum signatory is lawyer Andrew Khoo, a former Malaysian Bar Council human rights committee co-chairman.

The duo joined Hong Kong’s last colonial governor Chris Patten and US senator Ted Cruz, both constant critics of China, in the joint declaration which attacked China for its “unilateral introduction” of the laws and claimed “the integrity of the one country and two systems hangs by a thread”.

The joint statement also urged governments to raise their voices against China.

Chew said China had every reason to introduce laws against secession, subversion and terrorism.

“The US and Western countries have similar laws, so let’s not be hypocritical.

“It’s shameful that Santiago has joined the others to put his name there and put Malaysia in an awkward position because we have excellent ties with China.

“The DAP leadership should demand Santiago to retract his name,” he said, pointing out that Cheras MP Tan Kok Wai was the previous special envoy to China.

Chew asked what was the stand of Tan on the position of Santiago.

He said such laws were badly needed in Hong Kong to restore peace and stability for a conducive business environment.

Chew said it was simplistic of anti-China people to say democracy would be threatened in Hong Kong.

“I would like to ask; when Hong Kong was under the British from 1841 to 1997, (except during Japanese rule) did the British introduce direct elections?

“The British then occupied all the top civil service and the police force under the British was hugely corrupt,” he said.

In response, Santiago defended his right to express his own opinion regarding China’s proposed national security laws in Hong Kong.

He urged Chew to “take his fight” elsewhere, saying that Chew’s comments were a case of “being desperate to stir the hornets’ nest when there is no issue to begin with”.

Santiago said Chew should see there were concerns expressed in China’s relations with Hong Kong.

“Hasn’t he (Chew) heard of words such as selling state secrets, treason, sedition that have been used by China to nab dissidents?

“I am also against the thwarting of Hong Kong’s judicial system as the new laws drafted by China could see trials being conducted behind closed doors,” he said in a statement to Malaysiakini.

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