Press Conference Statement by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, at the DAP Headquarters in Petaling Java on Saturday, February 1.1, 1995 at. 11 a.m. to launch three new DAP books, one in Bahasa Malaysia on ‘Felcra scandal’, one in Chinese on ; ‘Struggle For What’ and another on compilation of prize-winning essays on the DAP’s political struggle.
The biggest, challenge for the DAP in the next general elections is to ensure that Malaysians do not forget the lessons of recent history
The DAP is fully conscious that the next general elections will be the party’s most difficult and challenging general elections since we first contested the 1969 general elections.
It has been rightly said that “The struggle of man against, power is the struggle of memory against forgetting”, for in the next general elections, the DAP’s greatest problem is how to make Malaysians remember the violations of human rights and democratic freedoms only a few years ago and the current financial scandals and the rampant corruption in the country.
Malaysians under the present buoyant economic conditions seem to have a very short memory or even no memory at all, as the majority of Malaysians seem to have forgotten about the mass Internal Security Act arrests of Operation Lalang in 1987, the Judiciary crisis in 1988 with the sacking of the Lord President and Supreme Court judges, the draconian amendments of the Internal Security Act, the Official Secret Act, the Printing Presses and Publications Act and the Police Act to further conscribe the fundamental liberties of freedom of speech, expression, assembly, information and of the press.
The biggest challenge for the DAP in the next general elections is to ensure that Malaysians do not forget recent history.
The launching of these three books, one in Bahasa Malaysia, and two in Chinese, are efforts by the DAP to prevent ‘memory forgetting’ in the straggle of Malaysians for greater freedom, justice and equality in the next general elections. Or as the Chinese saying goes, “Forget, not the Past, As they are the Lessons of the Future”.
In the last 29 years, the DAP had been consistent in our political struggle to fight for greater political freedoms, socio-economic justice, a clean, honest and accountable government and to achieve a Malaysian Malaysia where there is full flowering for the diverse races, languages, cultures and religions in Malaysia.
The DAP’s ‘Full Liberalisation’ theme is a further development of DAP’s ‘Two-Coalition Concept’ in the 1990 general elections.
The DAP’s ‘Full Liberalisation’ theme is a further development, of DAP’s ‘Two-Coalition Concept’ in the 1990 general elections, both of which have as the highest objectives the creation of a free, democratic, just, united and prosperous Malaysia.
The DAP’s withdrawal from the Gagasan Rakyat is not a repudiation or rejection of the ‘Two-Coalition Concept’ as the DAP remains committed to the belief that the Malaysian democratic system can work best if there are effective checks and balances to make the Government open, transparent, accountable and responsible, and better still, if there is an alternative to the government of the day.
The very fact that the DAP never had any co-operation or relationship with PAS in the past four years that the DAP was a member of Gagasan Rakyat is proof that the DAP had always been very clear that our ‘Two Coalition Concept’ is one which is dedicated to the creation of a democratic, just, equal, united and secular Malaysia.
The DAP has withdraw from the Gagasan Rakyat because of the MCA and Gerakan lies trying to link DAP with PAS the changed political conditions in the past four years, and the failure of the Gagasan Rakyat to function effectively or satisfactorily, not because the concept of ‘Two-Coalition System’ or the need for effective checks and balances for the Barisan Nasional Government has become invalid.
In fact, it was because of the support that the DAP received in the 1990 general elections in its call for a ‘Two-Coalition Concept’ which caused the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad to embark on the ‘Minor Liberalisation’ programme to compete with the DAP for the hearts and minds of the Malaysian electorate.
The people’s support for the DAP’s advocacy for the Two-Coalition System’ in the 1990 general elections have created the conditions for the DAP to campaign for ‘Full Liberalisation’ in the coming elections.
Barisan Nasional leaders will want Malaysian voters to believe that there are no issues in the next general elections and that the people should give full endorsement to the minor liberalisations of the Barisan Nasional government in certain selected fields in the past four years or that the only issue is whether the Opposition should be eliminated in Malaysia.
In actual fact, the next general elections will be the most important in Malaysian history – as it will decide whether Malaysia will move towards Full Liberalisation or whether the minor liberalisations of the past four years are reversible.
The DAP wants Malaysia to move towards Full Liberalisation to ensure that the minor liberalisations of the past four years are irreversible.
Furthermore, Malaysia must open up and democratise the political life in the country in keeping with Malaysia’s development and the citizenry’s aspirations for a Malaysian democracy where the people have a greater say in the decision-making process, whether « national, state or local government level.
The next general elections will also see a unique development in Barisan National politics. Until the last general elections, the MCA and Gerakan had to depend on UMNO’s Malay votes to get elected in Parliament and the State Assemblies.
In the next general elections, MCA and Gerakan will have to depend on UMNO to woo Chinese votes – and this is why the UMNO leaders have been competing with each other to play the Chinese card by publicly taking up Chinese calligraphy, apart from the China card which would be played as in the 1974 general elections when Mao Tse Tung was drafted to campaign for the Barisan Nasional.
DAP to launch a new series of ceramahs starting with Klang next month to ensure that Malaysians do not suffer the disease of “memory forgetting’ in next general elections, featuring Shue Kwong Tau as guest speaker
The DAP will launch a new series of ceramahs to ensure that Malaysians do not suffer the disease of ‘memory forgetting’ in the next general elections.
DAPSY has been asked to organise this new series of political ceramahs, which will feature well-known critic and columnist, Shue Kwong Tau as a guest speaker. Shue Kwong Tau had used about 30 pen-names for his articles of political, economic and social criticisms, and undoubtedly the most famous was that of ‘Hunchback Knight’ where he anticipated everyone in analysing the ‘house of cards’ which constituted the MCA commercial enterprise, the Multi-Purpose Holdings Bhd about 15 years ago.
This series of political ceramahs will be launched off in Klang on March 15 next month, and will be held throughout the country.