Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary General and MP for Tanjong, Lim Kit Siang, at the Cheras DAP Branch RM100 life-membership card-giving ceremony on Monday, September 18, 1995 at 8 p.m.
DAP to conduct a three-year party renewal and reform programme to create a new generation of leaders as well as to ensure that the DAP keep abreast of changing times not to fight issues of the sixties and seventies but to anticipate the needs of the 21st century
In the April general election, the DAP suffered its worst general election defeat, with the DAP winning only nine parliamentary seats while in Penang, where we had hoped to form the Penang State Government, the DAP won only one state assembly seat.
The DAP’s disastrous performance in the April general election shocked not only DAP leaders and members, but also the Malaysian people – for it was a grave blow not only to the DAP but to democracy in Malaysia as well.
This was why when the DAP won the Bagan by-election with the unbelievable 11,802-vote majority, which was 100 times bigger than the 118-vote majority by P. Patto less than five months ago, the election and rejoicing was a national affair.
The DAP’s great and historic victory in the Began by-election is a clear signal that Malaysians want both democracy and development, and that there is hope not only for the revival of DAP after the disastrous general election result in the April general election, but that Malaysians are capable of defending and advancing the cause of democracy.
It is important to realise, however, that the great Bagan by-election result is only the first step in a ‘long march’ for the revival of DAP and the restoration of democracy in Malaysia.
The way ahead is full of difficulties, pitfalls and challenges and we need more and more Malaysians to join the DAP to make clear that Malaysia wants both democracy and development, so that we can assured of a good, democratic, accountable transparent, clean, fair and progressive government.
For this reason, the DAP wants the Spirit of Bagan to save the DAP and democracy after the disastrous results of the April general election to spread nation-wide.
This is why the DAP has launched the nation-wide RM100 Life Membership campaign which has two objectives.
Firstly, we need more Malaysians to come forward to support the DAP cause for democracy and development in Malaysia. Secondly, we need urgent financial ‘rescue’, as after the disastrous April general election result, the DAP immediately faced an acute financial crisis.
The DAP had always depended on donations from DAP MPs and State at Assemblymen – from their allowances – to meet our financial needs. In April general election, however, the DAP’s elected representation was slashed from 20 MPs and 46 Assemblymen to nine MPs (now left with eight) and 11 Assemblymen, which means an immediate slash of our incomes by about 65 per cent.
This is one reason why we are launching a nation-wide RM100 DAP Life Membership campaign, which is a temporary three-month reduction from our usual rate of RM200 for Life Membership – to give an opportunity for Malaysians who are concerned about the revival of DAP and the restoration of democracy in Malaysia to make a concrete contribution to save The OAP from financial disaster so that democracy in Malaysia could he restored.
The greatest challenge of the DAP in the next few years is to talent-scout, nurture and develop a new generation of DAP leaders to spearhead the mission of the DAP in the 21st century
DAP will conduct a three-year party renewal and reform programme to create a new generation of leader as well as to ensure that the DAP keep abreast of changing times – not to fight the issues of the sixties and seventies but to anticipate the needs of Malaysians in the 21st century.
The greatest challenge of the DAP in the next few years is to talent-scout, nurture and develop a new generation of DAP leaders to spearhead the mission of the DAP in the 21st century.
I commend the Cheras DAP Branch for its success in responding to the DAP’s RM100 life-membership campaign.
I have just come back from a visit to Sarawak which covered Miri, Bintulu, Sibu and Kuching, where some 500 cards (at RM10 each) to protest the United Nations Secretary-General at the political persecution of DAPSY National Chairman and DAP MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Guan Eng, were snapped up by Sarawakians.
The people of Sarawak, like their counterparts in Peninsular Malaysia and Sabah, also suffered a great blow as a result of the April general election result.
However, I find that the morale of DAP leaders I and members in Sarawak is not only fast recovering, but they are “raring to go” to fight the next Sarawak state general election which should be held within the next nine months with the hope that there could be a “more than zero breakthrough” to send DAP Assemblymen into the Sarawak Council Negeri.