Role of Opposition Party

The Democratic Action Party will play the role of an intelligent, constructive and creative opposition to the Alliance.

The DAP rejects the argument that the role of an opposition party is merely to oppose.

Although the Alliance has made the word “yes” into a test of party loyalty and political reliability for its members, the DAP will never make the word “no” into a party philosophy.
This was stated by the Organising Secretary of the DAP, Mr. Lim Kit Siang, when he spoke at the Sentul DAP Branch this evening.

Mr. Lim said the DAP will not be niggardly in its praise of the Alliance government where credit is due, nor will it shirk from castigating, condemning or exposing the dishonesty, insincerity or hypocrisy of the Alliance regime.

He went on: “Every Alliance measure or proposal, however progressive or enlightened it may appear on the surface, must be subject to the closest scrutiny.

“This is because the government is notorious for cloaking its reactionary and retrogressive programmes under a progressive cover.

“With the approach of the forthcoming general elections, the government is likely to come out with a series of seemingly progressive measures. If the past is any guide, such measures would never be implemented.

“The Alliance should stop running the government with election slogans and gimmicks for international consumption.

“It has a progressive law to protect padi tenants from excessive rent and insecurity of tenure, but for the last ten years, the 300,000 padi tenants have sunk deeper into the exploitation of feudal absentee landlords.

“It has a law which prescribes minimum housing standards for workers in the private sector – though not for government servants – which has never been implemented.

“It declared as its policy that no adverse social effects should attend estate fragmentation, but it has not lifted a finger to check the social ills of widespread fragmentation.

“The government has launched a campaign to build low-cost houses throughout the country, a campaign to stamp out corruption, a campaign to give a better deal to workers in the form of the long-promised but long-delayed Social Security Bill. It is still to be proved, that apart from giving a lot of publicity to the government, that these measures would significantly better the welfare of the ordinary people.”

Mr. Lim said that the Alliance’s greatest failure in its decade in office is its failure to equalise wealth between the rich and the poor, and to tear down the barriers of race and intolerance among Malaysians of different races.

Mr. Lim disclosed that the DAP is now working out a series of national programmes to ensure the genuine social, educational and economic upliftment of the have-not in Malaysia, both in urban and rural areas. These programmes will be publicised after their completion and adoption by the Party.