DAP makes a bid for the Negri Sembilan State Government

Speech by Editor of the Rocket, Mr. Lim Kit Siang, and DAP Organising Secretary, at the Second Anniversary Celebrations of the Rocket journal by the Seremban DAP Branch on Friday, August 16 at 7 p.m.

On June 30, the UMNO Secretary-General, Inche Khir bin Johari, warned UMNO members in Johol that Negri Sembilan is a “danger” state for the Alliance, and that the Democratic Action Party might capture the State Government in the next elections.

This is the measure and extent of the impact the Democratic Action Party, under the dedicated and distinguished leadership of Dr. Chen Man Hin, and support of DAP members and supporters, has made in a short period of slightly over two years.

We want to make it very clear to the people and the Alliance: The DAP is making a bid for the Negri Sembilan State Government in the next elections.

A DAP Government will get Negri Sembilan out of its present stagnation, give land to the landless, provide jobs for the jobless, and build houses for the homeless.

We are soberly aware of the great challenges we face before we can form the State Government. The DAP is in Negri Sembilan and in Malaysia to stay. Either we succeed in our bid for the Negri Sembilan State Government in the next elections, or we will definitely succeed in the election after.

The problems we must face and overcome are many. We do not have the finances, the resources, and the facilities which the Alliance have. They even have radio and television at their disposal, as Alliance leaders are utterly unscrupulous in exploiting public funds and resources for petty Alliance party ends.

But the biggest problem is the undemocratic electoral system in Negri Sembilan. We are supposed to be operating a one-man one-vote electoral system. But a study of the electoral distribution will show that this is sheer humbug.

Lukut State Constituency has 3,088 voters, but Sungei Ujong State Constituency has 14,349 voters. In other words, one Lukut voter exercises the same right as five Sungei Ujong voters in electing one State Assemblyman. Who says this is one-man one-vote system? This is one-Lukut-man five-Sungei Ujong voters system, to help the Alliance to hold on to power as long as possible.

But even more blatantly undemocratic is the distribution of electoral votes in the State.

Negri Sembilan has 24 State Assembly seats. 13 of them, or the majority, have less than 6,400 voters. But the total electorate of these 13 seats are only 60,543 voters out of a total State electorate or 158,542 voters – in other words, only 38 per cent.

Whoever wins these 13 seats forms the State Government. But to win these 13 seats, it is not necessary to win 100 per cent of the 60,543 voters. All that is required is to win a majority in all of the 13 seats – or about 30,300 voters, which is 19% of the total State electorate.

What democracy is it that with 19% of the votes, a party can still form the government in power?

If we are going to have meaningful democracy in Malaysia, the electoral system must be thoroughly overhauled, to ensure that we are really practicing one-man one-vote.

The present system, which allows the Alliance to continue in power although it may lose the overwhelming majority support of the voters, is obnoxious, unjust and makes a utter mockery of democracy.

The Alliance is trying all sorts of political manoeuvres to deny the DAP the chance to represent the interests of the people.

This is one reason why local council elections is still suspended, although this is a grievous blow at grass-roots democracy.

The Alliance knows that if local council elections are held, the DAP will sweep the Seremban Town Council, and for once, clean up the inefficiency and waste in the administration of the Negri Sembilan capital, to make it the model in the whole of Malaysia.

Members and supporters of the DAP must redouble their efforts to get the DAP message for a democratic socialist, Malaysian Malaysia to an ever-widening number of Malaysians.

Over the months, more and more of our Malay brethren are coming forward to join our struggle. Even the rural people cannot be fooled all the time.

We are confident that we represent the future, that our struggles today will secure a stable and prosperous tomorrow for ourselves and our next generation.

Audited on 2021-04-08.