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DAP and the Mercy Campaign
“Private Eye” did a gross injustice to the DAP in his comment on the nation-wide signature campaign to save the 13 condemned youths from the death penalty, in the last issue of Opinion.
“Private Eye” made the following three charges:
1) The DAP presented the condemned as “innocent and poor young things” to the public;
2) The DAP spread the impression that they were “great patriots who are going to hang on a despotic rope”; and
3) The DAP was trying to put the people against the Alliance government through the campaign.
Anyone who had followed the DAP’s campaign and statements would know that none of the above three statements is true.
Firstly, the national petition, which was drafted by the DAP, stated very clearly at the beginning:
“The eleven youths had committed a grave offence against Malaysia in consorting with the Indonesian confrontationists in 1965. However, there are strong grounds for Your Highness, as the fountain of mercy, to reprieve them from the supreme penalty of death at the gallows.”
Secondly, the Private Eye must have confused the Labour Party for the DAP in stating that we made the condemned “Heroes and great patriots.” When asked by Utusan Malaysia whether the DAP agreed with Labour Party calls for the release of the condemned, after the reprieve, the DAP Secretary-General, Mr. Goh Hock Guan, stated categorically that the DAP did not support the condemned’s release.
Thirdly, the DAP had throughout the campaign urged the Alliance Government and the Prime Minister to put an end to the national moral crisis of conscience by using their good offices to secure the reprieve of the condemned youths.
When the youths were reprieved, the DAP was unsparing in its praise for the “great humanitarian act,” of the Tunku, the Sultan of Johore and the Raja Muda of Perak.
In fact, throughout the campaign, the DAP assiduously appealed to all quarters not to communalise the issue, that it must be viewed solely on humanitarian grounds.
I shall be grateful if you would publish the above clarification, so that Opinion readers will not continue to labour under a wrong impression.
Lim Kit Siang
Democratic Action Party
Audited on 2021-04-28.