The Gerakan’s role in the Serdang by-election

Speech by DAP Serdang State by-election candidate, Mr. Lim Kit Siang, and DAP Organising Secretary, at a DAP by-election rally at Kuchai 6m.s. on December 23, 1968:

In this by-election, the Gerakan Ra’ayat Malaysia is going all out to attack and slander the DAP and its leaders.

Those who attend by-election rallies will bear this out. At Gerakan rallies, Gerakan speakers hardly talk about the Alliance. All that they are interested in is attacking the DAP. On the other hand, at DAP rallies, we hardly mention the Gerakan. Our sole object of attack is the Alliance.

Yet Dr. Tan Chee Khoon has been issuing press statements, accusing the DAP of devoting more attack on the Gerakan than on the Alliance.

Why did Dr. Tan Chee Khoon tell such a deliberate falsehood?

The reason is simple. Dr. Tan and the Gerakan leaders want to justify their endless attack on the DAP, because many Serdang voters have been asking why Gerakan should be gunning for the DAP all the time.

Dr. Tan Chee Khoon and the Gerakan leaders know that they do not have a ghost of a chance of winning the Serdang by-election. The battle is between the DAP and the Alliance.

What the Gerakan is doing is to make sure the DAP does not win, by drawing and confusing as many opposition votes as possible.

The Alliance and the MCA are very happy with the Gerakan’s role in the Serdang by-election. I will in fact not rule out the possibility of a pre-Nomination Day deal between the Gerakan and the Alliance to make sure the DAP does not win the Serdang by-election.

With the approach of polling day, and the realisation by the Gerakan leaders that they are not making any headway, they have resorted to the politics of hysteria, desperation and irresponsibility.

They have even resorted to the Alliance’s racialist tactics in campaigning. In Malay areas, Gerakan workers distribute a Mingguan Malaysia article on the DAP-Gerakan cultural debate, which depicted Dr. Syed Naguib Alatas as champion of Malay language and culture, who declared that Malaysian literature can only be written in the Malay language and no other languages. In non-Malay areas, however, Gerakan workers have said that Dr. Syed Naguib Alatas had no authority to speak on behalf of the Gerakan at the DAP-Gerakan cultural debate. In Malay areas, the Gerakan declared that they are opposed to the Merdeka University because it was racial. In Chinese areas, they said that they are not opposed to Merdeka University. In Malay areas, they say the DAP is anti-Malay. In Indian areas, they say the DAP is anti-Indian, and claimed that Mr. Devan Nair had been thrown out of the DAP by the Chinese. In Chinese areas, they say we regard the Chinese as communist.

I feel sorry that Dr. Tan Chee Khoon and his colleagues in the Gerakan Ra’ayat should descend so low for political expediency, showing themselves up as not only playing the game of the Alliance, but to be utterly devoid of fundamental convictions and principles. Although they have big names and even long string of degrees, the Gerakan leaders have proved to be men of clay with shifting principles, subject to the prevailing wind. The Gerakan is an Alliance diversion in the by-election. I am sure that the people of Serdang can see through the Gerakan role, and give them the verdict they deserve on polling day.

Audited by: Joyce T. and Faiz M.