A setback for democracy for five years

Speech by DAP Organising Secretary, Mr. Lim Kit Siang, to the Petaling Jaya DAP Branch on Friday, February 14, 1969 at 8.30p.m.

The Dewan Ra’ayat adjourned yesterday for the last time, to await dissolution for the general elections.

The second Malaysian Parliament, from 1964 – 1969, has done more to undermine democratic beliefs and practices, than to foster them.The last five years represent in fact a set-back for democracy.

It was this Dewan Ra’ayat which amended the Malaysian Constitution to kick out Singapore when the Alliance leaders found the People’s Action Party too much of a match for them in the open political argument and debate.

It was again this Dewan Ra’ayat which amended the Malaysian Constitution to remove Stephen Kalong Ningkan from the Chief Ministership of Sarawak just because Stephen Kalong Ningkan refused to toe the Alliance line.

It as also this Dewan Ra’ayat which amended the Constitution to suspend Parliamentary and State Assembly by- elections when Alliance leaders feared losing the seats to the Opposition.

This was also the Dewan Ra’ayat which endorsed the Alliance government’s suspension of local council elections to strangle grassroots democracy.

In every instance, the Alliance used its brute and mindless majority to ram through constitutional amendments, which did not serve national interests, but merely the Alliance Part’s selfish self-interest.

The outgoing Alliance Parliamentarians are remarkable only for their mindlessness, sycophancy and subservience to the Party leadership whether right or tragically wrong.

No UMNO backbencher had the courage to denounce in Parliament the exploitation of helpless peasants at the hands of UMNO landlords. No UMNO backbencher dared to denounce the corruption in high Alliance quarters.

The MCA breed of Parliamentarians are even more mindless. Did Mr. Chan Chong Wen, Mr. Tiah Eng Bee, Mr. Kam Woon Wah, Mr. Toh Theam Hook, Mr. Ng Fah Yam, Mr. Quek Kai Dong, MR. Siow Loong Hin, Mr. Tan Toh Hong, Mr. S.Y. Chan, speak up in Parliament against the gross discrimination and racialism of the government in dividing MALAYSIANS into ‘bumiputra first-class citizens’ and ‘non-bumiputras’ second-class citizens?

Did anyone of them dared to speak up in Parliament to urge the government to support the Merdeka University, and for use of all four major languages in government correspondence and public notices?

Did anyone of them dared to oppose the obnoxious crown cork tax, payroll tax, turnover tax, telephone tax, development tax, when they were introduced in Parliament?

Did anyone of them dared to speak up in Parliament against the rampant corruption in high government circles?

In two months time, the people will be choosing the third Parliament for this country. The Malaysian people deserve better Parliamentarians to represent and speak up for their rights and interests than the mindless Parliamentarians who crowded the Alliance backbenches for the past five years.

The DAP will field candidates who have the courage of their convictions, and who are not afraid to speak out their mind against all forms of injustice and inequalities in the country, whether in citizenship, education, language, culture, economics. We ask the people of Malaysia to choose wisely, and reject the mindless Alliance Parliamentarians who have failed to represent them for the past five