Speech by DAP Secretary-General and Member of Parliament for Bandar Melaka, Mr. Lim Kit Siang, to the meeting of DAP Members of Parliament and State Assemblymen held in Seremban on Sunday, 2nd July 1972 at 10.30 a.m.
A new impulse to the expansion of the DAP
At the annual dinner of DAP Central Executive Committee members, DAP Members of Parliament, State Assemblymen and State officials in Bukit Bintang on 8th April 1972, I had said:
“We in the Opposition are undergoing a test of our political convictions and integrity. But even more important, we are all individually undergoing a test of character and personal honour.”
Since then, four DAP MPs have failed the test of character. As from May 1969, the DAP have had to expel four State Assemblymen, namely Michael Khong, Ho Mong Yew, Chin Chan Sung and Haji Hassan and now two Members of Parliament, Goh Hock Guan and Dr. A.Soorian. Two other MPs, Richard Ho and Walter Loh, and two State Assemblymen, Lee Beng Cheang and Yeoh Eng Chye, have betrayed the Party.
But although we underwent this serious political test, we had been able to emerge politically and organizationally intact, united and strong.
When the history of the politics of the post-May 13 era is written, I have no doubt that one fact which will be recorded will be the remarkable resilience of the DAP to survive and emerge intact, united and strong the many tests inside and outside the Party.
In fact, many people still do not believe that there is not going to be a split in the DAP after the June 18, 1972 decision of the Central Executive Committee. The country was expecting a repetition of the Gerakan, with the DAP splitting down the middle and destroying itself in the process.
The converse had happened. There is not only no split, no disintegration, the June 18, 1972 decision of the CEC had rallied the States, branches and members behind the CEC, bringing about a new spirit in the party which will give a new impulse to the expansion of the DAP in the months and years to come. This is just like the recovery of a sick man who has been cured of his illness.
In the post-May 13 era, many Opposition Parties had either broken up and disintegrated, or succumbed to the absorption of the Alliance Party. But the DAP, despite the hard work of the ‘ Projects Section’ of the Special Branch to infiltrate the DAP, to seek out and exploit the weakness of the Party and the Party leaders, have weathered the storm.
Malaysian politics is a very tough course. To survive with our political and personal integrity intact in the Malaysian Opposition politics call for great character, conviction and courage, for Opposition politicians had to face all forms of overt and covert pressures and temptations to betray one’s political principles.
The DAP, I summit, has proved that it has the most cohesive and credible political leadership with the mettle to withstand not only hard intimidation but soft inducement, emanating from the ruling Party
With the removal of opportunities and destructive and disruptive elements, the Party is now ready to embark on a series of new political and organizational initiatives to surge ahead.
There is no room in our movement for waverers, doubters and the faint-hearted. The struggle ahead is a long and arduous one, and only the valiant, the committed and the stout-hearted can last the course.
DAP Members of Parliament and State Assemblymen who, when the next general elections come, are still firmly committed and dedicated to the DAP struggle, having spurned all soft inducements and stood up to all hard intimidations, would have proved themselves to the Party, the people and country as men of conviction, courage and character, whom all youngsters should and would be taught to model themselves after. They will be the survivors, the veterans of the first lap of the DAP’s ‘Long March’ towards our goal of a Malaysian Malaysia.
The DAP is an open, democratic party. The CEC decision of June 18, 1972 had been discussed by branches of all States. When the Central Executive Committee meets a short while later, I will recommend to the CEC the holding of a Special Delegates Congress as that the Party’s supreme body can give its authorization and full endorsement to the June 18, 1971 decision to end all indiscipline in the Party, and begin a new page in the history and development of the DAP.
With the past behind us, we can now look towards the future with confidence and hope, and with renewed zeal and vigour, plan an even glorious future for the Democratic Action Party and our struggle for a democratic socialist, Malaysian Malaysia.