Speech by DAP Secretary-General and Member of Parliament for Bandar Melaka, Mr. Lim Kit Siang, when addressing members and supporters at Kampong Coldstream, Tapah, on Saturday, 2nd September 1972 at 7 p.m.
DAP remains the sole credible, constructive and creative Opposition Party in Malaysia
Great changes have taken place on the Malaysian political scene in the past two years. Virtually no part was spared a grave test of its own political ability to survive in the face of changing situations, whether in the ruling party or for those in the Opposition.
The MCA is still riven by internal factionalism between the old-guards and the young bloods. In fact, at this date, the MCA is even more discredited than 1969 when it suffered its worst defeat in history. The MCA’s political performance in the last two years inside and outside the Parliament and State Assemblies have proved beyond a shadow of doubt that it is a spineless political organization, without any courage to champion the interests of the people – but only dedication to pursue the separate individual interest of the various political leaders and factions. This is why on the great issues of the last two years, such as the Constitutional Amendment Bill which prohibited the discussion of certain issues classified as ‘sensitive’, the 1972 Education Amendment Bill which abolishes the Boards of Governors of Chinese School, the imposition of the Sales Tax, the mockery of the Ministry of New Villages without any funds, power or responsibility or the development of the 900,000 new villagers, the MCA had been silent.
The MIC is a running joke or the last two years with the Tun Sambanthan and Tan Sri Manickavasagam fighting a prolonged political duel to the finish.
As for the Opposition parties, the greatest casualties and sell-outs are the Gerakan Ra’ayat Malaysia and the People’s Progressive Party.
The Gerakan Ra’ayat Malaysia is a good political lesson that a political movement is not constituted by just big names – like Professor Dr. Syed Hussein Alatas, Dr.Tan Chee Khoon, Dr.Lim Chong Eu, etc. A political movement can only come into being if there is one common ideology which binds the leadership and rank-and-file together. In the Gerakan Ra’ayat Malaysia in their early days, there was a rojak of ideologies.
In the event, the Gerakan Ra’ayat Malaysia broke up ending in its entering the coalition government with the Alliance in Penang. The PPP, after the death of the soul of the party, the late D.R Seenivasagam, soon lost its bearing, and recently entered into the political embrace of the UMNO in Perak – betraying all that D.R. Seenivasagam had lived and fought for.
It is now clear that without the fearless spirit of the late D.R. Seenivasagam, the PPP had been without a leader who could rise up to the times. This is probably why Dato S.P. Seenivasagam is so keen to have Goh Hock Guan in the PPP, although Goh Hock Guan was expelled from the DAP for his destructive and disruptive activities. I must congratulate Dato S.P. Seenivasagam, however, for having discovered a new political mentor in the person of Goh Hock Guan, and that the PPP will soon have a ‘born leader’ which it had been lacking.
Both the Gerakan and the PPP have denied that they will be dissolving and joining the MCA or some other component units of the Alliance.
Both the Gerakan and the PPP in the past had denied that they will team up with the Alliance to form coalition governments, but their denials had not prevented them from eating their own words and betraying the people’s trust and confidence.
As I see it, it is only a question of time before both the Gerakan and the PPP are dissolved, and their members and leaders absorbed into the MCA, MIC or UMNO,
PAS is at present busy preparing for its coalition negotiations with the UMNO. There is left the Pekemas in West Malaysia apart from DAP. As for Pekemas, an apt description was given by Inche Musa Hitam, Deputy UMNO Youth Leader at the University of the Malaysia Great Economics Debate last week. Incik Musa Hitam had said that Pekemas was “segan hidup, segan mati”.
The DAP is the only credible opposition left in Malaysia. We ourselves, of courses, had not been spared a great internal test, when we took the decision to expel Goh Hock Guan and D.R. Soorian for their destructive and disruptive activities. The party as a whole withstood the test, and we have remained a credible, cohesive and collective political movement.
Despite the burdens we had to carry in the last two years with disruptive and destructive elements like Goh Hock Guan and A. Soorian in our ranks, we had been able to show in the last two years that we are not only a credible opposition, we are also constructive and creative.
Good examples are our highlighting of the plight of the 900,000 new villagers in Malaysia, who for the last 20 years had been neglected by the government and excluded from the mainstream of economic and social development. Another one is our expose of the shockingly high rate of mass failures of primary school students in our schools – a fact which had been hidden from public knowledge for the last few years by the Alliance and the MCA.
The DAP will continue to shoulder our responsibility as the only credible, constructive and creative Opposition in the country.
The struggle will be a long and arduous one, but for the interest of our children and country, we are prepared to go to any lengths to uphold the welfare of the people. We shall never betray like the Lim Chong Eus and the S.P. Seenivasagams.