Statement by DAP Secretary-General, Lim Kit Siang at a Mid-General Elections Press Conferences on Sunday, 16th August 1974 at Jalan Sultan, Kuala Lumpur at 2 p.m.
1. DAP very confident about the outcome of the 1974 General Elections with a strong national tide in favour of the DAP
After the initial confusion of the first few days after Nomination, because of the multiplicity of candidates, parties and personalities, the 1974 General Elections have fully clarified into an electoral contest between the DAP and the National Front, with the Pekemas, PSRM and independent candidates where the DAP is contesting playing sideshows.
There is a strong national tide flowing in the direction of the DAP, from Alor Star right down to Johore Bahru. At the Parliamentary level, it is a desire of the people to demonstrate to the National that although they will continue to form the Federal Government, the people went them to make drastic changes in their economic, social, cultural and political policies to ensure that Malaysia is a genuinely just and equal society.
In fact, I am even more confident than on Nomination DAY about our 1974 election prospects, having sensed and felt the winds of change that is blowing through the land.
I have no doubt that if we had the normal five weeks campaigning , or we are not to subject to so many undemocratic restrictions hampering our general elections campaign, like having to close our public rallies at 10.30 p.m. when the people are ready and prepared to listen on till 12 midnight, all the National Front candidates against whom we have fielded candidates would be easy targets.
However, despite all these inhibitions and restrictions, I am confident that we can succeed in the large majority of the seats that we have contested, and that at the state level, our chances of capturing the Penang and Perak State Governments are excellent, provided the people do not allow their votes to be split. For as the Far Eastern Economic Review’s latest issues pointed out, the Pekemas don’t stand any chance. It is either the DAP or the National Front, and if the people do not want the National Front to win, then every vote must be cast for the Rocket candidate, and not a single vote wasted on Pekemas, or any other party or independent candidate as such split votes are not only wasted votes, they may help the National Front to win on a minority vote.
2. Lim Kit Siang calls on the Malaysians voters to vote foe all the 46 DAP Parliamentary candidates to deny to the National Front its two-thirds majority so that the Constitution cannot be tampered with at the whim and fancy of those in power.
I call on the Malaysian voters to vote solidly for all the 46 DAP Parliamentary Candidates so as to deny the National Front its two-thirds majority which had enabled it to temper and chop about with the Malaysian Constitution at its slightest whim and fancy.
The Malaysian Constitution is one of the most unusual document in the world, for no other constitution has seen so many changes and amendments. Since Independence, there have at least been over 200 changes – some major ones, like the 1971 Constitution Amendment Act to limit the freedom of speech of Members of Parliament and State Assemblymen (which, incidentally, received full support from Dr. Tan Chee Khoon, Yeoh Teck Chye, V. Veerappen, V, David), the 1972 Constitution Amendment which abolished the nine state assembly seats in Kuala Lumpur, and the other constitution amendments which qualified the freedom of person as enshrined in the Constitution by providing for such anti-democratic acts like the Internal Security Act, etc.
The new Parliament to be elected on August 24 will have 155 members of Parliament, and to deny the National Front government two-thirds majority will require 52 members of Parliament from the Opposition to be elected.
I call on the Malaysian voters to vote and elect the 46 DAP Parliamentary Candidates right from Kedah and Penang, down to Perak, Selangor, Federal Territory, Pahang, Negri Sembilan, Malacca and Johore so that with the SNAP Members of Parliament from Sarawak, the National Front will lose its two-thirds majority. This means that every time it wants to change the Constitution, the National Front must have good and convincing reasons to win the support of the DAP and SNAP, and we will see to it that the Malaysian Constitution can only be amended if it is clearly for the public, national interest, and not for the sake of entrenching the power position of the ruling party.
In this manner, too, the people will be able to nip in the bud dangerous trends in the ruling party which are advocating for a one-party rule. Among the people who are toying with this idea includes Michael Chen, as can be seen in his interview with the August issue of Dewan Masyarakat. Of course, if there is a party government, then Michael Chen and all the National Front leaders can do what they like regardless of the wishes hopes the people.
3. DAP doing well in federal Territory and Selangor.
I have so far attended two election public rallies in Petaling Jaya, one in the Federal Territory and one in Klang, and from the rally response and the spontaneous expression of support from the people, it is clear that DAP is doing very well in the Federal Territory and Selangor.
I am confident that the DAP will win the five Federal Territorial parliamentary seats. In Kuala Lumpur Bandar, Sdr. Lee Lam Thye, who have proved himself in the last five years when he was State Assemblyman for Bukit Nanas as a ‘man of the people’, is well ahead in the lead, leaving Alex Lee and Yeoh Teck Chye trailing far behind. Yeoh Teck Chye will come out last. He cannot even win re-election as NUBE President, which means that he will soon lose his MTUC Presidency which he holds by virtue of his NUBE position; how can he expect to win the people’s support?
Sdr. Farn Seong Teng should also win Sungei Besi. He will be the second Lee Lam Thye, a young man who will immerse himself completely in the problems of the people and devote himself totally in his constituency responsibilities. He is as outspoken and fearless as his brother, Sdr. Fan Yew Teng, and he will be able to represent Sungei Besi effectively in Parliament.
Sdr. Hor Cheok Foon(Damansara), Sdr. Chan Kok Kit(Kepong) and Sdri Mrs. Ganga Nayar(Setapak) will upset the forecast of many political observers.
One thing that struck me when I come up to Petaling Jaya during the general elections campaign is the deep contempt and revulsion which the ordinary electorate have for those politicians who had betrayed the trust of the people, most notably people like Goh Hock Guan and Yap Pian Hon. This contempt is shown by people of all classes, sexes and ages – from the oldest to the youngest, including children.
Let the people unite and teach these political traitors a lesson, by decisively throwing them into the dustbin of politics.