DAP to prepare to go it alone in the next general elections in view of repeated rejection by the other opposition parties for bilateral talks

Speech by Ketua Pembangkang and DAP Secretary- General, Lim Kit Siang, to the Perak Luar Bandar (Rural) Committee at Ipoh on Sunday, 28th August 1977 at 2p.m.

DAP to prepare to go it alone in the next general elections in view of repeated rejection by the other opposition parties for bilateral talks

Last Sunday, at the meeting of DAP Negeri Sembilan State Committee meeting in Seremban, I reiterated the DAP’s invitation to the other parties to hold bilateral discussions with regard to the question of having an electoral understanding in the next general elections.

The DAP believes that bilateral talks is the most realistic approach to the question of reach agreement of electoral understanding, without protracted delays on extraneous issues.

The DAP’s invitation was rejected immediately by the Pekemas and PSRM, and I further notice that the Pekemas continued to step up its attack on the DAP.

In view of this rejection of the DAP’s offer to the other Opposition Parties for bilateral talks on the question of an electoral understanding, I call on all DAP branches to prepare for the next general elections on the basis that the DAP will go it alone, as in the 1974 general elections.

Pekemas appears to be living up to its promise at its recent Congress, where it described the DAP as its ‘musuh utama’ – ‘prime enemy’ – and has since then consistently taken up all its time on attacking and libeling the DAP.

I advise DAP leaders, especially our comrades in Perak, not to waste our time on the Pekemas. We have more important business to check the abuses of power by the Barisan Nasional Government, and to expose the anti-poor policies of the Barisan Nasional governments. The Pekemas spends its whole Congress time on the DAP. We the DAP should not waste any time at all on the Pekemas, because they don’t matter. If we waste our time on the Pekemas, the happiest persons will be the leaders of the Barisan Nasional parties.

The Barisan Nasional will suffer serious set- backs and losses at both the Federal and State levels, especially Perak, in the next general election.

Malaysians can now see more clearly that 20 years after Merdeka, the basic problems of poverty, class exploitation, corruption and denial of the fundamental human rights of the people have become more acute.

Twenty years of Merdeka and Barisan Nasional, and formerly Alliance rule, have created a new class of ‘UMNO- putras’ while the ordinary Malaysians and bumiputras remain as poor and downtrodden as before.

This new class of ‘UMNO-putras’ have risen to power and wealth through abuses of power and corruption and this is why the Barisan Nasional Members of Parliament voted against my proposal in Parliament in October 1974requiring every Minister, Menteri-Menteri Besar, Chief Minister, Member of Parliament and State Assemblymen to annually declare.

If the Barisan Nasional politics are dedicated to fight corruption, they would welcome such a law for this will give them an opportunity to prove to the Malaysian people thet they have not made use of their political office and position to aequire land, licenses, logging permits, or bribes in return for favors.

More and more Malaysians, whether in the towns or kampungs, low realise that what we in the DAP have seen saying for the last 10 years inside and outside Parliament and the State Assemblies are true.

In fact, in Malacca, 11 Barisan Nasional Assemblymen are using what the four DAP Malacca Chief Minister. And what the 11 rebel Malacca State Assemblymen say about the Malacca Chief Minister being frightened to convene State Assembly meetings in Malacca for fera of opposition criticism is very true have been saying since the last general elections.

Although the Malacca Barisan Nasional State Assemblymen outnumber the DAP Assemblymen by 16 to 4, yet they could not match the DAP argument for argument – for the simple reason that there can be no arguable defence to government policies detrimental to the interest of the people.

This is not confined to Malacca State. It is also the case with Perak, where the Perak Menteri Besar and Perak State Government is now as frightened as the Malacca State Government to convene State Assembly meetings.

Menteri-Menteri Besar and Chief Ministers who are afraid to convene State Assembly meetings, or use all sorts of undemocratic tricks to restrict debate during Assembly meetings, do not meet the first condition qualifying him to hold such an office, and such Menteri- Menteri Besar or Chief Minister should resign and let more qualified one’s in the State Assembly to take over. Unless of course, there are no other more qualified State Assembly in the Barisan Nasional ranks to take over the office, in which case, the whole Barisan Nasional government should resign.

The DAP in Perak should re-double its efforts for we have excellent political conditions in the next general elections. We should move a head as a united, purposive and disciplined political movement, to rally Malaysians from both the towns and rural areas behind us to build a new Malaysia, where there is no poverty, corruption and gross deprivation of human rights.