Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader and DAP Secretary-General Lim Kit Siang, at the 1,000-person dinner organised by the Perak State DAP on the occasion of its 11th Anniversary at the St. John Ambulance Hall, Ipoh, on Saturday, 12th November, 1977, at 6.00p.m.
Federal take-over of Kelantan State Government proof of failure of Barisan National concept.
When Barisan National was formed, its originators claimed that it represented the wave of the future, and that Barisan National was formed to reduce politiking and concentrate on development efforts.
At that time, there was even talk that there was no need for Opposition parties, which was described by one leading Minister as ‘unnecessary and evil’, and the serious thinking in some circles for a one-party state.
What was happened in the past few months in the various States have shown the failure and fallacy of the Barisan National concept. In Malacca, for instance, there was a revolt by State Assemblymen against Minister belonging to the same party, creating a breakdown of government. Although on Wednesday, the DAP’s motion of no confidence against the Malacca Chief Minister was defeated by 12 votes to 4, it is clear that the Malacca crisis is not completely over, and that it needed a special directive by Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, who summoned the State Assemblemen to Kuala Lumpur for a lecture, before the votes were lined up in the Barisan National to support the Chief Minister. Even then, it is significant that a spokesman of the Group of 11 said that they are voting in support for the Barisan National Government and not the Chief Minister personally.
In Kelantan, the Federal takeover of the Kelantan State Government is also proof of the failure of the Barisan Nasional concept. The suspension of the Kelantan State Government is completely unjustifiable, and is aimed at eventually benefitting Kelantan UMNO to displace Kelantan PAS as the majority party in the State. In Parliament in the early hours of Wednesday morning, a crucial vote was taken which would have long-term consequence on the future of democracy in the country. All the seven DAP Members of Parliament were present and voted against the Bill, although I do not understand why several newspapers reported that only six DAP MPs voted against the Bill.
General Elections Date may be affected by the Barisan Nasional developments.
I have said before that I expect general elections to be held as early as March or April next year. The developments in the various states, especially in Kelantan, will probably affect the earlier thinking of Dato Hussein Onn and Dr. Mahathir Mohamed about having early general elections, so as to have a clear general elections mandate before facing the UMNO Supreme Council elections, in middle of next year.
Whether the UMNO leaders decided on general elections in May or April next year, or later in view of present developments in Kelantan and the various Sates, the DAP must not let up in our general elections preparations, to provide the people of Malaysia with an alternative in the next general elections.
DAP Central Executive Committee to meet on Nov. 27 to work out a general elections strategy for Perak and Penang
In the next general elections, Perak and Penang will be important sates for the DAP. The Central Executive Committee of the DAP will meet in Petaling Jaya on Nov. 27, and will among other things, discuss and work out a special general elections strategy for Perak and Penang.
The DAP should be able to make impressive gains in other states also, as in Pahang, Selangor, Negri Sembilan, Malacca, Nohore.
I call on DAP leaders and members to redouble their efforts to make the next general elections the most successful year for the DAP in our party history.