New Year Message by Parliamentary Opposition Leader and DAP Secretary General, Lim Kit Siang
1978: A Year of National Destiny
1978 will be a year of great challenge to the people of Malaysia. It might be a decisive year for national destiny if general elections are held in the course of the year.
The country has taken many wrong turnings in nation-building since Merdeka in 1957. As a result, there has accumulated in the country considerable nation disunity, suspicion and distrust.
The poor of all races have remained poor while the rich and well-connected in UMNO, MCA and Barisan Nasional parties have become richer and richer.
Corruption has become more rampant at all levels of government. and double standards in the application of laws have continuned to shock decent Malaysians. There is one law for the rich and one law for the poor. There is one law for the powerful and a different law for the weak.
Democracy continues to be trampled upon for the interests of ruling political leaders, and those in authority have not hesistated in detaining without trial heroes of the people, whose only offence is that they represented the genuine voice of the people.
The suspension of the Kelantan State Government to topple PAS government influence in that state is only the latest in a long series of democratic abuses for petty party political gains by UMNO and Barisan Nasional leaders.
Malaysians of all races, languages and religions must come forward to crusade for a Malaysian nationalism which transcends race, language and all religions and which aim at the building of a Malaysian nation where no vested class interest can exploit the masses or use the politics of race to entrench the interests of class.
The New Year will also be a year of challenge for the DAP and I call on all DAP leaders, members and supporters to prepare themselves for the many trials ahead in the coming month.
I am confident that in the coming general elections, the DAP will be able to do better than in the 1959 and 1964 general elections, both at the Parliamentary and State Assembly elections.
But we must never forget that winning Parliamentary and State Assembly seats is not an end itself but a means to an end – which is the realisation of a democratic, socialist Malaysia, where there is no economic inequality, where there is no denial of basic humans rights, where there is full respect for Malaysia as a multi-lingual, multi-cultural and multi-religious nation, and where corruption and abuse of power are stamped out.
The next few months must not only be months of intensive preparations for the coming general elections, but they must be also months to raise the political consciousness of members and the public; to re-organise the party to consolidate the party structure, cohesion and unity, and to instill discipline throughout all levels of party organisation.
These four tasks of the party in the coming months must engage the attention, the energy and the resources of every party leader and member.