AN OPEN LETTER TO THE VOTERS OF SUNGEI BESI
By Lim Kit Siang, DAP Secretary-General.
Dears Voters of Sungei Besi,
I am writing this open letter to ask you to vote DAP and the DAP Parliamentary Candidate for the Sungei Besi Parliamentary Constituency.
In this 1978 General Elections, the Barisan Nasional Government has banned public rallies to prevent the DAP from explaining to you what is really happening in the country and from exposing the injustices, inequalities and wrongs committed by the ruling parties.
The Barisan Nasional hopes that by banning public rallies, the electorate would be led to believe that there are no issues and problems facing Malaysians, and even more important, the future generations. The Barisna Nasional want te people to vote for the Barisan Nasional so that they can tell the nation and the world that the people support their nation building, economic, educational, social, cultural and political policies, when at all these policies have not been allowed to surface as election issues. This is nothing less than an attempt to win the elections by ‘deception’.
The people of Malaysia must protest in the strongest possible manner against this unfair and undemocratic general elections, which is meant to pave the way for the establishment of a one-party state, with the DAP – which had performed its role as credible opposition Malaysia – crushed and eliminated.
Although in Sungei Besi Parliamentary Consituency, the Barisan Nasional candidate has been disqualified, the people of Sungei Besi must not forget that the battle that is being fought on July 8, 1978 is not a battle confined to Sungei Besi alone, but a battle through the Malaysian nation,
The thought world is watching whether the people of Malaysia will decisively reject and repudiate the undemocratic tadtics of the Barisan Nasional, and declare their rejection of the whole range of Barisan Nasional policies.
The DAP in all these years have stood up against the repression of the Barisan Nasional government, and championed the fights of Malaysians, even when many DAP leaders had to pay a heavy price in terms of loss of personal liberty or other forms of personal persecutions and hardships.
The Barisan Nasional wants to use the Kelantan formula of ban on public rallies to crush and eliminate the DAP. It is important, therefore, that the voters of Sungei Besi should come out solidly on Polling Day on July 8, 1978, not only to vote for a DAP Member of Parliament, but to defeat the Barisan plan to crush the DAP.
If we want to save democracy, if we want our children to live in a Malaysia where there is no discrimination or injustices whether in education, economics, culture or politics, then every Malaysian voter must help to build the DAP into a stronger political force.
The Barisan Nasional would like nothing better than to see the DAP defeated in Sungei Besi – got it will mean one DAP MP less to fight for the rights of the rakyat, to expose corruption, combat government inefficiency and stop class exploitation.
The DAP Parliamentary Candidate, Sdr. Chan Kok Kit, is now in Kamunting Detention Camp. He has lost his personal liberty, not because he had committed any offence or crime, but because he had sought to champion the rights of Malaysians and uphold the basic guarantees in the Malaysian Constitution.
In 1974, because of two general elections posters, Sdr. Chan Kok Kit was charged under the Sedition Act, He was acquitted in middle of 1976, but a few months later, although he won his court case, he could not escape detention for he was arrested under the Internal Security Act, and has been in detention.
Sdr. Chan Kok Kit is in jail because he had exercised his democratic tight as a citizen to seek to defend and promote Chinese education as guaranteed in Clause 152 of the Malaysian Constitution.
Sdr. Chan Kok Kit is in jail because of his struggle for Chinese education, not as a chauvinist issue, but as a Malaysian issue which should be accorded a gichtful place in a multi-racial society like Malaysia.
The DAP has nominated Sdr. Chan Kok Kit fot the Sungei Besi Parliamentary constituency, because we want the people to have an opportunity to express their support for the Chinese education policies for which Chan Kok Kit has been incarcerated.
A vote for Chan Kok Kit is a vote for Chinese education, for the people’s faith in the justice and constitutionality of the struggle to accord Chinese education its rightful place.
A vote for Chan Kok is a vote to demonstrate that Chan Kok Kit’s sacrifice is not in vain, that although he is in detention, the people outside are fully in support of the cause of Chinese education for which he has lost his personal freedom.
A vote for Chan Kok Kit will be a vote to condemn the use of the Internal Security Act against political opponents and critics of the government.
A vote against Chan Kok Kit, is therefore, a vote against Chinese education, for it will mean that the people are indifferent to the sacrifice of Chan Kok Kit for Chinese education.
The people of Sungei Besi should not only ensure that Chan Kok Kit should win, but that there is a large percentage of voter turn out to ensure that Chan Kok Kit secure a huge vote to demonstrate to Barisan Nasional that Chinese education is deeply held in the hearts.
Some people have raised the question of constituency service, that Chan Kok Kit cannot serve the people of Sungei Besi should he be elected because he is in detention.
Those who raise this question are doing a great dishonour to the Chinese education on struggle, for it is hard to imagine any equal to the service which Chan Kok Kit is rendering hot only to the people of Sungei Besi, but to the people of the whole of Malaysia, by sacrificing himself to ensure that Chinese education will eternally be a part of Malaysia.
Sdr. Chan Kok Kit’s election as the M.P. for Sungei Besi would not mean that the constituency needs of the people will be neglected. Sdr. Lee Lam Thye, who is seeking re-election in Kuala Lumpur Bandar, has already made a public undertaking to ALSO SERVE THE PEOPLE OF SUNGEI BESI should Sdr. Chan Kok Kit be elected, so long as Sdr. Chan Kok Kit is in detention.
Futermore, a full-time political secretary for the constituency of Sungei Besi will be appointed by Sdr. Chan Kok Kit, and regular meet-the-people sessions in various parts of the constituency will be held.
Apart from Sdr. Lee Lam Thye’s personal pledge to also serve the people of Sungei Besi, I can give the undertaking that on behalf of the Central Executive Committee, the Party accepts full responsibility to ensure that the people of Sungei Besi will have their constituency problems attended to by Sdr, Lee Lam Thye and the Sungei Besi DAP organisation.
The people of Sungei Besi have a heavy responsibility, to use their vote to demonstrate to the Barisan Nasional and the nation that they not only support the DAP, but they want to register their protest against the detention of Sdr. Chan Kok Kit, and to reaffirm their support for the cause of Chinese education, by solidly voting for Chan Kok Kit.