Speech by DAP Secretary-General, Member of Parliament for Petaling, Malacca State Assemblyman for Kubu, Lim Kit Siang, at a dinner organised by Kuala Lumpur Central Market stallholders and Ipoh Road wholesale market stallholders at Ming Court Restaurant, Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday, 18th July 1978 at 8 p.m. to celebrate the election of Lim Kit Siang, Lee Lam Thye and V. David as Members of Parliament.
Call on Dato Hussein Onn and Barisan Nasional leaders to help de-polarise the country by not regarding the DAP votes as communal votes, but as Malaysian votes seeking legitimate changes in national policies by democratic and constitutional processes
In the 1978 general elections, the Barisan Nasional wanted to wipe out the DAP. This was why they resorted to all forms of undemocratic tactics, like the ban on public tallies which has been criticised also by the former Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman, the mass disqualification of candidates at Parliamentary and state assembly level, and the control of the mass media, particularly radio and television.
The Barisan Nasional wanted the 1978 general elections to be the DAP’s darkest day. But with the people’s support and confidence, the 1978 general elections has proved to be the DAP’s finest hour.
When the DAP wins Parliamentary or State Assembly seats, the people rejoice. And tonight’s dinner is a measure of your joy at the DAP victory, which is finally a victory of the people and a victory of democracy. But when Barisan Nasional candidates like the MCA, Gerakan or MIC wins the people feel very unhappy. This is a measure of their unpopularity and lack of support.
The former MCA President, Tun Tan Siew Sin, in a special interview with Utusan Malaysia, said that whatever success MCA has achieved in the recent election were all due to the Malay votes.
It is very clear that the MCA represents nobody but Lee San Choon and his lclique.
I must take issue with Tun Tan Siew Sin however when he said that the DAP’s bigger margin of success in the 1978 general elections was because of communal issues. Some Barisan leaders have also been talking along this vein, about polarisation in the country.
I call on Malaysian leaders, especially Barisan Nasional leaders, to stop giving communal explanations to the 1978 general election results, for this can only further polarise the country.
I call on Datuk Hussein Onn and the Barisan Nasional leaders to help de-polarise the country by constructive and statesmanlike action, not by regarding the DAP’s 650,000 votes as communal votes, but as Malaysian votes seeking legitimate changes in national policies by democratic and constitutional processes.
Only such positive approach and thinking can help Malaysia, and it is now the task of every political leader to work towards removing the factors and issues which had kept Malaysians apart.
DAP leader to visit Sarawak next few days
The Sarawak Parliamentary general elections is now entering the final stage. Although the DAP did not field any candidates, we have received many requests by the people of Sarawak to establish branches in Sarawak.
I had twice been entry into Sarawak, for the same reasons that I had been denied entry into Sabah. In Sabah, Datuk Harris Salleh is very frightened that should I go to Sabah, his political position will be weakened. The same applies to Sarawak. Datuk Patinggi Abdul Rahman Ya’accob, the Sarawak Chief Minister, is afraid of me. I do not know why so many Barisan Nasional leaders are afraid of me. They should be afraid of themselves, for it si their policies and actions which have alienated them from the people.
A DAP leader will go over to Sarawak in the next few days. I hope that there will be no problem in getting entry into Sarawak this time. Either I myself or another DAP leader will be making this trip.
In this connection, I call on all the political parties in Sarawak, especially the component Barisan Nasional parties, Parti Bumiputra Pesaka, DNAP, SUPP, Pajar, to declare their stand on entry in to Sarawak by DAP leaders.
Meeting Chian Heng Kai and Chan Kok Kit
I will be meeting our two Members of Parliament in detention, Sdr. Chian Heng Kak, MP for Batu Gajah and Sdr. Chan Kok Kit, M.P. for Sungei Besi, tomorrow.
The people have expressed their great concern that despite their election with great majorities, they have not been released. The DAP will announce in the next few days what action we propose to take to secure the release of Sdr. Chan Kok Kit and Sdr. Chian Heng Kai.