Speech by DAP Secretary-General, Member of Parliament for Petaling and Malacca State Assemblyman for Kubu, Lim Kit Siang, at a dinner given by the supporters and well-wishers of the people of Klang to celebrate the election of Lim Kit Siang and Lee Lam Thye as Members of Parliament and State Assemblyman at Klang on Thursday, 20th Jujly 1978 at 9p.m.
Lim Kit Siang solemnly and categorically denies rumours and reports that DAP having talks on entering Barisan Nasional
The post-election period has been a season of rumours. There was firstly the rumour that the top MCA leader has been put under house arrest. There was the other tumour that the MCA would pull out of the Cabinet. The latest rumour is that the DAP would join the Barisan Nasional.
My initial reaction to the rumours that the DAP would join the Barisan Nasional was to ignore it altogether. DAP leaders are in politics for self-gain, but for our political beliefs, for which many leaders have paid a heavy price in terms of personal liberties and hardships – just as at this very present moment of time, two of our MPs Sdr. Chian Heng Kai and Sdr. Chan Kok Kit are still in detention.
But what shocks me is that these rumours take on a life of their own, especially as they are coupled with alleged details giving the impression that they are true. For instance, it has been rumoured that the DAP and Barisan leaders had talks, that the DAP is asking for two Minister and two Deputy Minister posts, that Michael Chen is the middleman in trying to arrange this DAP- Barisan get-together.
It is obvious that these rumours are manufactured by the Lee San Choon faction in MCA, hoping to kill two birds with one stone to attempt to discredit the DAP leaders and to further the on-going Lee San Choon – Michael Chan power feun inside the MCA.
After the election results, apart from meeting Datuk Senu bin Abdul Rahman on the plane to Sabah (where he wet in and I was thrown out), I have not met a single Barisan leader not discussed anything with anyone of them. There is absolutely no truth in rumours that the DAP has drawn up conditions or guidelines for entry into Barisan, or that the DAP is demanding two Ministerial and two Deputy Ministerial posts.
The idea of DAP joining the Barisan has never occurred in the minds of DAP leaders. It has never been discussed. It is a mere fabrication by rumour-mongers who their own axe to grind!
To give these of rumours some credence, these rumour-mongers point to my speech to DAP MPs and State Assemblyman last Sunday declaring that the DAP was prepared to co-operate with the Prime Minister, Datuk Hussein Onn, to overcome the problems and obstacles in nation building.
This has been the stand of the DAP right from the beginning, that we ae prepared to work with anybody to help build a Malaysian nation on just and equal basis, to save democracy, to combat poverty and class exploitation, to uphold human rights and to fight corruption. We are not an Opposition for Opposition sake.
In fact, when Datuk Hussein took over as Prime Minister after the death of Tun Razak, I made exactly the same point in Parliament in the motion of confidence on Datuk Hussein Onn as Prime Minister.
We in the DAP are reasonable people. But we will be firm and unyielding in our political principles and beliefs. But we will be firm and unyielding in a reasonable way.
We will seek, for the interests of the country and for the future of our children, to make the government see our point of view, to understand the people’s deepest hopes and dreams. We will do this by speaking up inside and outside Parliament and the State Assemblies, and in meetings with the Prime Minister and other government leaders. We will do so, not to ask for Minister or Deputy Minister posts or to get entry into the Barisan , but to change thinking and assessments by all political leaders on basic problems of the nation.
DAP leter to Hussein Onn for meeting
It is with this objective in mind that on behalf of the DAP, I had written to the Prime Minister, Datuk Hussein Onn, for a discussion on the meaning of the 1978 genneral elections, on what the voters had spoken in their 700,000 vote support for the DAP, and also to discuss the position of Sdr. Chiang Heng Kai, MP for Sungei Besi.
I hope that a meeting can be arranged before July 31 as there is also the problem of the swearing-in of Sdr. Chan Kok Kit and Sdr. Chian Heng Kai as Members of Parliament. Article 59 of the Federal Constitution provides that a Member of Parliament who does not take his seat and be sworn in within three months of the first meeting of Parliament, his seat falls vacant.
I would here call on Datuk Hussein Onn to release Sdr. Chiang Heng Kai and Sdr. Chan Kok Kit before the swearing- in, to respect the popular will of the people who returned Chan Kok Kit and Chiang Heng Kai with great majorities – had most important of all, both of them are innocent.
I hope to meet the Speaker, Tan Sri Syed Nasir, early next week to discuss the position of Sdr. Chian Heng Kai and Sdr. Chan Kok Kit.
It will make a mockery of democracy and the people’s votes should Sdr. Chian Heng Kai and Chan Kok Kit’s parliamentary seats be declared vacant because within three month of the first meeting of Parliament (namely July 31), they could not take their seats in Parliament through no fault of their own.
In the last few weeks, there have been so many incidents which bring shame to Malaysia internationally. Let us not have another!