Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Petaling, Lim Kit Siang, at the Seminar organized by Serdang DAP Branches held at Serdang Bahru new village branch on Sunday, 27th July 1980 at 10 a.m. on the ‘The Political Challenges of the DAP in the 1980s.’
DAP MPs and State Assemblymen will meet at Cameron Highlands on August 8, 9 and 10 to adopt a Cameron Highlands Declaration laying down the national challenges of the 1980s and the Party’s responses to them
The Political Challenges of the DAP in the 1980s are great and many, and will test to the utmost the capability of the DAP to adapt ourselves to new situations without in any way compromising our basic political aims and principles.
For instance, Malaysia enters the 1980s with growing concern about ominous developments in Indo-China where Soviet-backed Vietnamese forces had occupied Kampuchea and set up a puppet-regime, and is testing the will and resolution of Thailand. For if Thailand falls or crumbles, Malaysia will be next on target.
The DAP as a patriotic, nationalistic Malaysian political party, is committed to the defence of the territorial integrity and national sovereignty of Malaysia. we have the responsibility to rally and mobilize Malaysians, in particular the 700,000 voters and the millions of supporters, to the cause of the defence of Malaysian territorial integrity, for although they voted against the Barisan Nasional, they are not against Malaysia – they are in fact all loyal Malaysians who would be second to none in sacrifice for nation and Malaysian patriotism!
Internally, the 1980s have seen the resurgence of extremist and chauvinistic forces, whether in the fields of religion, race, education, economics or politics – and we in the DAP must continue, fearlessly, within the constitutional and democratic framework, to check such extremist and chauvinistic excesses.
The DAP must ready itself, politically, organizationally and in every other respect to live up to the high expectations of the people.
Party leaders, Members of Parliament and State Assemblymen must set an example to the members and the people of their dedication to the political objectives of the Party and the cause of the People.
DAP MPs and State Assemblymen will gather at Cameron highlands on August 8,9 and 10 to discuss the challenges facing the nation and Party in the Eighties, and will adopt a Cameron Highlands Declaration which will chart out the responses needed to surmount the Challenges of the Eighties.
The Party leadership is now in the process of finalizing re-organising the Party or developing new approaches to the various tasks facing the Party. In the new era of the Eighties, the Party must develop new techniques while the basic objectives remain the same.
In the Eighties, the DAP will concentrate on bringing in new blood into all ranks of leadership of the Party. We will also work for a increase of membership of Malaysians who are dedicated to the DAP’s political objectives and are prepared to abide by Party discipline.
The DAP is going through exciting times in an exciting age. I have full confidence that the DAP’s contribution to Malaysia in the Eighties will be even greater than the Sixties and Seventies, to help guide Malaysia to the safe haven of a Malaysian nation where all races, religions, cultures and languages have their proper rightful places under the Malaysian sun.