Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leaders, DAP Secretary General and MP for Petaling , to a meeting of DAP National Publicity Committee in Petaling Jaya on Tuesday, 9th December 1980 at 7 pm
Call on DAP States and branched to get on with the DAP’s Work and Plans for the Future
All DAP States, Branches and members should now get on with the DAP’s Work and Plans for the Future, and not allow the campaign of our political enemies and the Barisan-controlled press to distract us from our primary objective, which is to ever-expand and increasing support from the people of Malaysia for the DAP’s objective and ideals of a Malaysian Malaysia.
The Barisan-controlled press had thrown all journalistic ethics to the wind in the recent weeks and because they thought that they could deal the DAP a fatal blow. Recent years have shown that when it comes to crucial political periods, as at general elections, or at an important by-election, or major political developments in the DAP, Barisan-controlled press – which at normal times try to keep up some semblance of journalist impartiality would take directives from their Barisan masters and stoop to any level to try to discredit the DAP.
For instance, the New Straits Times in its issue of Tuesday, Dec. 2, 1980, carried a front-page report under the headline, “My quit decision is final say Kit Siang” which went on to report:
“Kuala Lumpur, Mon. – Opposition Leader Mr. Lim Kit Siang said today his decision to resign as DAP Secretary-General was final.
However, he added that it was up to the party’s central committee to decide at its meeting this Thursday whether to accept or reject his resignation.
Mr. Lim said he would not reconsider even if all the accusations made against him following the Pengkalan Kota by-election defeat were withdrawn.
This was a fictitious report for on that Monday, I had never spoken to any new Straits Times Reporter. In fact, after my resignation announcement the previous weekend, I had refused to talk to the press or to add anything I had already said.
I challenge the New Straits Times to prove that I had spoken to their reporter, and which reporter, to justify the “My quit decision is final” report. Regardless of my feeling at the time, the New Straits Times invention of an interview is most deplorable and contemptible. I want to know whether the New Straits Times has the journalistic courage to admit that its reporter had completed invented the report!
The invention of Dec. 2 report by the New Straits Times is not innocent, when I find that subsequently, various Barisan Nasional leaders and even New Straits Times and Utusan editorials it as a basis to criticize me.
For instance, the Education Minister, Datuk Musa Hitam, when speaking in Malacca, waxed eloquent on my so-called ‘game of six strategies’, based on the New Straits Times report of Dec. 2
For the Barisan-controlled press who threw journalistic ethics to the winds to serve the political purpose of the Barisan to attempt to inflict maximum damage on the DAP, this is their most inglorious chapter.
This, and many other instances in the last one week, should be an object lesson to the people be very careful about the reports and articles in the Barisan-controlled press, which are governed not by the highest standards and ethics of journalism but by partisan political motives.
I was amused by the press report yesterday and today that the MCA and Gerakan had sent out orders to ‘rope in’ DAP members, in particular DAP MPs and State Assemblymen, into their parties, stating that the MCA was particularly intent on this, as supported by a recent speech by the MCA President, Datuk Lee San Choon.
The MCA leaders think that the DAP leaders and member are like them who are purchasable for a price. The MCA does not know that by issuing such offer, they are cheapening themselves. In any event, probably it is no more possible to further cheapen the MCA and further, as it has all over these years lost all political credibility and moral authority.
However, I welcome the MCA’s campaign to ‘rope in’ DAP MPs, State Assemblymen and members, for if there are such DAP MPs, State Assemblymen and members who could ‘roped in’ by the MCA, the DAP has no place for them, and we should thank the MCA for doing us a service to put DAP members under a test of their loyalty, commitment and dedication to the DAP’s cause.
Let the Malaysian public see how successful the MCA’s ‘roping’ campaign is going to be, as to whether the MCA is right in thinking that everyone, including those in DAP, has a price.