Challenges of the Eighties

Message by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Petaling, Lim Kit Siang, to the Souvenir Programme of the Ulu Langat 15th Anniversary 1,000-People Dinner on Saturday, 21st February 1981

Challenges of the Eighties

Firstly, let me commend the Ulu Langat DAP Liaison Committee and the constituent branches and members for their success in organising the DAP 15th Anniversary 1,000-People Dinner.Challenges of the Eighties

This is the latest in a series of well-planned and well-executed programme of activities of the ULU Langat DAP Branches, which speaks highly of the organisational talents and political dedication and commitment of DAP leaders and members in the area.

The 1980s will be a Decade of Challenges for the DAP – as political enemies of the DAP will seek to crush the DAP for they fear that the DAP will make even greater strides in the years to come.

The Barisan Nasional, and its predecessor, the Alliance, had tried to destroy the DAP in the past by a variety of tactics, such as:

• Arbitrary detention of the DAP leaders under the Internal Security Act without trial;

• Unfair arrest and prosecution of DAP leaders on a variety of changes.

However, both these tactics have failed to break the spirit, stamina and commitment of the DAP in our struggle for a democratic socialist and genuinely multi-racial Malaysia.

The Barisan National has now sought to destroy the DAP with the tactics which they had successfully used to destroy the Labour Party and Parti Islam, the engineering of Internal feuds and divisions.

For four months, the Barisan Nasional had carried out a systematic campaign to try to discredit the image and destroy the credibility of DAP national leaders, in particular, myself as Secretary-General of the Party.

Their main attack is that the DAP leadership and, in particular myself, is anti-Chinese educated. It is indeed the height of irony that the Barisan

Nasional is accusing the DAP leadership and myself as being anti-Chinee educated when:

1. All the policies and measures which are detrimental to Chinese education are the sole responsibility of the Barisan parties, and in particular, the MCA and Gerakan; and

2. In the DAP’s 15 years’ political struggle, our stand on Chinese education and its proper and legitimate place in the mainstream of Malaysian education system is an open book for all to see, to the extent that I myself had been detained under the Internal Security Act in 1969/70 and our two comrades, Sdr. Chian Heng Kai (MP for Batu Gajah) and Sdr. Chan Kok Kit (MP for Sungei Besi) are still in detention.

The Barisan, and in particular MCA, strategies had tried to use this so-called ‘Anti-Chinese Education’ line to besmish the DAP in the Seventies, but at that time, it did not have much effect.

This time the Barisan’s campaign of venom and malice has been more effective because it has been able to harness a few Barisan-controlled press to do their dirty work without let-up for months, and the collaboration of certain irresponsible element in the Party who are prepared to see the Party destroyed if their selfish political ends are not fulfilled.

The DAP has a sacred responsibility to the people of Malaysia, to show the way to the building of a democratic socialist, genuinely multi-racial Malaysia, and we must not allow the enemies of a Malaysian Malaysia from whichever direction or quarter to deflect us from our important work.
Even more important, we must not allow the Barisan Nasional to succeed in destroying the DAP from inside, in the way they have succeeded in destroying the Labour Party and PAS in the last general election.