Party can nationally begin the process of party development and expansion with the expulsion of the ‘Gang of Four’

Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Petaling, Lim Kit Siang, in Pahang State Committee meeting held in Raub, Pahang, on Sunday, 22nd March 1981 at 2pm

Party can nationally begin the process of party development and expansion with the expulsion of the ‘Gang of Four’
For the last five months, the Party’s various political and party programmes, involving organizational, publicity and political initiatives, were stalled because of the destructive activities of the ‘Gang of Four’.

Now that the ‘Gang of Four’ headed by Chan Teck Chan had been publicly exposed and expelled from the Party, the Party can get down to our central political tasks of consolidating and expanding party activities, to build ourselves into an even greater political force.

The ‘Gang of Four’ were expelled not because they held contrary views or that the party permitted no room for differences of opinion, but because the ‘Gang of Four’ embarked on a systematic campaign to destroy the Party and leadership credibility and image if they did not have their way in the Party.

A political party which permitted no dissent or differences of opinion would never be able to get off the ground, and if the DAP is such a party, we would not be where we are today – the largest political opposition in Parliament and State Assemblies.

But no party can permit a group of wreckers who have no concern about the credibility, image and morale of the party, to carrying out a destructive campaign to undermine the party.

Within the confines of the Party, any party member or leader can present his view, criticise the party leaders and even the Central Executive Committee, and need fear no disciplinary action. This has been our style of operation in the last 15 years. But those who go outside the four walls of the party, and attack the party and party leaders from outside, using outside forces, the Party would not tolerate such anti-party activities.

The DAP leadership is aware that Gang of Four had not only been carrying out a vicious campaign through their ‘professional cultural assassins’, but their mastermind, Chan Teck Chan, has been running down the party leaders, in particular myself, in his talks and conversations with Barisan leaders for the last few months.

In Parliament last Thursday, Chan Teck Chan condemned the DAP for being irresponsible, destructive, and attacked the DAP for bringing up sensitive issues in Parliament without prior consultation with Barisan leaders.

I must confess surprise by Chan Teck Chan’s new position, for in his year in the DAP, he had never expressed any view to say that the DAP was ‘destructive’ and should not raise ‘sensitive issues’ without consulting Barisan leaders. Clearly, in the last few months, the Barisan Nasional leaders have succeeded in ‘brainwashing’ him to their view that there are sensitive issues which should not be raised in Parliament, and best kept hidden.

I do not know what Chan Teck Chan really means when he accused the DAP of raising ‘sensitive’ issues in Parliament. But I do know that in Parliament, extremist UMNO Members of Parliament had been condemning the DAP MPs for raising what they claims to be ‘sensitive issues’, like the safeguarding of the constitutional position of Chinese education, in particular the ensuring that the character of Chinese primary schools are not altered, the establishment of Merdeka University, the proper place and use of Chinese and Tamil in the country as guaranteed in the Constitution opposing recent incidents like the Klang arch where Chinese character were removed; the separation of Malaysians into bumiputras and non-bumiputras which aggravate national discord; greater racial equality in all field of government and national activity, etc.

Now that Chan Teck Chan has come round to the view of the extremist UMNO MPs, it is no wonder that in Parliament he is such a great hero in the eyes of Barisan Ministers and MPs.

Let me declare here and now that DAP will not compromise our political principles in the way Chan Teck Chan has done. It is obvious that many political forces are involved in the attempt of the Gang of Four in the last five months to destroy the DAP.

We reject the view that the raising of issues like Chinese education, language and culture, and the multi-racialising of government measures and policies like higher education opportunities and job emplacements in the government, are ‘sensitive issues’ which should not be raised in
Parliament without ‘consultation’ with Barisan. DAP MPs are elected bt the people, and not elected by ‘Barisan Nasional leaders.

It is the Barisan, which by their unfair and unjust policies have made issues which are the legitimate constitutional rights of Malaysians into so-called ‘sensitive’ issues by their denial of their proper place in Malaysian society.