Winding-Up Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Petaling, Lim Kit Siang, in the debate on the Central Executive Committee Report at the DAP 15th Anniversary Congress at Petaling Jaya Civic Centre on Sunday, 30th August 1981.
DAP prepared to form a united front with PAS, PSRM and other movements to save democracy by denying the Barisan Nasional the two-thirds majority in Parliament to change the Constitution and abrogate basic constitutional rights at its whim and fancy.
For the years of the DAP’s history, the DAP had remained in the eye of the political hurricane in Malaysia, establishing a political force to protect and defend the basic rights of Malaysian citizens, and continuously facing Barisan attempts to crush and destroy the DAP by a whole variety of tactics and measures.
We have not only survived all these tests but can claim to have triumphed in the face of these adversities, which have broken and destroyed so many other Opposition parties.
During the course of the DAP’s years struggle, many had faltered by the wayside, either bought over by the Barisan Nasional offer of money or position, or broken in spirit by the repression of the ruling party.
Weak and character-less politicians will be exposed by the process and test of time, and the DAP must go through a similar process of testing whether its leaders can go through the baptism of fire and prove to be of pure gold – for ‘real gold is not afraid of furnace fire’ – or will melt like butter with least heat generated by a small flame.
The next 15 years of the DAP’s struggle will be equally, if not more, trying and challenging. But as men and women who seek to bring about radical transformation in the nation building process, DAP leaders and members must dare to dream, big dreams and to pay the sacrifice to make these dreams come true!
To defence of a democratic system will remain the central objective of the DAP, for we have seen how in the years since Merdeka, democratic rights and freedoms have been progressively curtailed and undermined.
To save democracy, in the 1980s, the DAP is prepared to form a united front with other political parties like PAS and PSRM and other movements to deny the Barisan Nasional the two-thirds majority in Parliament to change the Constitution at its whim and fancy, making a complete mockery of the fundamental liberties and human rights enshrined in the Malaysian constitution.
Bases of the DAP’s response to the call by Tung Chung, Chiau Chung and Chinese guild and associations on MCA, gerakan and DAP to unite .
Recently, Chinese clans, associations and societies especially Tung Chung and Chiau Chung, have called on the MCA, Gerakan and DAP ( I do not know why the SUPP had been ignored ) to unite to protect, defend and promote the legitimate Constitutional, political, economic, educational, social and cultural rights of Malaysian Chinese.
The DAP is prepared to sit down and talk with any organisation to discuss ways of more effectively promoting and protecting the legitimate rights of anyone community in Malaysia, whether it be the Malays, Chinese, Indians Kadazans or Ibans.
We have in fact stated our readiness to participate in a round-table conference of MCA, Gerakan, Chinese clans and associations including Tung Chung and Chiau Chung (and we believe, the SUPP) to discuss whether it is possible to advance the legitimate rights and interests, aspirations and needs of Malaysian Chinese, although we have grave reservations about the worth use of sitting down with parties which over the years have demonstrated their betrayal of these very same basic rights, interests, aspirations and needs.
But we must be very clear in our minds as to the basis of such a round-table conference. It must be an sincere and genuine endeavour by all concerned to actively and without equivocation to protect, promote and advance Chinese at all levels of national life, and most important of all, in Cabinet, Parliament, the State Executive Councils and the State Assemblies.
The DAP is not prepared to be a party to an empty-sounding does document which has no back-up in action and deeds,
If there is preparedness to act in Cabinet, Parliament, the State Executive Councils and the State Assemblies in the defence, promotion and advancement of the legitimate Malaysian Chinese right, interests, aspirations and needs of the Malaysian community to the full respect of their languages, cultures, customs in keeping with a multi-racial society where there is no hegemony of race over race, and as Malaysian citizens to all the political, economic, educational, social and cultural rights enjoyed by a full-blooded citizen of the country.
These include the basic interest and aspiration of the Malaysian Chinese that Malaysia continue as a democratic system, where the basic right, whether it be for individuals or for communities, as provided in the Constitution, should be protected abrogation at the whims and fancies of the Barisan Nasional just because it has two-thirds majority.
I would therefore say that ranking high in the list of legitimate rights, interests, needs and aspirations of the Malaysian Chinese, like that of other Malaysians, is the protection of the democratic system where the ruling party is deprived of its two-thirds majority to change the Constitution at will.
Can the MCA, Gerakan and SUPP explain how at the proposed round-table conference suggested by the Chinese clans, associations and societies, they propose to contribute to this objective.
Would they be prepared to agree that in future, before the MCA, Gerakan and SUPP vote in support of any constitutional amendment, in Parliament, they should get the consent and agreement of the Round-Table Conference?