DAP expresses grave concern at the poor response towards voters’ registration by the people, and in particular by Malaysian Chinese

Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary- General and MP for Petaling, Lim Kit Siang, at the Petaling DAP Liaison Committee meeting held at Petaling Jaya on Monday, 7th Sept. 1981 at 8 pm.

DAP expresses grave concern at the poor response towards voters’ registration by the people, and in particular by Malaysian Chinese.

Since the start of the voters’ registration exercise three weeks ago, the response by the people, and in particular the Malaysian Chinese, has been disappointing.

This is very sad, for Malaysian citizens, and in particular Malaysian Chinese, who did not register as voters are in fact forfeiting their social and cultural rights of every Malaysian.

This, of course, delights the MCA, for although it claims to represent the five million Malaysian Chinese in the country, MCA leaders do not want the Malaysian Chinese youths to register as voters. The MCA leaders know that the more Malaysian Chinese register as voters, the more likely MCA parliamentary and state assembly candidates would be defeated in the next general elections. This is in sharp contrast to the UMNO, which has carried out a national campaign ordering its branches to register the maximum number of Malay voters.

I call on all eligible Malaysians who have reached the age of 21 years not to fall into the trap of the MCA leaders, and to take the trouble to register themselves as voters so that they could become the co-masters of their own fate and destiny. They should know that there is not much time left to get themselves registered as voters.
‘Those whom the Gods wish to destroy, they first make mad’

I am quite intrigued by the recent speeches and pronouncements of the MCA President, Datuk Lee San Choon. At the Malacca MCA State Convention two weeks ago, he suggested that the DAP and the Gerakan should dissolve and merge with the MCA. At the Penang MCA State Convention, last weekend , Datuk Lee said in effect, although he did not name names, that the DAP was about to close shop and that the would seek the expulsion of Gerakan from the Barisan Nasional.

Datuk Lee’s intemperate and even irrational pronouncements remind me of the Roman saying: “Those whom the Gods wish to destroy, they first make mad.”

Of courses, Datuk Lee and the MCA leaders on Sunday were in a state of euphoria, for they succeeded in finally ‘settling score; with one of the MCA’s sworn enemies, Mr. Loot TingYu, whose action against the Ministry of Education for unlawful victimisation and transfer from Nam Chiau Chinese primary school in Cheraw to Jerteh in Trengganu was dismissed by the Federal Court.

The MCA leaders had finally had their way to ‘fix’ Mr. Loot Ting Yu, and this probably explain why the MCA President felt on top of the world on Sunday in Penang when he pronounced the DAP virtually dead, and the Gerakan about to be expelled from the Barisan Nasional. Datuk LEE is living in a dreamworld of his own creation.

If Datuk Lee and MCA wield such powers of ‘life and death’ over the DAP and the Gerakan, the MCA would not be in so miserable a position today where its Ministers and leaders have to depend on UMNO’s Malay votes to get elected.

If Datuk Lee is no convinced that the DAP is about to close ship, then why is he so fearful of accepting my challenge to him at the DAP 15th Anniversary Congress Dinner on August 29 to pick any one of the eight constituencies won by the DAP in the 1978 general elections, namely Kuala Lumpur Bandar, Sungei Besi, Petaling, Ipoh, Menglembu, Tanjung, Seremban, Kota Melaka, and have a by-election- and seek a mandate from a predominantly Chinese electorate that he is fit and qualified to speak for the interest and right of the Chinese?