Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Petaling, Lim Kit Siang, at the Pahang DAP officials election seminar held at 63D Jalan Sultan, Kuala Lumpur on Thursday, 24.3.1982
DAP to contest about five Parliamentary and 15 State Assembly seats in Pahang State
The DAP will contest about five Parliamentary and 15 State Assembly seats in Pahang in the 1982 general elections. We hope to make a breakthrough in Pahang to end the political monopoly of the Barisan Nasional in both the Parliamentary and State Assembly seats in Pahang.
The Prime Minister, Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, has said that the 11982 Barisan election manifesto theme will be a ‘clean, efficient and trustworthy’ government.
In the 1978 general elections, the Barisan Nasional election theme was also a ‘clean government’. What has happened in these past four years to fulfil the election pledge of the Barisan Nasional in 11978?
From 198 to 1982, corruption in Malaysia has become more rampant and blatant. The Barisan Nasional government cannot deny the fact that the NBI efforts to fight corruption had been weak and ineffective, and the people could see the corrupt who had amassed wealthy illegally enjoy the illegal fruits of corruptions with impunity. Now and them, the ‘ikan bilis’ are arrested and charged, but the ‘ikan yu’ are left scot-free.
What is worse is that in the past few years, a new kind of corruption has also become rampant. I am referring to political corruption, where the Barisan Nasional Ministers, MPs and Assemblymen made use of public funds as if it is their private property to try to win votes.
No government can be free from corruption unless it is capable of eliminating political as well. This is because those who practise political corruption, especially during election times, would be mentally conditioned to corruption as a way of life.
I therefore call on the Prime Minister, Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, to explain what he meant when he said that the Barisan election manifesto theme will be for a ‘clean’ government, as to whether it also means the ending once and for all of all forms of political corruption practised by Barisan Ministers, MPs and candidates during election time.
There are many effective ways to curb corruption by those in political power. It is not because Malaysians do not have the mental ability to devise and means to fights corruption, but because the Barisan Nasional Government does not have the political will to arrest corrupt Ministers, Deputy Ministers, Mentri-Mentri Besar, Chief Ministers or State Executive Councillors.
There can only be a ‘clean, efficient and trustworthy’ government if there is a strengthen Opposition to keep the government on its does. If the Opposition is weakened in the 1982 General elections, the goal of a ‘clean, efficient and trustworthy government’ would be even more remote.
The DAP is going to face very acute problems of putting its message across to the people, because of the undemocratic Barisan restrictions like the ban on public rallies.
Despite such undemocratic regulations, we must do our utmost to get our message across. If we succeed in getting the people to understand the issues at stake in the 1982 general elections, then I am hopeful that we can get better results than the 1978 elections. If we are unable to get our message across to the people, then we may suffer severe losses instead.