Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Petaling, at the DAP Batu Arang Dinner held at Batu Arang, Selangor, on Saturday, March 27, 1982 at 8 pm
Call on the 2M government not to indirect assist the communists by giving them material to strengthen their argument that parliamentary democracy is a farce.
In Alor Star yesterday, the Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Musa Hitam, said that issues raised by the DAP and PAS may indirectly assist the communists.
Datuk Musa said he wanted to make it clear that he was not accusing the DAP and PAS of assisting the communists but the issues raised by the two parties are indirectly assisting the communists.
I do not speak for PAS, but as far as the DAP is concerned, our political programmes and issues had been consistent for the last 16 years to strive for a democratic socialist and a genuinely multi-racial Malaysian Malaysia.
If the communists want to exploit the DAP’s issues, because what we stand for in fighting against corruption, bureaucratic inefficiency, the growing gap between the rich and the poor, the rise of extremism and chauvinism in the country which rejects Malaysia as a multi-racial, multi-lingual and multi-cultural society strike a ready response in the hearts and minds of the people, then all the more the 2M leadership must act swiftly and effectively to resolve these national problems. Then, not only the communists, but even the DAP, would be deprived of these issues.
Issues must be dealt on the basis of their intrinsic merits, and not because the communists would be exploiting them. The communists are also exploiting the issue of poverty, but does this mean that the Barisan Nasional Government had been aiding and assisting the communists is in not solving problem of poverty?
What the 2M leadership should be more concerned is not to do things which would strengthen the communist arguments that the parliamentary democracy in Malaysia is meaningless and a farce.
This, unfortunately, is what the 2M leadership has done, in the way the 1982 general elections would be conducted. Public rallies for the opposition to explain their political stands had been banned, radio broadcasts abolished, and a working day on Thursday chosen to deny the workers, who are predominantly DAP workers, the opportunity to cast their votes.
More than any other general elections held in the country before, the 1982 general elections is the most undemocratic general elections. This will definitely reinforce the communist argument that the way of the ballot box is not an effective way to solve Malaysia’s problems, but only by way of arms.
We in the DAP, by gully committing ourselves to the parliamentary form of political struggle, are in fact countering the communist argument about the farce of parliamentary elections. I would therefore call on Dr. Mahathir and Datuk Musa Hitam to reconsider the ban on public rallies and the various restrictions imposed to prevent the holding of a free and fair general elections so as not to indirectly help the communists.
I am not of course suggesting that Dr. Mahathir and Datuk Musa Hitam of assisting the communists, but they are indirectly assisting them!