Speech by DAP Secretary-General, Lim Kit Siang, at the DAP Election Ceramah in Petaling at Transport Workers’ Union Hall on Thursday, 15.4.1982 at 7.30 p.m.
Call on Petaling Voters to give the fullest support to Sdr. P. Patto for the Parliamentary elections, and Sdr. Tai Sin Piau, Sdr. Fong Kui Lun and Sdr. K.C.Cheah for the Petaling Jaya, Serdang and Sungai Way state seats
I want firstly to thank the people of Petaling for their confidence and support in electing me as their Member of Parliament in 1978 general elections.
During these four years, I had spoken up in Parliament against the injustices and inequalities of the government’s education, economic, political, social and cultural policies, the excesses and abuses of government power, corruption, government malpractices, and inefficiency in the defence of the rights of the ordinary Malaysians.
I have spoken up not for myself, but for the DAP, and on behalf of the people of Petaling. In appreciation of the support the people of Petaling had given me in 1978, I have specially decided to launch the release of my second collection of parliamentary speeches from 1978 to 1982, entitled “Malaysia in the Dangerous Eighties” in Petaling Jaya tonight.
The lot of an Opposition MP is not an easy one. I had been accused of all sorts of things for speaking up for the people. Only a month ago, I was accused in Parliament of serving the communist cause in raiding the issue of military indiscipline in Mengkarak on Feb. 26 where soldiers had assaulted tappers, including women and a 13-year-old boy, with their rifles, slapping and kicking them, even demanding that they strip themselves. One was so seriously injured as to have to be hospitalised at the Mentakab General Hospital.
The Barisan Nasional leaders do not seem to understand that it is precisely such governmental indifference to military indiscipline, treating victims assaulted by soldiers as pro-communists out to defame the armed forces, who are in fact the best friends of communists in greatly alienating the people from the government and the military.
In 1979, I was accused by the then Deputy Prime Minister, Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, as the biggest stumbling block to national unity. As I said in reply, if I am the biggest stumbling block to national unity, then the problem could easily be resolved: arrest me and hey presto, national unity in Malaysia is established! But who would be so naive as to believe this?
My parliamentary colleagues and I in the DAP had often been told in Parliament that if we did not like the way things were run in Malaysia, we could leave the country. Let me repeat here what DAP MPs, like other Malaysians, are full-blooded citizens who have the unquestionable and inalienable right to help decide Malaysia’s political future and speak our mind. If there are people who do not like what we do and hear what we say, then they are at liberty to leave Malaysia themselves!
If there is no vocal, articulate and effective Opposition in Parliament to stand up for the rights of the people, then a darkness will descend in the country. This goes for the Selangor State Assembly as well, and all the governmental inefficiencies, corruption and malpractices would be covered up.
In my 13 years of Parliamentary experience, I have never come across a single case of a Barisan MP or State Assemblyman exposing the government malpractices or corruption. The Barisan MPs will in fact try to cover up such government malpractices and corruption from the public eye.
The DAP needs a team of articulate and courageous MPs, who are not afraid of the tactics of intimidation and even blackmail to silence us. This is because the force and impact of what the DAP says in Parliament is not because we represent ourselves, but because we represent the large masses of Malaysian all over the country.
Sdr. P. Patto, the Party National Organising Secretary, has been selected by the Party to contest in Petaling as I have been assigned by the Party to return to Malacca for parliamentary elections.
Sdr. Patto is a tested and proven fighter, who would not cow down to the most intense pressure, or succumb to temptations. He is one of the DAP MPs most feared by the Barisan government.
I am confident that if elected, Sdr. Patto would be able to carry out the heavy responsibility of representing the biggest and most sophisticated constituency in the country, as Petaling’s electorate is the largest with 114,000 voters.
When I came to stand in Petaling in 1978, I was accused of being afraid to stand in Malacca. Now that I have returned to Malacca, the MCA in Petaling Jaya has accused me of being afraid of recontesting in Petaling Jaya.
This is the type of political thinking which the MCA is capable of.
The MCA Petaling Parliamentary Candidate, Yeoh Poh San, is carrying out a very vicious campaign, trying to tell the Chinese voters in Petaling that they should not vote for an Indian.
Although the MCA claims to represent the five million Malaysian Chinese, it is a well-known historical fact that for the last 20-30 years, the MCA had been betraying the basic rights and interests of the Malaysian Chinese to further the self interests of the MCA leaders.
The MCA is fond of going around calling on the Malaysian Chinese to unite. The question they should answer is are they asking the Chinese to unite to defend and promote their rights and interests or to further betray the rights and interests of the Malaysian Chinese.
Yeoh Poh San’s special relationship with the MCA UMNO Youth Leader, Haji Suhaimi Kamaruddin, is well-known to all MCA leaders. In fact, it is no exaggeration to say that Yeoh Poh San is Haji Suhaimi’s most trusted lieutenant in the MCA.
We can still remember that during the beginning of this year, when the Chinese community was in uproar over the implementation of the 3M in Chinese primary schools as it would cause the Chinese primary schools to change character, Yeoh Poh San publicly made an official call on Haji Suhaimi as Deputy Education Minister, and was satisfied with Haji Suhaimi’s assurances. Why didn’t Yeoh Poh San call on the MCA Deputy Education Minister, Datuk Chan Siang Sun?
The 3M issue is still unresolved, although the MCA and the Barisan Nasional is making a great effort to give the public the impression that the 3M issue had been settled satisfactorily.
In view of YeohPoh San’s special relationship with Haji Suhaimi, which goes back to over 10 years, one wonders whether it is Haji Suhaimi who is the dominating the relationship, or the reverse.
Nobody will believe that Yeoh Poh San could direct Haji Suhaimi in Malaysian politics; it could only be the reverse. In such circumstances, a vote for Yeoh Poh San is nothing less than a vote for Haji Suhaimi.
I call on the Petaling voters not to fall prey to the vicious propaganda of Yeoh Poh San, and to vote for P. Patto as their MP as he had shown his fighting spirit and qualities in Parliament and outside these several years; and also to vote for the DAP Candidates for Petaling jaya, Tai Sin Piaw, for Serdang, Fong Kui Lun and for Sungei Way, K. C. Cheah.