DAP branches urged to be prepared for early general elections to be held anytime after the next 12 months

Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, at the Negeri Sembilan State and Branch officials’ Seminar held in Seremban on Sunday, 10.6.1984 at 10 a.m

DAP branches urged to be prepared for early general elections to be held anytime after the next 12 months

On 1st June, the MCA Presidential Council met to discuss the possibility of early general elections being held. This is most unusual, for the present life of Parliament is not even at the half-way mark, and the MCA ha never in the past been in the practice of alerting the public about the possibility of early general elections.

The MCA incumbent leadership, fighting for its life in the MCA power struggle, has ample reasons to focus attention, of both MCA camps, to the possibility of early general elections.

The DAP branches, however, must not be caught unprepared, and must be prepared for early general elections to be held anytime after the next 12 months.

The protracted intra-party struggles in the various Barisan Nasional component parties, the economics and political situation, as well as a Prime Minister who is an exponent in the art of calling early general elections, are some of the factors which could result in early general elections.

The next general elections would be a critical test not only for the DAP, but even more vital, for the people of Malaysia, for it would decide whether the nation should back-track from or go headlong towards nation-building policies predicated on ‘One Language, One Culture’ Policy, the Islamisation of Malaysia life and values, the division of Malaysians into bumiputras and non-bumiputras which formed the essence of the New Economic Policy, and the new population policy of 70 million people.

Call for an all-party commission to propose legislation to curb and eliminate the Politics of Money in Malaysia.

At the UMNO General Assembly, the Prime Minister and UMNO President, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, warned of the dangers to UMNO if the politics of money prevailed in the party. He said that UMNO would become a rich man’s dlub if the use of money for politics is not checked, and told the delegates that if they sold their vote, one day they would sell the party and possibly even the country.

The politics of money is not peculiar to UMNO, but typical of Barisan Nasional component parties. In the present power struggle of in MCA, for instance, both MCA factions accuse the other of having spent some $10 million.

During general elections and by-elections, the Barisan Nasional parties are the most guilty of the politics of money which undermine the entire democratic process by making a periodic expression of the people’s political will meaningless, for the people were deprived of access and opportunity to hear and choose between the competing candidates and policies.

Barison Nasional component parties had also not been shy from using the temptations of material gain to seduce opposition leaders, as for instance, in the alienation of housing land to an opposition MP.

I call on Dr. Mahathir to be concerned, not only about the corrupting influence of the politics of money in UMNO, nut throughout the political system in the country, and to take steps to stamp out the politics of money in Malaysia.

An all-party committee should be established to recommend legislation to curb and eliminated the politics of money, which if left unchecked, would corrupt the political system in Malaysia.

One of the proposals which this committee could consider is legislation to require public declaration of assets by each candidate, which should be made annually by the successful candidate, so that politicians who made use of election to the State Assembly or Parliament to pave the way for financial aggrandisement and enrichment would be subject to public scrutiny.

The election laws on election expenses should also come under scrutiny, for if the first act of a Barisan MP or Assemblyman id to break the election laws limiting election expenses, the such MP or Assemblyman is unlikely to be an honest and upright elected representative of the people.

Call for the BMF loans scandal report to be tabled in the July meeting of Parliament

Last month, the Auditor-General, Tan Sri Ahmad Nordin, who is the chairman of the three-man panel inquiring into the $2,500 million Bumiputra Malaysia Finance loans scandal in Hong Kong, said that the committee would complete an interim report in July, as it would need more time for a complete report pending investigations by various relevant Hong Kong authorities as well.

The DAP calls for the interim report to be tabled in the July meeting of Parliament, as any further delay would reinforce public suspicion that the authorities are trying to drag out the matter indefinitely, until an inconclusive end.

Datuk Seri Mahathir had recently vented hid anger at the Hong Kong authorities for misuse of powers because the Hong Kong police had handed over BMP documents it had seized in connection with the Jalil murder case to the Hong Kong securities authority.

There is no doubt that if not for the revelations emanating from Hong Kong, the entire BMP loans scandal would have been hushed up, for earlier queries in Parliament on the BMP scandal were unable to elicit any material from the Government Ministers.

While Datuk Seri Mahathir may have reason to be annoyed at the Hong Kong authorities, as the leader of a government which wants to have a ‘Clean, Efficient and Trustworthy’ Government, he should take steps to ensure that Parliament could be more effective in making government bodies, statutory bodies or bodies entrusted with public moneys more accountable and answerable for their actions.

It would be most tragic if in the BMF scandal, the Prime Minister is more annoyed at the Hong Kong authorities for revealing the BMF scandal than at the perpetrators of the ‘heinous crime’ who had completely abused public trust and funds.