Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, at DAP Klang Pasar Branch Anniversary Dinner held in Kajang on Saturday, 7th July 1984 at 8p.m.
Call on Datuk Musa Hitam to ensure that the government does not practice ‘double-standards’ in law enforcement
One important element in determining government credibility and legitimacy, as well as deciding the degree of public confidence in the government, is it fairness and impartiality in the carrying out of its obligations and responsibilities. A government which acts arbitrarily and capriciously for the interests of its leaders or political parties or uses its power to victimize opponents or critics would forfeit public confidence and undermine its own legitimacy and credibility.
I therefore call on the Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Musa Hitam, to ensure that the government does not practice ‘double standards’ in the discharge of its duties. Two days ago, Datuk Musa warned organizers of demonstrations that they would be held responsible for their deeds, and said that the people were free to express their views and opinions through the mass media, letters and memoranda, or through their elected representatives.
The biggest spate of demonstrations took place at the end of last year during the Constitutional Crisis, where UMNO Ministers and leaders virtually took to the streets and organised demonstrations throughout the country. They did not seem to depend on the mass media, letters or memoranda, or their elected representatives to forward their views; nor did the Ministry of Home Affairs take any action or issue any warnings.
Government should respect the constitutional right of Malaysians to freedom of worship and to express their views
When the 2M Government came to power, the 2M leadership promised a liberal and tolerant administration. The government should therefore respect the constitutional right of Malaysian to freedom of worship and to express their views.
If the people could not visit Bukit China in Malacca tomorrow, to pray at Poh San Teng Temple and to get to know at first-hand the 500-year-old historic, religious and cultural monument which is the heritage of all Malaysians, then the constitutional guarantee of freedom of worship would have been gravely undermined. At this rate of development, every family would have to apply for police permit during the Chinese Cheng Beng festival to visit their ancestral graves, if they are not to constitute an illegal assembly.
I do not think we want to proceed in this direction, and I therefore call on the government to fully respect the constitutional right of Malaysians to freedom of worship and to express their views and opposition to the Malacca State Government’s plan to level and develop Bukit China.
The Government must show greater faith and confidence on the Malaysians people as law-abiding and peaceful citizens who want their rights to be respected, and their views heard, and not where every citizen is suspected by the government as a rogue and potential destroyer of Malaysian society, out to lead to ‘chaos’ disorder and jeopardise public security and peace – the ‘terrible’ words used by Datuk Musa two days ago.
The people of Malacca and Malaysia will show that with the confidence and co-operation of the government, they are law-abiding and peaceful and the last persons to want to see ‘chaos, disorder’ or public security and peace being jeopardised.