Press Conference Statement by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, in Seremban on Friday, 17.8.1984 at 11 a.m.
DAP to boycott revised constituency boundaries invitation of objections, for the Elections Commission is not independent and impartial, not an appendage of the ruling parties
The Elections Commission said that no objections had been received so far to the revised constituency boundaries now posted at over 200 places throughout the country.
I am not surprised, because all such objections on substantive principles would be a total waste of time. During the first publication of the Elections Commission’s recommendations on the redelineation of parliamentary and state constituencies, the DAP took the exercise seriously, and throughout the country, DAP leaders made objections and appeared at the inquiries conducted by the Elections Commission to state our objections.
I myself appeared before the Elections Commission Inquiry in Malacca where I prefaced my views by stating that I did not know whether I was wasting my time in that my substantive objections to the redelineation would not be considered by the Elections Commission, for the simple reason that the Elections Commission is not independent and impartial as provided by the Malaysian Constitution, but merely an appendage of the government of the day.
My reservations have been proved correct, for none of the DAP’s substantive objections had been incorporated in the revised boundaries. I do not blame the Elections Commission, for it simply does not have the power to redraw the constituencies to ensure that the principle of ‘one man, one vote’ is followed, and to remove the gross disparity whereby rural areas with lesser voters have more constituencies, while urban areas with very much more voters have very fewer constituencies. For this reason, the DAP has decided to boycott the present revision exercise, inviting objections, for we regard it as a total waste of time.
The Elections Commission’s role is to recommend these new parliamentary and state assembly constituencies to be adopted. It is Parliament which has the final responsibility to decide on the adoption of the recommendation of the Elections Commission.
I call on MCA, (whether Neo Yee Pan faction or Tan Koon Swan faction), Gerakan, MIC, SUPP Ministers and MPs to take a clear public stand in Parliament to oppose the proposed new constituencies, for the net result of these recommendations is to further strengthen and consolidate UMNO political power in Malaysia.
I hope that MCA, Gerakan, MIC and SUPP Ministers and MPs would not fail the people once again.
DAP calls for the lifting of the ban on political gatherings in Perlis, Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu_
The government ban on political gatherings in Perlis, Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu is totally unjustifiable, either by the political or security situation.
The Government had amended the Penal Code and Criminal Procedure Code in December 1982 to arm itself with powers to prosecute those who use religion to cause disunity and disaffection.
The Government has therefore adequate powers to deal with those who use religion for incitement or sedition.
The DAP calls on the government to immediately lift the ban on political gatherings in the four northern states, to permit the restoration of democratic conditions.
The Deputy Minister of Home Affairs, Radzi Sheik Ahmad, said the government would issue a White Paper on extremist activities in the October meeting of Parliament. The Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Musa Hitam, promised to issue a White Paper on the PAS arrests over a month ago on July 11. Why is it taking the Government so long to publish a White Paper – unless it is still looking for evidence?
There is no need for the White Paper to wait for Parliament to be published. Furthermore, it is more tabling the White Paper in Parliament unless MPs are given special time to debate the White Paper.
I call on the Government to publish the White Paper immediately, and to provide for time for Parliamentary debate when Parliament meets in October.