by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, in Malacca on Thursday, 10th Oct. 1985:
Political Declaration by Chinese organisations must not have ulterior political motives or orchestrated by unseen political hands if it is not to lose its impact, meaning and purpose.
With the approach of general elections, expected to be held any time from December 1985 to April 1986, it is natural for the mushrooming of political or political-related activities whether by political or non-political organisations.
The report by a local Chinese press that some 23 Chinese organisations would be issuing Political Declaration is therefore part of this pre-election activity, and in principle, is welcomed by the DAP.
However, having been bitten once in the 1982 general elections, the DAP is not prepared to accept at face value the political declarations of even non-political organisations. We owe it to ourselves and to the people to inquire whether there is any ulterior political motive, or unseen behind the-scene puppet masters orchestrating the moves.
Before the 1982 general elections, the Tung Chiau Chung leaders met the DAP leaders for a full and frank discussion on the political situation and future, and DAP leaders were told in no uncertain terms that Tung Chiau Chung leaders had no faith or confidence in the MCA or Gerakan, and that if they would join political forces, they would support DAP.
But on the eve of Nomination, the Tung Chiau Chung leaders took the shocking decision to support Barisan Nasional by authorising several of its leaders to join Gerakan, raising the platform of ‘Attack into the Barisan Nasional to rectify the Barisan Nasional’.
I had warned in Penang a few months ago that the Gerakan-Tung Chiau Chung elements would be planning a second step for the next general elections, which is to get the various State Chinese Assembly Halls to support the Barisan Nasional and Gerakan in the same way the Tung Chiau Chung supported the Barisan Nasional and Gerakan in the 1982 general elections.
The Gerakan-Tung Chiau Chung elements should realise, however, that the political situation is very different now, and it would be difficult for the various State Chinese Assembly Halls and Chinese organisations to openly support Barisan and Gerakan in the Tung Chiau Chung fashion in the 1982 general elections.
I understand that there are certain Gerakan-Tung Chiau Chung strategists who are advocating a ‘one step backward, two step forwards’ tactics to get the various State Chinese Assembly Halls and Chinese organisations to support the Barisan and Gerakan in the next general elections.
The MCA and Gerakan (including its Tung Chiau Chung elements) cold not deny that since the April 1982 general elections, the Malaysian Chinese faced the most serious and rapid erosion of their political, economic, educational, cultural, religious and citizenship rights – and that they have lost more in these 42 months than the 25 years between Merdeka in 1957 and 1982:
Even the Gerakan-Tung Chiau Chung elements are politically astute and realistic enough that they could not deny this political fact.
They also realise that if anyone is to take full responsibility for the unprecedented wide-ranging erosion of the Chinese rights and status I Malaysia in these last 42 months, it is the MCA which broke its campaign promise of a Chinese political breakthrough, and the Gerakan (and its Tung Chiau Chung elements) who broke their promise to rectify the Barisan Nasional.
So, before the Gerakan-Tung Chiau Chung elements could move to get the various State Chinese Assembly Halls and Chinese organisations to support the Barisan Nasional and Gerakan in the next general elections, they have to cloud the issue.
They have to make a strategic admission, that the last 42 months since the April 1982 general elections were a ‘Political Dark Age’ for the Malaysian Chinese, but get the Malaysian Chinese to put the blame not only on MCA, Gerakan, but also on the DAP. If they succeed in this, they will be able to prepare the political ground to ask the State Chinese Assembly Halls and Chinese organisations to choose support among the three, as all are equally responsible for the political dilemma of the Malaysian Chinese. They will ask for the various State Chinese Assembly Halls and Chinese organisations to endorse the Gerakan (with its Tung Chiau Chung elements) on the ground that the MCA is a completely ‘no hoper’ while the DAP is a mere opposition. This is their ‘one step backward, two steps forward’ strategy.
The DAP will not keep quiet to allow these Gerakan-Tung Chiau Chung elements to do their political mischief by misleading the people.
Any political declaration by any organisation which seeks to apportion blame and responsibility for the present political dilemma of the Malaysian Chinese must dare to point the finger directly at MCA, Gerakan and its Tung Chiau Chung elements, and the disastrous Tung Chiau Chung decision in 1982 to support Barisan Nasional and Gerakan.
The DAP is not prepared to carry the ‘black baldi’ which should be borne by MCA and Gerakan, and especially its Tung Chiau Chung elements.