DAP Central Executive Committee to meet over general elections plans on Dec. 7, 1985

by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, in Malacca on Monday, 18.11.1985:

DAP Central Executive Committee to meet over general elections plans on Dec. 7, 1985

The DAP Central Executive Committee will meet in Petaling Jaya on Saturday, Dec. 7, 1985 to discuss plans for the next general elections, which is expected to be held before April 1986, and most probably in February immediately after the Chinese New Year.

The DAP CEC will also receive various reports, including a report on the DAP’s future plans for Penang by DAP Deputy National Chairman, Sdr. Kapal Singh; a report on DAP-PAS contacts and discussions by Sdr. P. Patto, DAP Deputy Secretary-General; and a report by DAP Deputy Secretary-General, Sdr. Lee Lam Thye, on the China trip which he would be making as member of the Prime Minister’s delegation from Nov. 20 to 28. The party has approved Sdr. Lee’s China trip as the government ban on free travel on Malaysians to China has made it impossible for DAP leaders to understand first-hand the socio-economic and political conditions in China.

DAP calls for a three-month exercise to receive, process and approve citizenship applications by the 300,000 red-identity card stateless Malaysians

On the eve of the visit by the Prime Minister. Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, to China, the Barisan Nasional Government must be reminded of its promise 11 years ago after the visit by Tun Razak to China and the signing of the Malaysia-China Peking communiqué, that he 300,000 stateless red identity card holders would be granted citizenship in accordance with the constitutional provisions of the country.

Article 19 of the Malaysian Constitution provides that a person over 21 years old, who had resided for at least 10 out of the previous 12 years before the application, qualifies to be a Malaysian citizen.

When the Malaysia-China communique was signed in Peking normalizing the relations between Malaysia and China, the overwhelming majority of the 300,000 stateless red identity card holders comply with this provision, for they would mostly have been resident in Malaysia for over 20 years!

But for the last 11 years, the 300,000 stateless Malaysians have waited in vain, while hundreds of thousands of illegal Indonesian immigrants have swamped into Malaysia without much let or hindrance, enjoying a more privileged position than the stateless, who are for all intent and purposes Malaysians except for not possessing a blue identity card!

In fact, the over 11 years that the 300,000 stateless Malaysians have waited for their being conferred citizenship since the May 1974 visit to China by Tun Razak is itself sufficient to qualify them for application for citizenship under Article 19 of the Constitution – without having to take into account their 20 or more years resident in Malaysia before the Peking Communique.

This is a great injustice, for the 300,000 stateless Malaysians should not be victimised and denied their citizenship, since they possess the requisite qualifications to become a Malaysian citizen as provided by the Constitution. In fact, there are still many cases of applicants who are still waiting for the Ministry’s decision although they had been waiting for over 10 long years!

The DAP calls on the Cabinet at its meeting on Nov. 20, just before Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir’s departure for China later in the day, to take a policy decision to honour the Barisan Nasional government’s promise 11 years ago, and set up a Special Agency in the citizenship department to carry out a special exercise within three months to receive, process and approve applications for citizenship by the 300,000 red identity stateless persons in the country.